Choose a Contact Management System

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Most growing companies find themselves in need of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software at some point. Choosing the right one can be tricky and there are more things than just cost to consider.

Make a list of what you are trying to accomplish. For example: you may be trying to track contacts and leads, as well as keep track of your tasks for the day. Different contact managers and CRM packages offer different features.
Decide on what deployment option you need. Traditional Software vs. Web Based SaaS(software as a service). Web Based contact manager packages give you the flexibility of accessing your data from any computer but some find issue with keeping their company's data off-site.
Compare initial and long-term costs. Some CRM may be inexpensive for the first year but could cost you a fortune in the long run.
Choose one that caterers to your business and size. Just because you have 10 users doesn't mean you should be using a CRM that Microsoft uses. Choose one for your size and expected growth. Don't get stuck with one that is only designed for a single user!
Once you find answers to all of these questions and narrow your choices down. Spend time in their trials, all decent ones should give you one, and see which ones are easy-to-use. It could be the best time you can spend, and could save you from making a costly mistake.

Give the CRM companies a call. Someday you may need support, you should know how they respond to this early on.
Look at the fine print. Does the cost of your subscription go up after the first year? Do they charge for technical support?


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