Removing the selection burden of choosing CRM software

Removing the selection burden of choosing CRM software

CRM Software covers a vast array of features and functionality. How do know make sense of it all?

After two weeks’ worth of work I have a list of 1120 supposed CRM software products. Why supposed? In researching CRM software products, the findings and definitions of what classifies a software product as being a Customer Relationship Management tool would appear to be very broad. There are: help desk products, website interactive chat products, VoIP phone network management products and basic contact management products. All these product types are classified as CRM software products.

However, lack of appropriate categorisation is only the beginning of the barriers you may face when researching CRM software.

The frustration of broken links

You’ve finally found it; you’ve read the reviews and all available information about the CRM software product and it all sounds perfect for your business. Then you go to visit the website and: “Whoops, sorry this website is not available in your location”, “Your connection is not private”, “The servers IP address can’t be found”. Free tools are available to find and notify website owners of broken links. Subsequently, given the time and effort you’ve put into researching the right product, it is all too easy to understand why people might throw their hands up in the air and decide that it is all too hard when they hit this barrier.

Language barriers

You’ve gone to the website and attempt to start reading when the message flicks up before you. “Translate this page”. Sure, go ahead and translate the page. Please remember though that if you decide to go ahead with using this CRM software, the company you are dealing with may speak a different a language to you. You could use an interpreter to assist in breaking down this barrier, however the problem may be larger. If the software is written in a foreign language, then it follows that the logic in the functionality of the product will also follow the conventions that are consistent with the use of that language. To a native English speaker, the order and purpose of certain fields and functionalities may therefore seem odd or out of order.

Information validity and reliability

Over the past few weeks I have visited many CRM software websites and compared a lot of information. This got me thinking, how is it that the software review website indicates that a product has certain features and functionality or runs on a certain platform yet when I visit the product website, I can’t validate the information from the software review website. I don’t have an answer for this. It does however concern me greatly that in order to get what would seem to be able to verify the most basic of information about a product that I must in some form or another hand over my personal data.

Why is handing over your personal data such a big problem?

Hard sell sales tactics

Upon handing over your personal data and contact details you become a part of the CRM software companies “sales funnel”. Recently I handed over my contact details to Salesforce. I used the AgContext landline rather than a mobile number.  Inevitably this meant that Carl took the call – but in terms of telling marketers to politely but firmly leave us alone – that is definitely Carl’s stronger point. That didn’t deter the team at Salesforce. I was emailed to ask for my direct phone number! Were they hunting for the weakest link in the chain in order to get a foot in the door? The company’s managing director said no, why keep trying? Are such sales tactics the reason for their dominance in the CRM Marketplace? After all it is easy to pay for a great marketing and sales process, but that doesn’t guarantee that the product behind the marketing is all it is talked up to be. Are such tactics perhaps demonstrative of the modern-day snake oil salesman?

So, how do you negotiate your way around these barriers?

Use Business Analysis

A business analyst can partner with your business to:

  • Identify your specific needs for functions and features of software
  • Evaluate and assess the best software for your budget
  • Negotiate trade-offs and work arounds in software choices
  • Assist with transition from current to recommended software
  • Communicate and manage software vendors

A business analyst can work with you to select the  software solution that is the best match available to your business processes.

Find out how we can help you choose the right CRM software for your business?

Marijke Uebergang
Marijke is passionate about helping people use the timely and accurate collection of data to drive outcomes across the triple bottom line of people, purpose and planet. She has over 15 years’ experience in information management in both public and private healthcare settings. This includes supporting and leading the development of policies, processes, procedures, strategic governance and software development for the management of patient level data: the key driver of hospital funding outcomes. As our education writer, Marijke shares her insights and lessons for leveraging data in business decision making.