How to Compare CRM Reviews

There are many people and websites trying to do CRM reviews to compare different CRM applications. The problem with relying on CRM reviews from other sources is that reviews are about CRM systems in general. The fact is, 80% of CRM's have the same feature set. What I mean is that all of the major players, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SugarCRM, Sage SalesLogix, Sage CRM and even ACT!, do most of the same things. The real question is, how do they accomplish the same thing? For instance, if you are going to review the top CRM's in regards to activity tracking, a CRM review of activity tracking will only tell you if the feature is included in the product.

However, a CRM Review will not typically tell you that creating a call for a contact will take you x steps in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, x steps in SugarCRM and x steps in Sage SalesLogix. Why do you care how many steps that it takes to schedule a call in a CRM system? If you are not the person that has to schedule calls all day long, then you probably don't care. If you are the person that schedules calls all day long, there is a huge difference in the number of clicks. However, it's not just about the number of clicks, it's also about the time that it takes to wait for screen pops, particularly if you are on a web-based version. So, how do you learn from CRM reviews? CRM reviews are just a glance at the different CRM packages. Comparing CRM solutions must come down to how you will, and how you should, use a CRM system to meet your needs. There is a big difference between someone needing to schedule 10 calls a day and someone scheduling 50 calls a day. The best thing you can do to compare CRM packages is to first determine who your users are, and what types of features they need. The process of doing this is called a requirements gathering. If you have not determined what your requirements are, then the chance of your CRM implementation failing is huge! Are you willing to bet your job on a huge chance that you will fail? If not, I highly suggest that you (or someone else) determine exactly what your company needs.

Once you know exactly what your company and users need, take those requirements to each CRM application and do your own review. Would you ever buy a car without doing all your homework and then insisting on driving it yourself? Of course you wouldn't buy a car without driving it. A car is a huge investment, as is buying a CRM solution. Do your own CRM comparison and the chances of your CRM implementation succeeding will double.

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