Are You Paying Too Much For SalesForce.com?

US Dollars Money Currency Economy Paper currency paper notes 100 dollars
US Dollars Money Currency Economy Paper currency paper notes 100 dollars

Just over a decade ago Salesforce.com introduced Customer Relationship Management software (CRM), delivered over the Internet as a SaaS CRM service. Being the first to market provided them with the advantage of establishing a high price point for their offering and many companies seemed all too willing to pay for it, until now. What has changed over the past ten years is that there are now dozens of alternatives to Salesforce.com and several high quality trusted companies that offer similar functionality at a significantly lower cost.

Commence Corporation is one of these companies.  Commence has a rich history and has been providing on-premise CRM software to small enterprises and mid-size companies for more than two decades. In fact, Commence was the original developer of IBM Current, a desktop contact manager, and SuperSELL, IBM’s sales force automation offering. As such, Commence is no stranger to the CRM sector.  A few years ago the company expanded its product line by migrating its award winning desktop CRM software to the cloud.  Commence is one of the only companies that offers its customers the “freedom of choice” to deploy the software via the cloud or on premise.

Why Commence Makes Sense

One of the key CRM selection criteria that are driving customers to Commence CRM is that the company does not force you into a “pre-defined” box. Salesforce.com forces customers like you to select a specific product edition that locks you into a set of pre-defined features or limits the number of users you may have based on the price you paid. In fact, Commence does not have any restrictions of any kind.  The product is modular in design which means you can select the functionality you require today and add additional modules or users at any time without incurring a substantial price increase, just because you switched to a different “pre-defined” box or edition, or added additional people.

If you took a survey of companies that have selected CRM software, you will discover that many of them fell into the feature trap, where they ended up paying for more functionality than they end up using. This is because the vendor has forced them into buying a product edition with pre-set functionality as mentioned above.  This just doesn’t make sense.  To make matters worse, the majority of these companies are utilizing functionality that is standard in most quality CRM solutions like Commence, such as account and contact management, activity management, sales management, lead management, and Outlook and email integration.  Add those that also use it for marketing campaigns or mobile access and you have covered the lion share of the market.  Commence offers all of the above along with a help desk or customer support module, a document library, a project management application and integration with accounting systems like QuickBooks.

The point is this:  Trusted CRM providers like Commence have leveled the playing field and can provide similar functionality to products like Salesforce.com at a fraction of the cost.  If you’re an organization that requires a lot of users, the cost savings with Commence can be substantial.  If you are considering a CRM solution, take a few moments to evaluate Commence CRM. To learn more about Commence visit the company’s web site at www.commence.com or ask for a free CRM trial and experience Commence CRM for yourself.

Why is Selecting a CRM Solution so Hard?

free trial

Commence Corporation Makes the Selection Process Easier with “Try Before You Buy” CRM Program

Why are so many people disappointed with their CRM system?  Nigel Park, Managing Director of TPS Consulting believes he has the answer.  “Customers are simply not experts in selecting CRM software.  I often find that they have not properly documented their critical requirements list.  As a result, these firms have tendency to shop solely on price because they perceive that all CRM offerings are the same. They find out later that there are limitations they were unaware of.  Another reason customers may be hesitant about making a decision is because the vendor’s free trial offering does not enable the customer to truly ensure that the software meets their requirements.  The free trials often consists of a vanilla out of the box program that is not tailored for the customer’s business so while free, they have limited value.  Unique work flow capabilities may not be incorporated in the trial versions and other key components such as e-mail integration that traditionally involve some assistance from the vendor cannot be properly tested.  And because it’s just a trial, customers are unable to take advantage of the vendor’s expertise in helping them to realize the maximum value from their software.  I don’t blame the vendors says Park, because they cannot afford to address questions, tailor the software, integrate e-mail, and provide support services for a free trial, but if I am a customer I want to ensure that the software will work as advertised,”  he concluded.

Commence Corporation has introduced a unique solution to this problem by offering customers a 90 day pilot program that includes the company’s award winning CRM software coupled with a set of best practices that ensure that the customer attains immediate value from the solution.  “We appreciate that customers may be apprehensive about making a CRM decision and may not fully understand the value they can realize from our software, said Larry Caretsky, president of Commence Corporation.  We want to mitigate the risk for them by providing them with an opportunity to utilize our software and provide the professional expertise to solve their business requirements.  Our professional services staff will implement the software, assist the customer with the customization they require, integrate their e-mail, Outlook, calendar, mobile devices, and even provide training.”

 Image “free trial” by Jonna Liu on Flickr under Creative Commons license.