Don’t Get Burned by the CRM “Buy Now” Button

buy now button (1)

As a leading CRM software provider I can appreciate the competitive nature of the industry and how hungry for business all CRM vendors are.  But I continue to see something on many of the CRM vendor’s sites that I find disturbing, and that is the “Buy Now” button.  The reason I feel this way and you should too, is because CRM software is not a toy or an electronic gadget that you buy over the Internet with a credit card, and if you think it is, you’re dead wrong.

CRM is a business strategy and a commitment to streamlining the internal business processes that impact how you market, sell and provide service to your customers.  CRM software programs that address these key business requirements need to be carefully reviewed and will require you to engage the vendor before, during and after the sale in order to maximize the value you will realize from their CRM solution.  High quality CRM solution providers like Commence Corporation complement their CRM software with a set of best practices for sales management and sales execution.  This provides value added services to the customer while differentiating Commence from other CRM solution providers.

CRM vendors whose business model relies on the “Buy Now” button have made it perfectly clear that they either have no interest in understanding your business requirements or perhaps do not have the resources to engage you in direct conversation.  Either way this is not the type of CRM vendor I would recommend doing business with and may be the main reason so many businesses that have gone this route are not satisfied with the CRM solution they selected.

I do appreciate that the majority of these CRM solution providers offer a very low cost  product and because of this they simply cannot afford to offer any type of service that requires human intervention.  But let me ask you this:  Who wins here? you or the vendor?  The “Buy Now” button only works for companies that are buying a CRM solution based solely on price.  These companies traditionally have not done an appropriate job of documenting their requirements and as such they don’t fully understand what the CRM system will provide for them.  As a result, they believe all CRM systems are alike and therefore use price as their main selection criteria.

Here is my point.  If you are serious about addressing specific business requirements and improving the operations of your business you’ll need to take the time to properly document your business requirements and challenge the vendors you are interested in to demonstrate their ability to meet those requirements.  Top rated CRM solution providers like Commence CRM will gladly accept this challenge and provide the advice and counsel to help you make an informed decision.   Many other CRM vendors will suggest you click the “Buy Now” button.

About the author: Larry Caretsky is president of Commence Corporation and the author of several white papers on the subject of CRM, including 7 Points to Consider Before Selecting your CRM system, Getting Back to Basics and Best Practices for Sales Execution and Management.  These papers are available on the Commence web site at commence.com.

Salesforce.com Competitors Gaining Momentum

Larry Caretsky, CEO of Commence Corporation, was recently interviewed regarding the rationale for entering a crowded Customer Relationship Management software sector already populated with significant players like Salesforce.com and Microsoft CRM.  Caretsky suggested, “A few years ago industry experts asked JetBlue executives why they chose to start an airline when the industry was literally in turmoil and even the giants were struggling to stay alive.  JetBlue succeeded in becoming a significant carrier.  Unlike the airline industry, the CRM space is growing rapidly and despite all the hype of companies like Salesforce.com, no single vendor has a significant market share. The new battlefield is the mid-market and small enterprises, which Commence Corporation has been serving with our desktop CRM solution for more than twenty years.  This space represents our core competency and we are a strong Salesforce competitor and Microsoft CRM competitor and know how to compete effectively for this business.” Caretsky also noted that there are missing elements in the CRM market that Commence could address more effectively than Salesforce.com or Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

“Web based hosted solutions have addressed the difficulties associated with deploying traditional client/server based CRM systems, but utilization rates remain low and customer renewals have been problematic. This is a direct result of a business model that does not include the services required to ensure customers are successful with the solution. Areas such as change management, sales coaching and the use of CRM best practices are required to ensure a measurable return on investment.  Customers are beginning to realize that CRM is a strategy, not merely a software application, and in order to be successful they will require the expertise of the CRM provider.   Commence is bundling in these services with our new web based solution in the same way we have done for twenty years with our traditional client server offering.  The result is happier customers and much higher renewal rates than competitive CRM offerings.  We have one of the highest renewal rates of any CRM company in the industry”, says Caretsky, “and it’s because of these value added services. That is what makes Commence different.”

Commence is considered a Top 10 CRM offering for the middle market and a high quality, lower cost alternative to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce CRM.  For more information about Commence CRM and the company’s CRM best practices, visit the company’s web site at commence.com.