Commence Helps Desktop Customers Migrate to Hosted CRM Service

Midwest Hospitality
Helping our Business Customers

Commence Corporation, a leading provider of Customer Relationship Management software (CRM), is offering traditional desktop CRM customers the option to migrate to the company’s new online CRM hosted service.  “The economic environment has hit many small to mid-size businesses very hard” says Todd Pape, Chief Information Officer at Commence.  Many are working with dated hardware and software and no longer have the staff to maintain their internal infrastructure.  Commence is offering them an opportunity to migrate to one of two deployment options that have been designed to reduce the requirement of internal staff along with the cost  of maintaining their inhouse CRM system.”

“First is our hosted CRM service which enables them to maintain their desktop software, but have the server component managed and maintained by Commence’s professional engineers at our data center.  This enables the customer to focus 100 percent of their time in managing and growing their business. For those customers interested in cloud computing, they can have their CRM online and completely alleviate the requirement for new hardware or software.  The cloud based CRM system offers anytime anywhere access and full mobile support. “

“Customers truly appreciate the options offered by Commence” stated Denis Moran, president of Istri – a reseller of Commence products in Europe. “No one wants to change CRM vendors especially when they are pleased with the product and service they have received over the years”.   For more information about how Commence can help you migrate to a hosted or online CRM environment, visit the company’s web site at www.commence.com.

[Image “Midwest Hospitality” by johnnyalive on Flickr under Creative Commons license]

Small Businesses CRM Software – Stop Looking for a Bargain!

Bargain - Save 1cSmall business owners are smart operators.  They traditionally have to do a lot with very little, wear multiple hats and position their companies to be competitive in a rapidly changing environment.  Software tools and applications like CRM software can help them to automate the internal processes that can make them a more effective sales and service organization.  Newer cloud based CRM software systems also alleviate the need for purchasing additional computer hardware or software and have become extremely affordable for small businesses. The rapid deployment, ease of use and affordability of these newer programs has stimulated a high degree of growth among the small to mid-size business community.  Despite this the failure rate among SME’s with regard to the implementation and use of CRM software is greater than 70%.

Much of this has to do with a complete lack of knowledge when it comes to selecting a CRM solution.  CRM is not an appliance that you simply plug in the wall and it magically improves sales execution and customer service.  And if you think you can buy CRM software by merely entering your credit card over the internet, you are not thinking clearly. Yet many small business executives see CRM software as a commodity item, causing them to simply select some Freeware or low cost program that delivers nothing but headaches.  These business owners initially think they got a bargain; only to find out later that the time, energy and cost they put into the free product was greater than the initial cost of selecting a quality company with a product that would address their business requirements.  The point here is simple.  There are no bargains when it comes to CRM software. Anything that seems to be too good to be true at just a few dollars a month (or even better Free) is going to cost you dearly in the end.

There are several high quality companies and products designed specifically for small to mid-size businesses that will deliver real value and provide you with expertise that will enable you to improve how you market, sell and provide service to your customers.  One of these companies is Commence Corporation, a company that has been providing customer management software solutions to small and mid-size businesses for more than two decades.  While not free, Commence has experienced sales and support personnel who have assisted hundreds of companies improve their internal business processes resulting in better lead management, accurate sales forecasting and improving customer service.  Commence customers have reported greater than a 25% increase in sales through the use of the program. Would you pay for a product or service that could deliver this kind of value to your company?  Sure you would, but this kind of value isn’t free.

To learn more about Commence CRM software visit Commence.com and view a series of educational videos that illustrate how you can become a more efficient sales and service organization with Commence CRM. 

Image ‘Bargain – Save 1c’ owned by Alpha, on Flickr (cc)

Top CRM Software

Miniature Ice Cream Display

CRM software comes in all different sizes and flavors from basic contact management programs to comprehensive solutions for managing front office business processes such as sales, marketing and customer service.  What makes one CRM solution better than another is not necessarily apparent to the consumer whose focus is primarily on features, function and price.

The difference between a top rated CRM software solution and an average one often lies under the covers and is not apparent unless you know where to look and what questions to ask.  If you’re a mid-size to enterprise level company scalability and the hosting service should be top priorities on your list.   Scalability relates to the CRM system’s performance when large groups of people are trying to access data or run reports.  Low cost CRM solution providers have traditionally not paid particular attention to this due to limited resources and the cost associated with the development of highly scalable solutions.   As a result, it is not uncommon for customers using these systems to experience slow access speeds or reports that take hours to run.  Fixing this is no easy task, so if you are experiencing this with your CRM solution provider, don’t expect this to change anytime soon.

The CRM providers hosting service is another key concern for mid-size and larger companies.  Some CRM solution providers that host your data do so on a shared server or servers while others offer a cloud computing environment.  Like any hardware component, there are limitations and capacities as to how much data can be stored on the server.  With hosted CRM solutions when the server hits its capacity you may find yourself having difficulty connecting to your database.  Cloud based providers have addressed this using the ability for cloud technology to quickly add computing resources when required thereby reducing the potential for slow speeds and downtime.

Of course it is also important not to overlook the reputation of the CRM vendor itself.  Companies with a proven track record for a high quality product and service often have years of experience in the industry and a very large customer base.  Contacting a few customers and learning about their experience with the vendor’s product and service may be the best vehicle for helping you to make the right decision.

[Image “Miniature Ice Cream Display” by Stephanie Kilgast on Flickr under Creative Commons license]

CRM Not Delivering For Small Businesses

WE DELIVERSmall businesses have been engaged in acquiring CRM software in record numbers and for good reason.  New cloud based CRM offerings coupled with low price points have encouraged small to mid-size businesses to join in on the success they have been hearing about for the past few years.  For many of these businesses however, success has not come easy.  In fact, there are a staggering number of failed implementations among SMBs and even the ones that get implemented often have very low utilization rates. The reason for this is simple and can easily be fixed if management begins to understand that you have to invest time, energy and money to be successful with CRM.

The problem lies in the fact that most businesses view CRM software as some sort of turn-key “out of the box solution” like an appliance that you plug-in the wall.  It’s not.  CRM is complicated and requires proper training and customization to address unique business requirements.  Part of the problem also comes from a failed CRM selection process whereby management has not taken the time to outline their business requirements.  As a result, they often select a solution based on popularity and price only to find out later that they made the wrong decision.

Small to mid-size businesses looking for help with the CRM selection process will find substantial value in the attached white paper, available from the link below.

Don’t Make a CRM Buying Mistake – 7 Points to Consider

Image “We Deliver” owned by Chris (cc)