Are CRM Product Reviews Losing Credibility?

Gold top 10 winnerConsumers looking to purchase specific products and services often turn to the internet to begin the process of gathering information about what’s available to them.  The internet is a wonderful, quick and efficient source of information, enabling you to hone in on specific products or services and visit individual company websites or read product reviews.

While the amount of information can be overwhelming, you can always count on that one report you can’t wait to get your hands on once you see it – “The Top 10 Report”.  Consumers who download these reports feel as if they have hit “pay dirt” or have they?

Top Rated CRM

Today there is a top 10 report for almost any product or service including CRM software. But can you rely on these reports to provide you an unbiased review of the product or service you are interested in?  Unfortunately, there is a reason to be concerned. Why? The fact is many reports charge a fee to be included in them.  This is known in the industry as “pay to play” and has become so prevalent that some of these reports may no longer provide the credibility you think they do. They instead simply list the companies that have agreed to pay to become part of the listing.  This isn’t quite fair to the consumer but this is business and things are not always fair.

Web CRM Reviews

So what can you do if you are looking for a specific product or service, or in this case an online CRM system?  Use the reviews as a starting point then do more homework about the company or vendors you may be interested in.  Check how long they have been in business and how many successful implementations they have done. What kind of customer service can you expect? And if you are focused on online CRM software, where will your data be managed and stored and how can you get access to it if you need to

Social Networking

Another great source of unbiased information is Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. These social networking sites represent the public at large who often provide excellent unbiased feedback about specific products and services.

Image “Gold top 10 winner” by Sam Churchill on Flickr under Creative Commons license.

4 thoughts on “Are CRM Product Reviews Losing Credibility?

  1. The pay for say arrangement is a real problem from analyst firms (Gartner and Forrester) on down to report publishers. However, the bogus reports are usually obvious as their analysis is weak and most of their content is screen scraped off the vendors web site and of little to no value. The one stand out for a valid Top 10 CRM report is at http://www.CRMsearch.com. This media company accepts no money from any CRM vendor for their top 10 CRM report and actually includes very thoughtful analysis, written by true experts.

  2. The question, as a purchaser, should be: Are we getting the top 10 (of anything) Review of the most used products, or should it be called the Top 10 companies willing to pay. Puts a black mark on any published report. I feel the same way about Motor Trend and similar magazines…car of the year is probably based on who spends the most on advertising. This continues my skepticism of everything. Buyer aware!

  3. Very good article and appropriate and yes this has become the standard for anything you buy even household appliances like a washer and dryer but with CRM software sites like CRM Search pretty much only cover the mainstream companies. Even the analysts rate Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce.com as the top vendors even through they may not be the best solution for every business. Seems like these guys are afraid to recommend anyone else and there are several hundred CRM companies.

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