While all the recent hype and fanfare seems to be focused on cloud based CRM software, IT departments of larger companies are still very much interested in on-premise business solutions and for good reason. Cloud based CRM systems are traditionally offered as generic products with a set of predefined features and functions. They may be a good fit for smaller organizations with limited business requirements, but many larger corporations need more flexibility than these systems offer. While a few cloud based CRM systems do provide some customization it’s often limited and requires a high level of programming expertise which can be quite costly.
On-premise applications have been traditionally designed with a high degree of flexibility in mind making customization easier and less expensive for the IT department. There is no right or wrong solution here, but it’s important to be aware that if your organization requires complete control of the customer information in your CRM system, a cloud based CRM offering may limit your ability to achieve this.
Online CRM software provider Commence Corporation believes one of the biggest differentiators (and a key reason why customers select their CRM software over the competition) is due not only to the quality of their product, but also because of the high level of customer service they provide. Customers can call at any time during normal business hours and speak with a qualified technical support representative. After hours the company offers a web based knowledgebase, free training videos and e-mail support. The company has been operating this way for more than 20 years and has built a solid reputation for providing world class customer service.
“No CRM competitor that services the small to mid-size sector can compete with the level of service we offer” says Nicole Reed, customer service manager at Commence. “It does not seem to matter at first. Initially it’s more about price than quality service; that is until something changes in their business and they need to tailor their CRM system. That’s when customers quickly appreciate having someone on the other end of the line. Many of the lower cost CRM solution providers have no staff which is why there is no telephone number on their website. You send an email and hope for the best and that’s just not right.”
“Customer Relationship Management is about fostering a productive business relationship with your customers, and I feel that no one does this better than Commence. Our plans are to continue to provide excellent service to our customers and to ensure they can talk with an experienced service representative when they call. I think customers who rely on CRM to help run their business appreciate this high quality and level of service.”
Commence Corporation has always taken an active role in the university sector and has several universities using its CRM software for recruitment and other business services. Customer Relationship Management is now also becoming an important part of the educational system.
Students are learning about how the efficient management of customer relationships can play a critical role in sales, marketing and providing customer service to clients. New York University’s Stern School of Business recorded the following classroom presentation on the subject of using CRM software to improve business performance.
VIDEO: Observe a discussion about CRM systems with the Chair of the Stern Marketing Department.
Step inside the classroom and view these short samples of real Stern classes.
Image by Dennis Crowley on Flickr under Creative Commons license.
If you are finally to the point where you can open your business, you are probably feeling a mix of emotions. You may be excited, nervous, stressed, overwhelmed or confused; sometimes you might even feel a combination of all of these emotions at once. One thing is for sure: You know you need sales reporting software, but you are probably not quite sure which one to buy.
Why Our Sales Software for Small Business Owners is Recommended
You are about to embark on a chaotic journey. You likely already know that you will probably be working twice as many hours as you would if you punched a time clock for someone, and this is okay! It is very rewarding to work for yourself, but it is also a lot of hard work. This is why we have designed the best CRM for small business owners.
Our system lets you manage every area of your business from anywhere on a user-friendly interface. We understand that you don’t have all day to waste trying to find your way around software. We even let you integrate QuickBooks for increased accuracy, and you can integrate your email for added convenience, even if you use Entourage for Mac!
If you have been told that Commence is one of the top recommended Salesforce competitors, you are probably wondering how we are so different from the rest. You know that Salesforce is a great product, but it is designed for a larger corporation. This is hardly practical for a small to mid-sized business. Some even buy it and think they can tweak it to accommodate their needs, but quickly find they are just doing a whole lot of extra work.
Salesforce Competitors – We Are the Best
- User-friendly – Commence is one of the top recommended Salesforce competitors because it was designed specifically for a small business. It is user-friendly, so you can be more efficient with your time.
- QuickBooks Integration – Why run separate programs, when you can integrate your QuickBooks right into your CRM software?
- System Deployment – Unlike Salesforce, Commence allows you to host on-premise, if you prefer. We understand that not everyone is comfortable or legally able to host their data outside of their walls, so we offer this thoughtful option.
- Cost – It does not matter if you are a new or established business, you are likely looking for a CRM solution that does not cost a fortune. Even the Commence Enterprise Edition costs 50 percent less than Salesforce — and there are some price points as low as $5 per month!
- Email Integration – There is nothing more frustrating than clicking in and out of programs all day. If you own a business, you probably get a lot of emails, so doesn’t it make sense to choose a CRM software program that allows you to integrate your current email? This is just one more way Commence makes your day easier.
If you are like many other intelligent consumers, you prefer to make an educated buying decision, especially when it comes to products that directly affect your business. Perhaps you have been referred to Commence, but you want to explore your options, too. In this case, you are probably wondering if the SugarCRM alternative is any good.
Comparing the SugarCRM Alternative to Commence
If you are trying to compare Commence to the SugarCRM alternative, you should be commended for your excellent choice. SugarCRM and Commence do dominate, for being the best solutions for small and medium-sized business owners. However, when comparing every single feature with ease of use, custom service and reliability, you find that Commence does win. They both offer many similar solutions, but there are thoughtful features included on Commence that tip the scales in its direction. A few of these include:
- Ability to stay in dashboard to compose emails
- Customer rating feature
- Lead qualification scoring
- Automated organization chart
- Integrated project management solution
- Easier navigation
- Repetitive daily tasks incorporated in the homepage
- More flexible pricing for differently sized businesses
- Commence uses Java, while SugarCRM uses PHP language
- Strategic business alliance found with Rack Space for super-trusted hosting
- Customization features
Use your Cloud based CRM software to create reports to improve your business
Unless you know exactly how your business is doing you won’t be able to improve it. In order to know how your business is doing you will need to have reports from different departments or you need to spend a lot of time talking to your employees and figuring out what is going on. No business owner has that much time to spend just on seeing how the business is doing.
With Cloud based CRM software, you will be able to generate reports in a variety of different sections of your business including sales, marketing and customer service. You can then use these reports to see what areas need improving and focus resources on those areas. This way your time is spent improving the business instead of just figuring out how it is doing. You can also have historical reports so you can identify issues and take appropriate action before anything impacts your business.
Get Hosted CRM Software and start using it today
When you get hosted CRM software you can get it set up pretty quickly and start improving your business sooner. Visit Commence.com today to see how you can get started with a top rated CRM software solution.
Don’t make these mistakes when buying a business CRM
When buying a business CRM it can become overwhelming when you see how many CRM product options you have out there. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you waste time and money on a CRM system that won’t work for you. First of all, make sure you stay away from free CRM systems. Since the solution is web based there are plenty of free options but you will not get the service you want or need to improve your business and there is no guarantee that your data is safe. Speaking of data, it is important to ask about the safety and security of your data. This isn’t a stupid question. If your data is stored on the web you will want to know exactly what kind of security measures are in place. Without your important data, you could be put out of business. To learn more about what mistakes to avoid when buying a CRM solution, visit Commence.com.
Knowing requirements for a business CRM
Taking time to document what you want in your business CRM Software will save you time when shopping. This will help you not lose sight about what you want and make the CRM purchasing process easier.