A Quick Analysis of Level One, Level Two and Level Three CRM Software Providers
While some CRM solution providers try to be all things to all people most of the popular CRM programs are designed and targeted at a specific market segment. I have labeled these by Tier. See below:
Tier 1 – Enterprise Level CRM Providers
While targeted primarily at the Fortune 1000 companies, CRM software providers in this category traditionally have a few things in common.
- They offer comprehensive functionality covering all aspects of front office business operations for account management, sales, leads, marketing and customer service
- They have a highly scalable platforms that support several thousand users
- They support multiple languages and multi-currency
- They offer application programming interfaces or API’s that enable disparate system integration
- They offer best in class hosting or cloud computing services
- They offer a High level of customizability and good customer support
- There are many third party packages that may be integrated with these CRM programs.
Companies in this category include Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and Salesforce.com
Tier 2 – Mid-Market CRM Providers
Mid-market CRM providers offer good functionality that often rivals that of enterprise level systems, but typically do not support multi-language or muti-currency although some do. The top rated Tier 2 providers offer the following:
- Good functionality with strong focus on account and contact management, e-mail integration, sales and lead management . Some offer customer support or help desk and project management as well.
- Robust scalable platforms that support hundreds of users vs. thousands like enterprise level programs. Very good customer support
- May support multi-currencies, but typically not multiple languages
- Several offer the best in class hosting or cloud computing services, same as the enterprise players
- Fairly customizable with minimal programmer intervention in most solutions
- Some third party package integrations are available
The most popular companies in this category include: Commence CRM, Microsoft CRM, Sage – (mostly in Europe), Salesforce.com and SugarCRM
Tier 3 – Small Business CRM Providers
If basic contact management, e-mail and a sales forecast is all you require, there are several good inexpensive small business CRM solutions to choose from. Don’t expect however to get advanced level functionality such as security permissions, robust reporting, or automated workflow. Customization is often limited to adding a few custom fields if at all. Most small business CRM solutions offer:
- Weak functionality as compared to mid-tier CRM offerings
- Non scalable platforms that will not perform well with large data sets or larger number of users
- Customer support limited primarily to e-mail
- Rare support for multi-currencies or multiple languages
- Second or third tier hosting or cloud based services
- Minimal customization if any
Companies targeting this sector include: Zoho, Highrise & Avidian.