Customization – Key Component to CRM Success
By Larry Caretsky
CEO, Commence Corporation
The Customer Relationship Management software industry (CRM) is highly competitive. There are literally hundreds of offerings for all size businesses and at all price points. Despite this the majority of these solutions are failing to meet customer requirements and there is one simple reason why – customization.
CRM solution providers can be divided into three categories: those that sell to small businesses, those that target the middle market, and those that have designed solutions for enterprise organizations. Despite the differences in functionality and price, they all have the same business objective and that is to sell their pre-built solution to as many companies as possible. At the small business level, none of the solution providers has any interest in spending time to understand your business requirements. Most do not even have a telephone number to call for assistance and why should they? The majority of these products offer basic functionality at a low cost. You download them via the internet, pay a monthly fee and if they meet your requirements then great. There is little to no customization available so you had better make sure that what you get out-of-the-box is all that you need.
The problem is that most companies want and need more. They need to be able to tailor the solution not only for their current business requirements, but also for those that develop in the future. Here lies the problem. Programs like Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM (considered the leaders in the CRM space) are customizable, but by who? Customization of the Salesforce.com platform requires the Salesforce toolkit and engineers trained in the use of their proprietary tools. This adds a substantial expense to the solution. Customization of Microsoft CRM is traditionally done by third party resellers. That’s why they recommend the product. They want those additional professional service fees. So what do you do? The low cost solutions will not meet your requirements and the industry giants that do are just too costly. There are some good alternatives, but you have to look a bit harder to find them.
Forbes magazine recently produced an article called 25 Great CRM Applications You Probably Never Heard Of. One of the listings is Commence CRM from Commence Corporation. Commence CRM is targeted at small to mid-sized businesses that require robust functionality with the ability to customize the applications to meet unique business requirements. What is different about Commence is the following. First, like the article states you probably never heard of Commence CRM. Secondly, Commence CRM not only offers a suite of applications that rivals the industry giants, but you can tailor the applications yourself without purchasing proprietary development tools or engaging expensive third party services.
If you are looking to implement CRM software for your business you are going to look at Salesforce.com and Microsoft CRM, that’s a given. But why not take a moment to compare the functionality, customizability and total cost of ownership of Commence CRM to the industry giants? You will be glad you did.
See commence.com to learn more, and see what customers say about Commence CRM.