CRM Solution Software

CRM Software Solutions

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CRM software blueprint
An Executive's Guide to CRM Software

The CRM Journey

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Several factors determine a company’s journey to a Client Relationship Management solution. Two less cited aspects include whether the business is Internet based and whether it is a startup. A new web-based company entering the market today must implement a CRM system simply to function and be competitive.

For a majority of new companies, the decision is not whether to utilize such a solution, but rather how quickly to implement, which system to utilize and in what type of environment, be it hosted, leased or purchased. Driving this decision are indicators such as available capital and resources as well as the entity’s business focus and core competencies. If capital is provided by investors, individuals, banks, or stock offerings, the implementation of a CRM solution is often mandated by the entity funding the company. Further, outside investors often emphasize or push hosted crm systems as their subscription based procurement is seen as a method to preserve capital for core growth initiatives.

If the company is not a new entity, then the CRM journey can begin from different arenas and take several paths. Smaller to mid-size businesses oftentimes start with simple contact management, such as Outlook. Since sales and revenue drive most growing entities, management of the sales force or Sales Force Automation (SFA) is a natural offshoot and upgrade from Contact Management. Again, this can be accomplished through various methods, hosted, leased, or purchased. Most entities begin the CRM journey with primitive contact management and gravitate to SFA at some point in time.

Growing pains tend to spur a company into evaluating a move to SFA or implementing a complete enterprise-wide CRM solution. Some of the more common pain points include missed sales forecasting, a need for improved sales performance, erosion of client base, escalating customer dissatisfaction, or new capital investment tied to instituting measurable solutions. This assessment can occur at any stage. For example, if the company is utilizing contact management, but receives a new inflow of capital, it may be ushered into full-blown CRM. Or the company may have a mature SFA system in place, but customer complaints necessitate real-time information and automation of the Service department. Massive adoption of email for communication and its associated reduction in costs may also force a company into a similar tactical shift.

In summary then, a majority of new businesses have a predilection to begin their existence with a Client Relationship Management system in place due to the widespread, inexpensive availability of such systems, and are more inclined to do so if they are internet focused. Existing companies tend to utilize at least a Contact Management system and travel either directly to a full blown CRM solution, or navigate to Sales Force Automation. Some companies never move from an SFA solution because this meets their needs. Growing pains are the most common factors which drive a business to move from SFA to CRM.

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CRM Introduction Real World CRM Executives Guide to SFA Marketing Automation Customer Support
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