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With the wide range of different CRM solutions on the market, it can be challenging to figure out exactly which one is right for your business. Should you pick the mainstream one that is most widely known or go with a smaller platform that might be more tailored to your specific business objectives?
Have you ever wondered what factors you should focus on as you’re going through a CRM evaluation, and as you’re talking to different CRM vendors? What questions should you ask yourself and your team, and which points should you bring up in the discussion with vendors? What features, functionalities, platform strengths, and security aspects are the most important to consider when evaluating different CRM systems, and what matters most for your business, industry, and team?
Going through a new (or replacement) system evaluation is never an easy or quick process. It takes time, due diligence and a lot of effort from your team’s side. However, it doesn’t all have to be a painful uphill battle.
SugarCRM created this useful evaluation checklist with more than 40 questions, separated by functional areas, that will help you define exactly what your organization needs, wants, and what capabilities different CRM solutions may offer.
How is the platform optimized for extensibility and customization?
What are the pricing models and levels?
Are there any up-charges, additional product charges, server license charges, or maintenance charges?
What other charges and fees might we incur over the lifetime of this solution?
Are there charges for usage above preset limits and for storage of files?
Are there charges for integrating applications and data sources?
Are there limits on API calls?
What type of customer support is included with the solution? Do they offer extended, phone-based technical support packages?
Do they provide a knowledge base, case portal, or other online resources?
How broad/deep is their ecosystem? Are they part of a wider network of deployment partners?
Do they offer packaged connectors to critical features?
While no system evaluation is exactly the same, you can adjust some of these questions to fit your specific industry, company goals or KPIs. Having a clearly defined plan is always the first step in achieving and realizing the goals that you set for yourself.
Use this list of questions as a guided tool in your evaluation of the multitude of different CRM solutions and vendors, and your CRM selection process will feel a lot easier to tackle.
Remember – in the end, doing your due diligence will pay off and get you the right solution that will help your organization thrive – rather than getting stuck with a mainstream, “out-of-the-box” solution that doesn’t fit your business needs.
This article originally appeared on SugarCRM's Blog.