Choosing CRM software – the dangers of recommendation


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While recommendations from people we know is probably the biggest influence on our purchase decisions for goods and services, I’ve never been too convinced as to how well this works when choosing CRM software.

As a case in point, I had a conversation this week with a business owner who was struggling with a recently implemented CRM system. When we started to talk around his issues I was a little surprised to hear that the software he had just installed was far from the cutting edge technology I had been imagining when we began the conversation, and even more surprised when it became apparent that it had replaced a rather more current, and functionally rich, application. As it turned out, the decision had been made largely based on recommendations from a couple of other businesses.

It seems to me there are two major issues related to purchasing CRM software based on recommendation: Firstly, functional needs will vary significantly from organisation to organisation. Even two similar businesses, operating in the same vertical market, may deploy CRM technology equally effectively, but in totally different ways, with wholly different functional requirements. Assuming what works for someone else, even if their operations look similar, is a dangerous supposition.

Secondly, these sorts of recommendations rarely take account of the current state of the market and are often rooted in purchase decisions made many years previously. The selection of CRM application ‘X’ ten, five, or even a couple of years ago, may well have been the right decision, but as technology moves on, and the CRM marketplace evolves, often very rapidly, product ‘X’, may well no longer be the best option.

While recommendations from others shouldn’t be ignored, relying on them can be a dangerous shortcut. Taking the time to gather and document a detailed set of business and functional requirements, and fully evaluating the options in the market, remains the surest way for success, and may well provide a key competitive edge over those that didn’t.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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