Special Report – CRM as SAAS; benefits, challenges and help
I’ve been looking at a new CRM recently. I was the Solution Architect for a very large financial institution back in 2001 for a huge CRM project, and it made me fairly well aware of the ins and outs of CRMs. I later consulted with SugarCRM and vTiger CRM. I’ve used a few CRMs, and for my own business, I’m currently using Streak, which integrates workflows inside GMail.
One of the founders of the CRM I’m looking at just emailed me to see why I didn’t go past the trial, and as I started typing an email, I realised this topic has value to my followers. So here’s a discourse written instead of the reply I started to draft. I hope you find it useful 🙂
And the CRM? Cloze.
I’ve only looked at Cloze briefly, but it does encompass many things I’ve thought a blend of traditional contact based CRM and social CRM should. It lacked a few things in the trial that precluded me from using it though.
I am a one man band, with a business consulting background, and I’m just getting back to work after time out from an injury. I’ve been doing photography for a few years as my health has slowly improved, and at this stage am ‘soft launching’ Ballarat Business Media, which will offer CRM and Business Improvement services as well as media consulting.
In looking at what’s going on with CRMs, I’m looking for something I can use myself, but also offer as a recommended product with a CRM consulting service. Streak has been working well for me, but I always feel I should know what’s on offer if I’m going to recommend something to clients, because it’s not just about having something that works – it’s about the best option available for that customer.
What’s Important in a CRM?
It’s important to me to find something reasonably stable, functional and able to easily integrate for clients, but also economical to start out with so it’s easier for them to try. I did consulting around SugarCRM (Community Version) some years ago, but having to run my own web application servers was an overhead, and product stability was occasionally an issue (my experience, historically).
When customers grow, it’s likely they’ll stay with a product they started with provided it works for them. That’s why the Freemium model is becoming more popular – starting with a basic version for free (that you can keep using for free), and paying when you want more functionality. You may have noticed some Freemium products on the market the past ten years. Here’s a few, just to jog your memory (and there are lots more):
READ ON to find out:
- Dynamics of Internet Based SAAS (Software as a Service) Products
- The challenges and benefits of CRM as SAAS
- What you should do to choose and implement a CRM solution