“What do you think of Acme CRM? I hear it is the best thing out there and is designed the way we sell!”
Pluleeze! Just take a deep breath.
Even though I have been in this business for years, I can’t tell you the number of times in a given month I still hear someone mention some obscure CRM platform that I never even heard of that is making claims about being easier to use, have greater functionality, and cheaper than the more dominant players. Ummm….I don’t think so.
Here are some typical claims:
“It is a system that works the way you work! It doesn’t force you into their process.”
“It is better than Salesforce at a fraction of the price”
“It is really designed for the xyz industry so it is easy to use”
“It is much more customize-able than Salesforce or the others”
“It doesn’t require a team of full time techs to keep it running”
Really? Salesforce did over $8 Billion (with a B) in revenue last year, do you think they are too stupid to have an offering as good as AcmeCRM? Do you really think all the people running Salesforce, Dynamics, Zoho, Sugar and all the rest are dopes because they selected those packages instead of AcmeCRM and if they only used AcmeCRM their life would be easy?
Here is my take: The truth of the matter is that 90% of SMB business can very successfully use 90% of the established packages that are out there. I have yet to find a business that couldn’t be helped by a CRM. There are many CRM packages that are excellent or very good solutions for most SMB companies (and most companies are SMB companies).
While we are in a period of a lot of growth in the deployment of CRM systems, this party isn’t going to last forever and growth will slow down. At the end of this growth cycle, all these software companies (or SaaS companies) will actually need to make a profit. How many do you think will still be standing? Certainly not all of them. Do you want to be using one of the systems that isn’t around? Or one struggling unable to raise money so it is under investing in development and customer support? Before you choose to go with a company nobody ever heard of, consider that. Also consider how easy or difficult it is and will be to get technical help when you need to make modifications.