CRM Systems – a waste of time and money?
CRM Systems – a powerful tool for Customer Relationship Management or a time (and money) consuming waste? You be the judge but this article will outline the basic attributes of several popular CRM systems.
- Salesforce.com link utilises cloud-based CRM and offers basic sales, marketing and service management capabilities to both small and large customers. Prices range from $60 to $125 and the application is only available through the cloud.
- Goldmine link is a more advanced contact manager, and is targeted primarily at groups of 5-25 users. Costs are about $3000 for an on-site five concurrent user system. Simple to set up, Goldmine synchronises with Outlook and QuickBooks.
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM link can be installed both on-site and via the cloud. Costs range from $1,100 per user as well as $5000 for the server software. Monthly cloud costs are $44 per month, per user. The popularity of this CRM system has increased significantly over the years because it is easily integrated with Microsoft software and other business applications like Dynamics.
- ZohoCRM link is a relatively recent addition to the CRM marketplace and is completely cloud based, integrating quickly with many Google apps. Costs are $35 per month per user, however, a free basic version is available for businesses with less than three users. Easy to sync with Quickbooks and Outlook, ZohoCRM is only one of many business applications from Zoho.
- Nimble link is a web based application similar to other CRM systems, although is able to integrate fully with social media services such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Costs are only $15 per month.
These are only a few of the many CRM systems available to business users and each can be an effective way to manage customer relations. However, many fail to fully understand these systems, ignoring the various applications and using their CRM package as a data base and little else. This is a mistake as, used correctly, any CRM system can increase sales, marketing and service interaction.
In short, a CRM system is only ever as good as the people who use it.