David Suydam | February 2, 2011
If you need to buy a CRM system and you’ve read our white paper “Choosing the Right CRM: Why We Recommend Salesforce”, then you might be considering a flexible on-demand CRM system that can grow with your organization.
But what about your boss? What if your boss wants to save a few dollars up front by purchasing a very limited contact management system that you expect to outgrow in a year or two?
Here are 5 tactics you can use to convince your boss to buy a flexible CRM:
- Map your organization’s growth curve to CRM functionality. Prepare a timetable showing some attainable organizational goals for the sales and marketing department over the next few years. Compare those goals with the feature set of the software that your boss wants and with the flexible CRM that you’d like to buy. Walk your boss through the comparison and show exactly where you’ll hit the ceiling unless you get a flexible CRM.
- Collect CRM customer reviews. Get online and find out what people are saying about the software your boss wants to buy and the flexible CRM that you prefer. Build a portfolio of credible product reviews and present them—the good ones and the bad ones—to your boss in a fair and balanced way.
- Talk to actual users. Find some organizations (similar to your own) that use the software you’re considering and connect with people who have firsthand experience. Be sure to ask questions like, “If you had a chance to go back and change things, would you choose a different product? Why/Why not?” and “Do you expect to outgrow your system? If so, when? What will the switching costs be?”
- Demo both systems for your boss. Arrange for a free trial of the software that your boss wants and the flexible CRM that you’d like to get, then set up two computers side by side and compare the ease of use/functionality of both systems.
- Identify areas where you might need to customize. Compare your goals and processes to the features included in the software under consideration. Where does standard functionality fall short in each system? To what degree can each system be customized? Is it easy to do? What are the costs? Can the CRM system extend or integrate with other areas such as marketing automation, inventory and financials, ensuring clean end-to-end business processes?
With a little coaxing, hopefully your boss will agree to a flexible CRM that allows you to buy only what you need, with the option of adding features and capacity as needed.
If you’d like to chat with us about CRMs, or if you’re looking for advice on CRM products, you’re welcome to contact us and set up an appointment. Good luck!