CRM The Buying Process Step 4

Following on from our previous blog we explore Step 4 of The Buying Process:-

Step 4. Consider your Budget and Where to Run Your CRM

Of course, budgetary concerns will also play a major role in which solution you select. Some businesses are constrained because of their current business conditions; others are able to take a longer-term view of the financial aspect of a CRM investment. The good news is that the CRM market now supports customers in both camps.

Traditionally-delivered on-premise software requires users to own and maintain the technology infrastructure. There is an initial cost for the software, plus an annual maintenance fee. There is usually a cost associated with integration as well. In most cases, the money for such a purchase is considered a capital expense.

By contrast, cloud-based SaaS software uses infrastructure provided by the CRM vendor, and while there may be integration costs, the software cost is broken into a per-month subscription-style fee. In this delivery model, CRM is usually treated as an operational expenditure.

At first glance, it seems easy to differentiate what kind of company uses which delivery model: smaller, cash constrained companies use the cloud, larger companies with IT resources use on-premise. But the boundary is not that clearly defined any more. Increasingly, large companies are employing cloud-based applications because they shift labor costs and hardware requirements to the vendor, and even though on-premise becomes less expensive than cloud solutions over time, there is value in shifting those tasks to a third party. In the same way, smaller companies in fields where regulation makes the cloud difficult or impossible to use need to go with on-premise solutions. As always, the best solution is entirely dependent on the realities of your business.

At the end of these four steps you should have:

1. A list of processes and activities you need to improve

2. A CRM decision-making team, which includes CRM users

3. An understanding of the regulatory constraints you must operate under

4. An idea of budget and which delivery model you plan to use

These four steps will give you the tools and framework to make a CRM selection that addresses your problems while creating as few new ones as possible.

Source: The 10-Step Guide to Buying the Right CRM Solution – Sugar CRM

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