The CRM Buying Process
Step 5. Integration Requirements
How far down into your company’s existing systems will your CRM solution integrate? Will it be a departmental solution, or will it be used to increase the customer-centric nature of your entire business? Integration can add significant costs and delays to any implementation, so if you are thinking of using your CRM system across the entire organization consider ease of integration as part of your preliminary criteria. If a solution is too rudimentary to integrate with your existing systems, or if it is too complex to integrate easily, it’s probably not a good bet for your business.
Step 6. Support Requirements
How adept is your staff at picking up new applications and new concepts? Unless they’re all early adapters, you’re probably going to need some degree of help with the product, and levels and costs of support can vary from vendor to vendor. Knowing the sophistication level of your staff will give you an idea of the degree of support the vendor should provide in order for your CRM implementation to succeed long term. If you anticipate significant support needs, check with vendors to see what costs are associated with premium support. Also, use your social network to find peers who have employed support from CRM vendors, because these unsolicited references can provide unvarnished opinions about this important area. If you hear that a business with similar technological sophistication has had trouble getting a vendor to answer its pleas for support, or if the cost of that support is exorbitant, eliminate that vendor from consideration.
Source: The 10-Step Guide to Buying the Right CRM Solution – Sugar CRM