SugarCRM is a popular open-source Customer Relationship Management solution that has gained popularity in the marketplace for its functionality and low cost of entry. (Disclosure: our firm does not sell or represent SugarCRM, but we do represent other similar CRM products.) Recently, in an article in CRM Magazine, the company published a basic guide to the key steps involved in buying a CRM solution, which we thought worth recapping here today.
As the article points out, a CRM solution requires a different process from the typical IT purchase. Because CRM connects so many parts of the business, you must understand not only the products and vendors available, but also the way your own business works. They call this the “Knowing Yourself” phase. As the article advises, during this stage you should:
1. Look at your own business
2. Pick the right people for the team
3. Understand your regulatory realities
4. Consider your budget and where to run your CRM.
The next steps involve understanding the ways CRM is delivered, and their financial implications. Sugar recommends not focusing initially on features; rather, start with issues like customer support, vendor roadmaps and experience. They recommend that you avoid the “feature shootout” mentality. While this may be self-serving on Sugar’s part, it really does make sense: it’s always most important to stay focused on the business-critical elements of any potential CRM solution.
When it comes to knowing your unique requirements then, Sugar suggests these 6 key considerations:
5. Integration requirements
6. Support requirements
7. Vertical market requirements
8. Feature requirements
9. Financial requirements
10. Vendor requirements
It’s good advice, and should increase the odds that the choice you make is indeed the right decision for your organization.