RETIRED CONTENTPlease note that the content on this page is retired. This content is not maintained and may contain information or links that are out of date.
Vendor Landscape Plus: CRM Suites for Small Enterprises
Select and deploy a CRM suite that synchronizes marketing, sales, and customer service to provide a comprehensive view of the customer.
Send a friend or colleague a link to this article
Last Revised: March 5, 2012
View Vendor Shortlist
What is a shortlist?
A shortlist is a personalized list of vendors based on the criteria you define. Your shortlist offers more information about vendor's strengths, weaknesses, price-points, etc, and ranks them according to your needs.
What is a Value Score?
The Value Score indexes each vendor’s product offering and business strength relative to their price point. It does not indicate vendor ranking.
Vendors that score high offer more bang for the buck (e.g. features, usability, stability, etc.) than the average vendor, while the inverse is true for those that score lower.
Price-conscious enterprises may wish to give the Value Score more consideration than those who are more focused on specific vendor/product attributes.
- SMBs must assess their needs by reviewing the volume and complexity of their customer interactions, as well as the functionality provided by their current solutions. If support is required by a specific business domain (sales, marketing, or customer service), SMBs should consider point solution alternatives. They should not overlook the low cost products that may fulfill their customer relationship needs, such as Contact Modules and ERPs and Accounting and finance suites.
- Many SMBs have failed to define a formal strategy for Customer Relationship Management. Despite the importance of creating a “single face” for the customer, efforts in the three domains are rarely harmonized. Integration is critical across process domains. Social media is a particular pain point: marketing often leads social initiatives, but neglects to involve stakeholders in sales and customer service.
- The CRM adoption scenario becomes complicated by a rising number of best-of-breed point solutions in the three domains. For example, should SMBs adopt a standalone Customer Service Management (CSM) Suite, or should they use the integrated customer service module of their CRM Suite? Taking the wrong approach to the CRM vs. best-of-breed solution can lead to either wasted investments or insufficient functionality. IT managers are wondering “what product combination will provide the most value?”
- Integrating across disparate systems is painful – an integrated suite addresses the customer lifecycle the best.
- The CRM market is mature. On traditional feature sets, such as account and contact management, workflow tools, and sales management there is relatively little product differentiation.
- SaaS offerings are the norm, not the exception. The majority of vendors profiled by Info-Tech offer hosted deployment models. Some prominent vendors (such as Salesforce.com) forego on-premise deployments altogether.
- Social and mobile feature sets are weak. Despite important social and mobile trends in the consumer space, most CRM vendors are struggling to keep up.
Impact and Result
- Understand the benefits of using a CRM Suite, as well as identify best practices for a successful CRM implementation.
- Plan for and select a CRM Suite that supports your business domains, customer segments, and channel strategy.
- Save time and money by using Info-Tech’s Vendor Landscape to compare and contrast the major CRM vendors, and then create a shortlist of the most appropriate vendors.
- Use Info-Tech’s CRM Suite RFP Template, RFP Scoring Tool, and Demo Script to gather vendor and product information, objectively score the responses, and conduct vendor demonstrations, in order to select the right product.
Get to Action
Assess the need for a CRM Suite and narrow down a list of CRM vendors
Create a strong list of vendor candidates.
Compare leading vendors and develop a shortlist
Narrow the leading vendors down to the most appropriate few.
Contrast and evaluate a shortlist of vendors
Select the right CRM suite vendor.