Customer Relationship Management (or CRM) is a broad field of discipline and the number of CRM applications being introduced into the market can be quite confusing to sift through. So how does one choose between competing CRM applications then?
One reason making a choice between competing CRM applications has gotten harder in recent years is because customers have gotten smarter and more difficult to please lately. Whereas basic CRM in the past may have been as simple as just creating a mailing list, nowadays, CRM has to both please a specific customer need and be efficient at that function as well.
This means your ideal CRM system needs to be flexible enough to be scalable for use in varying degrees of magnitude, competitive enough to function for you well on a daily basis, and precise at managing CRM for you so that the key function of your business is not confused with the CRM function.
Unless your organization is willing to pay for a customized CRM solution produced by CRM specialists on an as-you-need-it basis, you will probably have to settle for out-of-the-box CRM applications to make your choice from. This also means that at some point you may find it hard to use certain aspects of your preferred CRM application because it does not jive with some parts of your business. This is the hard part of choosing pre-designed CRM applications and it is caused by the fact that the CRM application developer did not have your own business in mind when the product was being developed.
Because of this, all you can really hope for from an out-of-the-box CRM application is to make sure that you can apply it to most parts of your business, and that it can be flexible enough to be customized for those parts that the developer did not think would need to be part of his original product.