This is the question that Customerization gets at every group training and 1:1 conversations.
Here is what we say (the price is mentioned at the very end).
Application Lifecycle Management (ALM).
The way CRM providers develop, govern, and maintain systems. It is not visible to the eyes of the end-users, but some or all its aspects might be a dealbreaker choosing a CRM. Aspects to think of:
- Existence of Development and Quality Assurance environments – will you be able to develop implementations and customizations and test them in different ‘sites’ or the same one?
- Cadence of backup – if something happens, do you lose a day, a week, or a month of data?How Phishing, Fraud, or Social Engineering can affect your business, and what are they exactly?
CRM requires implementation and customization to fully fit your business needs. It is not an off-the-shelf product although this application is also possible.
What would we discover with CRMs crafted for larger businesses with more sophisticated business processes?
- More and clearer tools
- A bunch of existing extensions and guidance how to code
- Better/ existing documentation
- Product roadmap and forecast on future features availability
If you’re a corporate organization with unique processes, it is worth evaluating a corporate-level CRM. The workaround can cost way more than onboarding an expensive system.
Availability and Scalability.
- Service Level Agreement (SLA) – look out for the number as close to 99.9% of the system availability as possible. When the system is down for maintenance you cannot work. If a disaster happens, you cannot work.
- Scalability – when you have lots of clients in the system it should not be ‘dying’ every time you make a search.
Corporate CRMs would have more flexible data security models – including and excluding user access as you need.
Look at the overall investment: licenses + existing integrations you might need to pay for + expertise cost.
Integrators, advisors, and even in-house experts of corporate CRMs usually charge more. On the other hand, it might be hard to find a good expert for some smaller, especially niche, CRMs.
The decision is yours to make.