Popular software evaluation sites include a CRM category among hundreds of other software categories.
For many categories of software products, making a vendor decision purely based on ratings and reviews on software evaluation sites represents little risk.
Live chat software is an example.
Making a sub-optimal chat software decision is a minor financial miscue in the scheme of things. If there’s something that turns out to be a deficiency with the initially selected vendor, it’s relatively easy to move to a different chat vendor.
The cost of live chat software is low. Implementing chat is typically a fast process (other than in large call centers).
On the other hand, implementing a new CRM system can end up being a multi-year, several hundred thousand dollar financial commitment for some companies.
A planned commitment to a new CRM system represents both a risk and an opportunity.
The CRM evaluation process presents an opportunity to first examine internal processes.
An internal evaluation can answer questions such as:
When a sub-optimal CRM decision is made, changing out a CRM system has many soft dollar and hard dollar costs associated with it. These include business disruption, system configuration, user re-training, and data migration.
Software evaluation sites can certainly help with general CRM direction. However, when it comes to CRM, should software be the first thing to be evaluated?
When the right CRM software is selected, but the foundational elements such as stakeholder buy-in and priority of key requirements are underemphasized, the financial return can be lower than expected.
If CRM evaluation starts on the inside and then moves to the outside, the outcomes are almost certain to be better.