Using The Right Software For Your Company

By: Annastenning
Although CRM has formed a large part of relationship marketing for a number of years, its practice has been driven by the supply of CRM software solutions and the growing demand for these in business today.

CRM is big business with over 40% of companies in high technology, aerospace and retailing across the US and Europe investing in CRM software, together with two thirds of telecom operators and over half of financial services, pharmaceuticals and transport.

This growth has derived from the promise that CRM software will transform an organisations customer relationship and help to yield more sales, by:

* Enabling companies to contact their customers more cost effectively.

* Keeping customer records, contact, orders and enquiries up-to-date over multi sites with live processing.

* Helping businesses cope with all the channels of contact that customers now expect including the internet.

* Help in providing a competitive advantage.

But just how successful is CRM software? There are obvious advantages to using this software, and in today's competitive market it is difficult to comprehend that businesses can survive without it, though many businesses still have their fair share of the software related issues.

A recent survey highlighted some of the main problems with their CRM software - these mainly stemmed from choosing the right CRM software, dealing with the right software supplier to help them get the most out of their software and issues with integrating their CRM data with their other software systems.

In fact, 67% said that finding time to chose and evaluate their CRM software was a major issue, 51% said that synchronising data was a major issue and 43% said that they were using less than half of their CRM systems functionality.

Therefore, it seems that one of the main risks involved in a CRM investment is businesses ensuring they have the right CRM software and the right supplier to be able to provide them with adequate training and business advice. The CRM software must be feature-rich to provide a company with much more than just a database solution, but at the same time it must be easy-to-use and it must provide real-time integration with other business software and data.

Many CRM software suppliers claim to be experts in the CRM business, when in fact, CRM is not their core business software and their understanding of relationship marketing is actually very weak. It is therefore important for businesses to choose a supplier who really understands CRM and can not only sell the benefits of the software but also actually understand them, and help to implement them in each unique business model.

An example of good a supplier is one who supplies the world's leading CRM system, Sage 50 ACT! If they have a background in database, telemarketing and relationship management, then they know the business very well. A big advantage is if they offer a free business guide containing impartial advice on all aspects of CRM software and supply.
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