Customer relations management software commonly abbreviated as CRM software is a program that helps an enterprise and/ or the entrepreneur to maintain the customer base and be able to meet the needs of the various kinds of customers that are there. Lepa, M., gives eight points that are necessary in searching for the best software in an article she calls “Choosing a Small Business CRM Software Solution”. This paper is a summary of the points that she lists. The paper summarizes the article into five subtopics; compatibility, installation process and costs, security, staff management, acquisition and pilot program.
User programs like CRM software are made in such a way that they have features that are common in almost every kind of IT department. However, there is a need to realize that every kind of an entity has salient features that are different from any other kind of enterprise. This is so even for entities in the same industry. With this in mind, the acquisition of CRM software should be informed of the compatibility of the software. The software that is been acquired should allow the user to include additional features that the software developer may not have included. For example, each entity had its brands that are different from any other entity. This implies that the software developer cannot include any brand as this will lock out other entities that do not use or produce the brand. Good CRM software should allow the user to get feedback from his/her customers about all the brands thus the need of inclusion of personal brands.
Installation process and costs
The other factor of consideration in acquisition of CRM software is the installation process precisely time and costs. Apart from the purchase price, the user will require to know whether there will be need for staff training costs additional of infrastructure and also the cost of installing the software. All these must be favorable to the user’s budget (Rossi, & Rossi, 2011).
The main challenge in the IT world is data security. This is especially so with the web based IT solutions. Thus, the user must verify that the software used in CRM is free from hackers and other persons who tamper with stored and data in transit. This is especially with the involvement of competitors since once competitors get the feedback from the customers; they can bank on it to bring a downfall to the whole system (Gerald, 2008).
Lepa, questions the ability of the available staff in handing any new software. This when answered helps the management in deciding whether to rain the current staff, o procure new staff or to do away with the acquisition. This all depends with the coasts involved and the budgetary allocation for the acquisition of the new software.
Acquisition and pilot program
The last and one of the most important parts of the discussion is the ability to run a pilot program before the installation. While a preliminary report of the software may show its workability, there is a need to run it through the company systems before the final decision is made on whether or not to acquire the software (Barton, 2008). This calls for the developer to allow the user to rum a pilot program say for a month though at a costs to assist the user to make informed decision (Canzer, 2005).
In searching the topic, I used the Google search engine as it is fast and has details on vast topics. Some of the key words used in the search are; software acquisition, IT staff management, software installation, features to look at in software installation.
Barton, G., (2008). CRM In Real Time: Empowering Customer Relationships. New York: information today Inc
Canzer, B., (2005). E-business. U.S.A: Cengage Brain
Gerald, B., (2008). CRM 100 Success Secrets. New York: Lulu
Lepa, M., (2009) Choosing a Small Business CRM Software Solution. Cape Town: Galaxy http://suite101.com/article/choosing-a-small-business-crm-software-solution-118097
Rossi, I., & Rossi, I., (2011). Vtiger Crm Beginner's Guide. Birmingham: Packt Publishing