CRM: all the smart money’s on SalesForce, but can the little guys cut it too?

How come most companies think having PowerPoint more important than CRM?
CRM comes last, after email, office productivity and accounting.
Salesforce is great, but here's something that will get you similar beneifits right away, too...
Everybody knows, we’re told often enough, that looking after customers is vital. But as a process, many companies don’t see it as that important.

In fact, most companies don’t think about managing the relationship with their customers until something goes wrong and they find they can’t.

Ironic, really. When you consider that CRM will start to deliver benefits instantly, the moment you roll it out to your users. Let’s take a look…

CRM – the light the blue touch paper solution

We all have high expectations of our IT. We spend enough money on it, for sure. But rarely will a software rollout deliver the killer punch, instant win like CRM – nor will anything else transform the relationship with our customers so radically. Just as long as the provider and guys delivering (like LANZen!) are good.

So, what’s hot in the world of CRM?

If there was ever a process that would fit perfectly into a Cloud delivery, it’s CRM. There is absolutely, categorically no reason – to deliver CRM in any other way. That doesn’t stop the Microsoft or enterprise software zealots convincing you to waste money on SAP, Seibel and Microsoft Dynamics, though.

Let’s be clear – if you go for these old dinosaurs, you’ve blown your chances.

The Cloud – the only way is up

OK – that’s the rant out of the way. So what does the glorious Cloud have to offer?

Cloud delivery of CRM makes sense. Most sales teams are mobile or dispersed. Sticking something in not designed for the Internet is just – well, stupid, really.

First and foremost, of course, there’s SalesForce. It delivers. Its as simple as that. But it does so at a cost – and a commitment to a full twelve months.

Nothing wrong there long term, provided you use all those features and flexibility. Many companies can’t initially. How about something a bit lighter to start?

Glad you asked. Take a look at this then. I discovered this company only recently. This little gem is called Tactile CRM.

Tactile CRM – you’re going to love this!

Tactile CRM launched without any publicity fanfare from the curiously named group. They’re a specialist CRM consultancy, so its no surprise that Tactile uses a very-SalesForce-like process for pipelining sales leads-to-deals.

Tactile allows you to trial for 30 days, like SalesForce, but unlike the world leader, you’re then allowed to use it scale-constrained for free with two full-fat options starting from only £6 per user each month.

Tactile’s pay-to-use versions give customised branding and integration into the amazing Cloud-based FreshBooks time and billing package.

You get email dropbox integration and flexible import and export facilities – not something you get with SalesForce’s low-end editions, so when you feel you want to move up, you can migrate into something like SalesForce very easily.

Maybe though, Tactile will be everything you’ll ever need – its certainly a great way to enjoy the benefits of CRM. if that works for you, that’s fine.

Ultimately, SalesForce delivers resilience, a full application development platform and scalability – and the security of a powerful service and support framework.

But if you want the benefits that a great CRM solution brings, go with Tactile CRM. That small outlay on Tactile CRM will be money well spent.