Every now and then, I’ll examine the data from TEC’s past software selection projects, and explore the choices users have made. The information below is based on a real-life CRM selection project, but I have modified some of the data in order to respect confidentiality agreements still in place.
To put myself in the user’s shoes, here’s how I answered the CRM Evaluation Center questionnaire:
Site: 21–40 sites
Nature of business: Manufacturer (or producer)
Total budget and total users: 101 to 200 users, total budget $75,000 to $100,000
Services included: Customization and integration as part of the implementation
Number of employees: 201-500 employees
Annual revenue: $50 - $200 million in revenues
Functionality by industry: Contact management / Customer contract management / Customer reference / Customer service and support / E-mail marketing
Localization: North America (Canada and the United States)
Language support: English
Time frame for implementation: 7 to 12 months
Outsourcing services: Not interested in a custom system or outsourced services
Reason for inquiry: Need to integrate multiple systems for operational efficiency
Note: I skipped the technical questions because I am a hippie and I don’t understand that junk. Also, this is just a blog post, man. Life’s too short.
Here’s a partial list of the CRM systems recommended by the Evaluation Center, as a result of my answers (note: links are not clickable):
Take a look at the ratings below, which are based on “flat priorities” (in other words, no area of functionality is treated as being more important than any other). Note that Pivotal CRM scores a weighted average of 88.84, while NetSuite CRM+ scores 84.53:
Now, you know as well as I do that software selections are not based on features and functionality alone. Other factors include (but are certainly not limited to) implementation strategy, vertical expertise, and of course, pricing.
It’s also true that even from a purely function/feature perspective, the “flat ratings” don’t tell you everything you need to know.
This is why Pivotal CRM, with its slightly higher weighted average, does not automatically win this selection deal against NetSuite CRM+.
Can you tell me why, in a case such as this one, NetSuite CRM+ might end up outranking Pivotal CRM from a feature and functionality perspective?
You’ll have to play around with the CRM Evaluation Center to figure it out.
You can tell the system which functionality areas are critical, less important, or not important to you. The system then compares your priorities against the vendor RFI responses, and ranks the vendor solutions on how well they match your requirements.
Some tips on how to use the system:
• The Prioritize Needs section lets you set your detailed requirements.
• The Compare Results section lets you compare your results using weighted average scores, or our BestMatch Factor.
• If you have specific vendor cost information, the Compare Results section will allow you to enter the data and conduct cross-product comparisons based on cost, cost/weighted average, or cost/BestMatch Factor.
• The Ratings section allows you to compare product feature ratings, either side-by-side or individually.
Let me know your thoughts by commenting below!
For me, the key to this post is that software evaluations requires patience and diligence to a methodical process. As much value as the Evaluation Center provides, and it’s definitely valuable, in the end navigating through this many options is a LOT of work.
Observation: buyers are placing a higher emphasis on product reviews. So…it may make sense for the Evaluation Center to build alliances with different software review sites and incorporate these findings within the search results.
really amazing blog and I was thankful to you for sharing such a useful information.