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Hosted CRM - what to ask before you buy


Purchasing a hosted CRM solution now will help you jumpstart 2009 with enhanced and immediate success!

At least...that's what the eye-catching heading was on the email that I received from the online information service InsideCRM. I don't read everything that pops up in my inbox but this one grabbed me, if only because we are heading into tough times and uncharted waters, so I reckoned it was worth a further bit of scrutiny just to make sure that our product, iportinstant, ticked all the relevant boxes. In order to get access to the wisdom however (inevitably!) I had to fill in an online form with my name, phone and email address and then I was directed to the download area. I duly downloaded the guide to the essential "purchasing questions"...and...what a shocker! Who knew to ask these incisive and thought provoking questions! Here it is in full...


Hosted CRM Checklist
What to ask before you buy.

Before talking to a CRM vendor, you will need to know the following information about your current situation:

r How many employees are in your organization?
r Will your company be in growth mode over the next five years?
r How quickly are you looking to deploy a CRM solution?
r What are your total CRM project cost limits?
r Do you have the in-house IT resources to support an on-premise solution?
r What degree of customization are you expecting from a CRM application?
r Do you have the safeguards in place to securely manage in-house datacenters?
r How could you benefit from an in-depth view of your sales pipeline?
r How could your salespeople be better managing customer relations?
r How can you improve your customer-support services and activities?
r How easily can you generate forecasting reports?
r How effectively are you targeting top customers?
r How effectively are you allocating your people, budgets and resources?
r How quickly are you responding to customer inquiries?"

So now we all know!

Seriously though - if organisations like Inside CRM (who have in the past produced many useful and worthwhile white papers) are to have any credibility and add to the body of evidence that says hosted CRM is a GOOD THING then they truly need to do a little more work than this. This looks like a cheap trick to gather up email addresses so that they can then "target market" to them. This practise, in and of itself, actually breaks all of the rules of good CRM practise!

End of rant... :-)


Take a look at what our clients think of our Hosted CRM as well as our approach to doing business.



Chic McSherry