Good morning Nation,
We are looking for a customer service & Sales CRM and shortlisted a few vendors. The implementation difficulty for each seems very different when hearing from people who use them vs salespeople "rosy" offerings. I am looking for advice on which CRMs you use and with what success.
I have heard "Aw, hell no" for Oracle because of implementation nightmares.
SAP will cost a fortune in consulting fees to implement and run.
Pegasystems no one has heard of.
Salesforce is ok.
What is your take?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts. I appreciate it.
This is a tremendous question w/o knowing anything else about your business.
If you are asking this question, I suspect that your team hasn't really gone through a detailed Requirements and RFP phase. Do that before contacting any vendors.
Yes, we are in the discovery phase putting together requirements for an RFP. We have a sort of CRM currently that came as a bolt-on to our core system. Everyone hates it and it doesn't meet our needs any more. No one on our staff has experience with other CRMs.
My business is a mid-size credit union w/ 450 CRM users across 16 branches.
Carol - there's obviously going to be some bias here in a Marketo community since most of the answers you'll receive will be from customers who primarily rely on the native integration that Marketo provides with specific CRM platforms - primarily SFDC and MS Dynamics. Evaluating a CRM platform goes well beyond the Marketing side. It really depends on a variety of factors, such as, the needs of the business, your current technology ecosystem and the ability to integrate effectively, budget, size of the business, features/functionality that are most important, use of internal/external deployment resources, scalability, customizability, support, etc.
Even before we deployed Marketo back in 2013, we spent about 6 months going through a formal due-diligence, RFP and vendor evaluation process (including a comprehensive/complex scorecard to help us best evaluate each vendor). Obviously this also scheduling several calls with each vendor - including demonstrations of each one. One word of caution here: most vendors paint a very rosy picture of their platform during this process - and once you finally have the system deployed, you'll probably find that there are gaps in what you were initially told from a feature/functionality perspective.
Also, take advantage of some of the unbiased reviews from the like of Gartner and Forrester:
Thanks for the links. We are going through the Gartner reports. That's how we came up with our shortlist. I will review your other suggested reports. We are planning for a lengthy process. I want to be sure we don't miss anything because of our institutional lack of knowledge in this area. We currently have a high-level understanding of our processes. They are based on work-arounds to get through the current system instead of having efficient workflows and finding a solution that matches. The current system defines the workflow instead of the other way around.
I will second what you had heard earlier...**** no to Oracle/NetSuite!! It is a nightmare and the integration with Marketo will make you want to pull your hair out
I'm personally a huge fan of SFDC, but as others have said it really depends on your business needs. I love the huge ecosystem with SFDC, making it easy to find resources when you need (i.e. consultants, blogs, videos etc). The integration with Marketo is so easy to set up and use (at least in comparison with NetSuite).
I haven't used any of the other platforms you mentioned. But the best advice I can give with what ever platform you choose, DO NOT RUSH the implementation process! I think that is why so many people struggle with issues later on is because they rush to get things up and running but then run into a lot of issues later.
Good luck in your decision!
Thanks for the advice on not rushing it. Stakeholders want everything quickly. Did you use an implementation consultant to ease / speed the process?
Something to think about, though there is a lot of personal opinion here, is that if you learn and implement Salesforce.com, it should help you grow and advance your career.
You can debate features and benefits, but you might get this FOMO feeling if you don't go with Salesforce in terms of growing professionally .
That is quite true. However, it's not about me, it's about finding the best solution for the company. How many Automation people get the chance to choose and implement an enterprise-wide CRM for 450 people? I think there is some room for professional development in there too.