New marketing demystified for Indian SMEs

Archive for the tag “Salesforce”

A monthly cost you should ask your CRM vendor about

Buying an inkjet printer: lessons when selecting a CRM

Allow me two minutes as I get to the point.

We have all bought a printer, from the very basic to more advanced. While we haggle the price down to the last Rs 50/- (~USD 1), we postpone the thought of the cost of printing – the ongoing relationship on even a monthly basis you have unknowingly signed up for.

Yes, right. I am talking about the cost of the print cartridge.

Okay, now to the point – why is all this relevant to CRM?

Simply, when you buy a CRM software, you are so “into” negotiating the per month license fees per user and beating him down on the customization, you fail to notice the one item on the table, which unnoticed today, will bleed you big going forward.

It is the storage cost.
In an earlier post, I have talked about The real cost of CRM implementation.  Let me spend a little more time on how you will slowly start bleeding on so-called low-cost CRMs.

You buy a CRM (SAAS) for USD 25/- per license per month. Let us say you have 10 users. So, your outgo on license fees per month is USD 250/- per month.

But, you only get 500MB of free storage for your entire organization! Go above that, and you pay USD 4/month/GB.

500MB?? You will run through it in the first month with your ten users generating activities, mailing literature, quotes and invoices and so on.

Let’s do a back of the envelope calculation for how much file storage can really be needed.

Quotes pdfs: 10KB per file

Invoice pdfs: ditto

Literatures send on email as attachments: 500KB to 1 MB each.

How long will it take for you to reach your limit or free storage? 1 month? 2 months? Know this; more time you spend on the system, more will be the storage that will pile up.


The same old story

Almost a year and a half back, I wrote a post called the “The real cost of CRM implementation”. I chanced to meet a Sales Director last week of a mid-sized enterprise who had decided to go with for their company-wide CRM implementation. I asked her how the implementation is going. In one year, they have covered about half of her organization; so, they are still struggling to reconcile the “haves and have nots”. Read more…

What the rumored HP deal with Salesforce means

HP to sign mega deal with Salesforce, may dump Oracle Siebel: analyst – International Business Times.

As a player in the small business CRM market (makers of Salesgenie CRM++ ), we rejoice. I will explain, but first a take on the story itself.

This could be a defining moment for Salesforce, for the cloud-based application providers (particularly enterprise applications like accounting, CRM and ERP) and for the CRM industry itself. Read more…

The CRM customization industry

… sigh! Here I go again!

As a CRM user in India, after paying out anything from Rs 3000/- pm to Rs 12,000/- pm (these are per user prices, guys), you would expect to be productive from day one. The truth is no; you will not be. Since you have bought a CRM solution that can work for the big guys and the small, the retailer and the reseller, the pharmacist as well as the medical rep, you will realise that it actually works for none. Till you customize, that is. And, that is where the CRM customization industry comes in.

Spectacular as the growth of the SAAS based CRM market has been, the growth of the CRM customization industry has been even more spectacular. Virtually every vendor in the vast hinterland of the IT outsourcing landscape has a “CRM practice”; which basically means they customize Sage or Sugar or Salesforce for you. Modify the field-names, change the order in which they appear, add some custom reports, add the logo and hey presto, you have your own CRM tool.

This costs money. But, more than that, this takes time.

My advice, and this is only to the SMEs, is avoid customization as much as possible.

And if you have to, focus on those that reduce the clutter on the screen rather than add to the capabilities. Believe me, more capabilities now often mean more work to be done daily by your salesmen, your marketing executives and marcom professionals to add to the “profile information”, logging interactions and following “workflows” and “scripts” that lost their relevance almost as soon as they were written.

There are literally hundreds of CRM softwares existing in the world. Shouldn’t there be at least one which meets your current needs and some? Buy something  written for your market segment and your locale in mind.

Salesgenie CRM ++ is designed for the needs of the SME segment of the market focused selling B2B. Can it handle B2C? Well, no! Will that mean, we will not address those selling soap or tissue-paper? No, we will not! Will we lose business? Well, it was not our business to start with!
We are for Small to Medium sized businesses,  in India, whose sales model is B2B. If that means we do not “do it all”, so be it. We at least do not claim customization will fix this!

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