Today, as a result of high competition among companies engaged in marketing and service providing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practices became mandatory for all business organizations. CRM software systems are specially customized programs for better customer relationship management; they automate all company procedures like customer tacking, contacting and serving customers. At their introduction, CRM software programs are standard packages, with all wanted and unwanted CRM applications.
Today, CRM software systems are customized according to the needs of the companies. Now, with CRM solutions, you have many options. Two popular options preferred by most companies are Open source CRM and On-Demand or Hosted CRM. An open source CRM is a standard program which can be customized to a company friendly CRM software program. On-demand or Hosted CRM is a web-linked customized CRM solution provided by a centralized CRM provider. Many CRM vendors today offer open source hosted CRM, which combines merits of both approaches.
Both open source and on-demand CRM software systems are capable of integrating multiple tasks such as multi-channel collaborative selling, customer lifecycle marketing, integrated customer service, integrated fulfillment management, sales force automation, data tracking, data migration, data integration, etc. All customer relationship management systems serve as large databases for storing and integrating all customer information such as customer name, contact method, customer taste, frequency of visit and buying capacity. Both CRM solutions help to find reliable customers and plan better services for them.
Open-source CRM software systems are useful for all kinds of companies, as these programs customized to any CRM need. Large sized companies usually have special trained programmers who customize standard applications into company-friendly applications at appropriate times. For medium and small sized companies, it may be difficult to employ trained programmers; so they can prefer pre-customized CRM software systems. Many CRM vendors today customize standard software programs according to their client needs.
Hosted or on-demand CRM systems are mainly preferred by small and medium sized companies. On demand CRM services are provided by an application service provider (ASP) and are an example of Software as a Service (SaaS). The on demand CRM provider will integrate all business functions of the client on a monthly fee. The client company can access all their data, such as documents, collaboration application, customer information, etc, through internet on demand.
The major advantage of open source CRM system is its adaptability. These CRM systems eliminated the need of installing large sized software programs with unwanted applications in to company computers. Today, pre-customized CRM systems are available for companies working in different fields such as automotive, insurance service and medical service, marketing, sales etc. The initial cost for purchasing the raw software may be some what high.
Benefits of CRM on demand software systems include low capital investment – there is no need for installing, configuring and maintaining CRM systems, affordable monthly charges and flexible plans, great mobility – you can access your data from any where at any time, trouble free data integration – the systems are maintained by experienced and skilled technicians, modularity, and most important tension free service.
Discovering a suitable CRM software provider is not so difficult. Searching on Internet is the best option. Before going for any open source CRM solution, know your company needs and frame work. When hiring a hosted CRM provider, things to be noted are the data integration capacity of the provider and the security they provide to your tracked and imputed information. Deal only with a hosted CRM provider who uses special data encryption techniques for securing of your data. For both software systems, most CRM providers offer 30 day free trials, make use of these offers to find one suitable for you.