Different forms of CRM software
Strategic objectives are achieved when appropriate ICT solutions are available. For relationship management, marketing and sales, CRM software is what improves interaction with the market. At this point, the term CRM has become an umbrella for all forms of relationship management. Cloud CRM, ERP-CRM, integrated CRM, CRM accounting packages and free CRM are common occurrences.
There are pros and cons to every environment, and it's often hard to draw a good distinction. In general terms, fully Cloud-oriented CRM packages are characterized by screens with a lot of whitespace and limited functionality. The information heading dominates the screen, at the expense of customer data. This makes it difficult to get a good overview and results in lots of searching and scrolling.
Integrated, ERP and accounting-package CRM are made for employees who perform process-oriented work. These systems are less suitable for people who are in daily contact with relations. Finding and entering data is cumbersome, and a frequent complaint is that the system doesn't get adequately updated with information by staff.
With free CRM, you quickly run into limitations, and only small organizations derive any real benefit from it; of course, in the end, nothing is free. Smart integration with Microsoft products and Back Office systems is rarely available.
Microsoft Dynamics, SAP and Salesforce are parties that have developed CRM for the large-enterprise market. With these products, the end user performs his or her tasks (role) according to meticulously defined procedures and is required to fill the system correctly.
These systems are less suitable for self-managing teams or employees who are expected to respond flexibly to changes and opportunities. When these systems are sold, executives are seduced using dashboards and reports while disregarding the increased demands in day-to-day sales and marketing operations and administrative processes.
Experiences with the major suppliers are mixed. It is said that Microsoft's and Salesforce's offerings are consultancy products. With SAP, it seems like CRM was added as a necessary evil. What's certain is that the implementation is a costly affair, that the results are disappointing, and that in many cases employees are unhappy because they have to work with a bureaucratic ICT system.
Archie's development was based on the assumption that large organizations have a need for systems in which administrative processes predominate, while small organizations have a need for the opposite and tend to grow through the use of systems that facilitate small working groups, such as Act! and Maximizer.
Archie CRM has chosen the middle way between the large-enterprise market and small business. Input is encouraged rather than forced, and the minimal level of stratification gives groups of 10 to 300 employees relevant functionality and power.