Choosing a CRM solution is a hugely important decision for any business. Depending on the size and complexity of an organization it can be a big task. Usually the worst thing you can do when looking at any IT system is to start with technologies and solutions. Typically it makes much more sense to spec. out user requirements, find out exactly what you would want from a system and at that stage go out to the market and see what will meet your needs and your budget.
This approach sounds fine in principle but sometimes it also helps to know what is actually possible before you start this process. For example things like the benefits of web based solutions over internal systems, mobile access and incorporation of social media factors into CRM capability are all factors that you might not even be aware of initially but could be very beneficial to your organisation. I think a blended approach can make a lot of sense. You still absolutely need to gather business and user requirements however taking an initial look at the market and some of the advancements and innovations in technology systema such as CRM can actually help you to scope out your needs better, making you think about improvements in process, access and automation that you may otherwise not have included.
The infographic below is by no means a complete guide to Web based CRM systems but it’s a nice overview of some of the major players, how long they have been around and scores them on a few key criteria such as integration and flexibility, price transparency and trust guarantees, mobile access etc.