Comparing CRM software and platforms

For many of us owning and operating enterprises, the process of selecting and maintaining a customer relationship management system is full of anxiety. We have hundreds of software products and platforms available. Figuring out which system is the 'best' is like buying a home for your family. Except that picking the wrong CRM can damage our businesses and livelihood.  IStock_000020463309XSmall

We owe it to ourselves to understand the playing field on which these CRM platforms operate. Not to be an expert, but to help us make common sense distinctions. Gartner is a research company that tracks and compares software vendors, and Leon Tribe uses their data to explain how the major players differ. These types of comparison help many of us narrow the field of solutions to consider. 

Leon's CRM Musings: Gartner Trajectories for Sales Force Automation 2013-2015, 2015-Sep-12 by Leon Tribe

The product to chase, Salesforce has remained in the top spot for the last three years. While others are getting closer, there is no doubt that for sales force automation, Salesforce is the tool of choice. Despite being firmly in the Dynamics CRM camp, I can understand this position. Salesforce was built to manage sales pipelines and sales opportunities and there is no reason to believe it does not do the job. However, for ... customer interactions outside of a traditional sale scenario, my belief is Dynamics CRM does a better job.... 

Since 2013, the Sales Force Automation landscape has changed from being dominated by four vendors to just two, Salesforce and Microsoft. SAP and Oracle are seeking to return with their cloud offerings and only time will tell if they have come to the party too late to make their mark. SAP [is] certainly making progress but Oracle [is] still struggling to make significant gains.

As for the leaders, Salesforce still holds the top position but Dynamics CRM Online is rising fast... 

Understanding how Salesforce protects data

To understand the current CRM landscape, we have to understand the capability and trends for the use and development of Salesforce. It now forms the expectations for almost all sales people.  IStock_000019359945XSmall

On my path to becoming a certified administrator for Salesforce, I will occasionally share exceptionally good explanations and tips. Salesforce produces phenomenal free training materials, such as Trailhead. So when I share something here, it's because it cuts through the clutter and takes our understanding of Salesforce to a new level. 

Even if Salesforce is not your bag, we all have much to learn from it, and we need to understand why it's become such as force for good. 

Salesforce Weekly: Driving Data Access, 2014-Aug-26 by Chris Edwards

...profiles and permission sets control what you can do in Salesforce, and org-wide defaults and roles control what you can do it to (or, put another way, what you can see)... 

Just today I answered a question on the Answers forum from somebody wanting to know which ‘wins’ or which one overrides the other. The simple answer is that they control different things and therefore neither ‘wins’ – it is the intersection of what they both allow which dictates what each user can do. Just because I have a driving license doesn’t mean I can drive your car, and just because I get hold of someone’s car keys doesn’t mean I’m legally allowed to be on the road.

However, there is one thing we should point out. Some profiles (typically those reserved for system administrators) have a couple of permissions – View All Data and Modify All Data – which do override the role hierarchy and org-wide default sharing. Think of these super-permissions as a kind of super-licence: just by flashing my pass, I can take your car and do what I please with it.