CRM Michael TaylorOctober 28, 2013

Top CRM Tools for Enterprises

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Top CRM Tools for Enterprises

CRM tools are more important to your company than they ever have been before. As we’ve pointed out previously, in modern business, your CRM is the central nervous system of a large portion of your business, handling your marketing, sales, accounts, expenses and your customer service and support as well as key information for product management and much more.

Once, CRM tools were simpler, often just a series of general purpose office applications (spreadsheets, databases, networking systems etc.) being used in a specified manner to achieve the goal. But, as things grew more complex, and a multitude of new channels for all that CRM handles rose into popularity, they had to evolve to meet these needs. Well, were it not for the SaaS revolution of the past five or so years, we’d be up a creek in this situation, but that of course is thankfully not how things played out.

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What happened in stead was the advent of rich, flexible web and cloud CRM systems capable of a number of amazing things. Most of these systems are extendible beyond their out of the box capabilities too, with powerful, fairly easy to use APIs allowing extensions and integration layers with other SaaS of different purposes.

There are a lot of these tools out there, but two of the most popular ones are Salesforce and Mycrosoft Dynamics. These both have their appeal, and it really depends on a few factors which of these is going to be the better choice for you.

When it comes down to basic CRM functionality, such as custom records and forms, book, campaign and lead tracking and database security, they’re pretty evenly matched, and pretty competent.

Where they go in different directions is both the API they offer for extension creation, and what they can integrate with as far as third party services.

Salesforce has a proprietary API called Apex, which is Java/JavaScript-oriented, but also works on some level with PHP and other web languages. Its proprietary nature makes it slightly less approachable to some developers, though the base language, Java, is pretty common. Microsoft, however, uses their .Net based API along with ASP, but also has some level of interaction with PHP and other non-proprietary web services. Windows programmers (especially WPF programmers) may find it easier to dive into.

However, Salesforce’s App Exchange service has far grander a library of professional extensions available versus Microsoft’s equivalent, and at the moment, Salesforce also integrates natively with more third party services.

However, one thing can be said for either one of these, and that is that while they’re not difficult to learn, training users for them is going to be your biggest obstacle as a business. Fortunately, regardless your choice, you can use WalkMe to effectively handle this training. Since WalkMe integrates natively into web interfaces, and can actually guide the user step by step through the most complex processes, you can train your users while they do actual work.

Fortunately, WalkMe requires no programming knowledge, unlike developing extensions for these CRM tools, so whether you want Salesforce’s variety or Microsoft’s standardization and reputation for your CRM solution, at least training is covered equally by this WalkMe.