So many CRM systems…How do I choose one?

Goldmine, ACT, NetSuite, Microsoft CRM, SugarCRM, Salesforce… what one is best for me?
CRM is not a new term, in fact it has been around for over 20 years. So how do you chose the right system?  If your like the normal researcher,Google will be your best friend or “industry-like” referrals. But, please do not stop there.
Pending your organizational size you may have a very large ship to steer. Be ready for strategic planning, department collaboration, user adoption, systems integration, mobile access and more. It is a project like none-other software deployment. 
Be wise, failure rate is very high.
So, you still want a CRM…how can you curb the stats?
Follow these 3 steps:
1) Create a plan for Implementation
Define key players that will be handling this process and department workflows that will integrate into your new/revamped CRM.  Create structure before you migrate your data. Follow the Agile approach vs. traditional waterfall software deployment.
HINT: CRM success with start and stop with your lead generation (typically sales team) do something to add value/incentive… (good/bad) data in (good/bad) data out.
2) Pick the right CRM
Of course I will recommended Salesforce. But, do your own research, here’s a head start:
3) Train and Adapt
You will need a subject-matter expert and a CRM Admin to train users answer questions and make changes. Working with a 3rd party can help reduce overhead in this area(Fostering LLC). You will also want to set up iterations for review and make necessary changes. Picking a CRM that can be modified easily and integrates with many 3rd party apps will add value for the long haul.
Get ready to dedicated resources (time and $) to this cause. This is a long haul software deployment that will change as often as your organization does, but the ROI pays dividends 100x over.
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