Tell me, uncle, it’s not in vain ... CRM “Chips”

    In the process of implementing CRM systems, you often hear from customers that the system is too sophisticated and the Contacts and Deals modules would be enough for them. However, the experience of long-term customer management shows the opposite: over time, the customer begins to discover increasingly deeper functionality and, in simple terms, can even “grow out of CRM”. Market players of such systems seek to enrich their software with chips, interesting solutions, provide cool features to the user. Such solutions are not excesses at all, but accumulate in themselves all the experience accumulated by the vendors and the best practices of many implementations.

    I think it will not be a discovery for anyone that features do not fall off the ceiling, but are mainly the result of three events:
    • the functionality was finalized for several clients , accumulated successful experience and as a result was implemented in the next release
    • There were constant requests for certain functionality and as a result, a decision was made to develop it and include it in the release
    • the functionality is supposed to be the type of system and its inclusion in the release allows you not only to rebuild from competitors, but also to occupy your own unique low-competitive niche.

    Thus, when it comes to most popular CRMs, it can be argued that all the functionality is thought out, tested and aimed at maximum efficiency with the system.
    In the review, I will go over those aspects of CRM that novice (and sometimes experienced) users, as a rule, attribute to excesses. This time I included in the review also popular cloud-based CRMs - that was requested by numerous wishes in the comments and PM. For convenience, I will divide the functionality into blocks.

    Integration with third-party services and work in CRM with the site

    Users are already used to the fact that their personal IT infrastructure consists of many different applications that can be friends with each other, or can be completely independent. The same thing in business - companies use a lot of software, including accounting and management, without which life will no longer be so convenient. However, it is always better for a business to have maximum compatibility of this type of software with each other, to work in a single infrastructure, and not to lead clients in CRM, write invoices in 1C, schedule appointments through Outlook, set tasks via Google calendar.
    I must say that the standard of integration for vendors does not exist - so there really is plenty to choose from.

    Terrasoft CRM(consider bpm'online sales), finally gone to the cloud, easily integrates with Google-calendar, 1C, with various mail services. It is amazing that integration with Skype is on demand and I dare to assume for extra money. As for the integration of CRM with the site, the company clearly tried and created good functionality. Inside the system, according to the specified parameters, an HTML web-to-lead form is generated, which is added to the site, the address at which the user will go after filling in all the fields is configured. After filling out the form, the data is transmitted to CRM. It is possible to obtain data from other sources.

    RegionSoft CRM, who advocates data security and is not in a hurry to go to the cloud, with his integration solutions, he justifies his membership in classic desktops with functional developed over the years. CRM standardly integrates with 1C, Skype, Asterisk telephony servers, and has a sip client. However, the developers went further and created integration with their own scripting server RegionSoft Application Server, based on an engine that supports 4 programming languages: JScript, BasicScript, PascalScript and C ++ Script. If you put your head to him, he knows a lot: integrate CRM with the site and collect data from any web-forms, interview users through questionnaires sent by e-mail, integrate with any third-party applications that support COM-connection, and even calculate the load of production equipment . The disadvantage of this solution is that it comes for a fee. On the other hand, those who do not need to overpay for this functionality in the base RegionSoft CRM.

    FreshOffice CRM (the desktop version was tested) in addition to standard integrations with 1C and Skype includes a native module for exchanging messages between employees and receiving automatic messages from the system in the chat window. This is a convenient feature - in one window, an employee can see both messages from colleagues and numerous reminders. As for the interaction with the site, that is, certain integration opportunities - you can give counterparties (customers) access to your personal account in CRM through a web service. This is implemented through the developer API using the OData protocol. This is quite valuable functionality for those who sell through the site, especially in B2B - integration with a well-developed personal account saves employees time - there are a lot of small questions that can be answered by going to the client’s office.

    Client Communicator CRM (Click)finally decided to start moving away from the desktop and seems a little confused. However, this does not negate its advantages - it integrates with 1C and Skype, has its own CMS for integration with the site, built-in chat for colleagues to communicate within CRM. The main feature of Click is serious customizability, but to use it you need a regular programmer or money for improvements by the vendor. Alas, I was not able to fully twist the new web version, but theoretically it is possible to create integration with the site - after all, it is a large set for independent (or vendor) completion of CRM in JavaScript. It is clear that with such an organization working with the platform, problems in the web-web relationship should not arise. However, even at the vendor’s presentation, it’s clear that the version is raw, I think it's better to wait for new releases. Regarding the classic clique,

    amoCRM , which managed to become a popular cloud system for small businesses, approached all kinds of integrations in an original way - all interactions with 1C, social networks, Dropbox, a site and others take place through numerous third-party widgets (for example, Wufoo or qFlow, if it comes to a site). It is implemented beautifully, you can choose the necessary set of integrations, but there is an unpleasant pitfall: when connecting widgets, you must pay the developer of the control for using its service in addition to the rental price of CRM. In addition, the use of widgets is an additional side of the relationship with vendors and a new dependency that generates regular problems, such as the fault tolerance of each service, training to work with it, and so on ...

    Microsoft Dynamics CRMit remained a foreign CRM-system with the main consequence: it does not implement the “Russian” functionality. In particular, all Dynamics CRM integrations with 1C, sites, trading equipment, and warehouse programs occur through connector programs developed by MS Dynamics certified partners. This approach, although it allows you to find many ready-made solutions, greatly increases the cost of an already expensive system. The basic functionality of CRM implements only the accounting of information from social networks through MS Social Listening.

    Scheduling and task management, KPI

    In principle, all of the CRMs listed as serious leading solutions have succeeded in developing planning and goal setting mechanisms. Actually, everyone understands that this is one of the most important functions of a CRM system and it is necessary to make such modules understandable, convenient and interconnected. However, in all systems there are some "chips" that make the work even more convenient.

    So, for example, in bpm'online sales using the SDK you can configure the launch of processes in the scheduler on a schedule. However, the system does not calculate KPI by managers in any way - you need to either calculate it yourself or get confused and use the MS Excel 2010+ SDK Terrasoft + PowerPivot to develop a table for calculating key indicators.

    RegionSoft CRMIt offers users several different schedulers and reminder panels - you won’t be able to forget a single thing: tasks with and without reports, multitasks, cyclic, process and design tasks. In my opinion, the chip of this developer is a collective planner. It focuses on teamwork and actually helps manage project time. The project management mechanism itself is highly developed, it allows you to plan and calculate project work, project costs and revenues, register project participants with the definition of their share and calculation of remuneration. RegionSoft CRM has a built-in KPI target and financial planning mechanism - the system actually considers the motivation of managers on the basis of a plan-fact analysis of their operational work.

    In FreshOffice CRMIn addition to standard planners, a project designer has been implemented - a kind of business process module, but without BPMN notations and graphical representations. This module allows you to manage projects with goal setting and planning. KPIs are calculated immediately with material rewards and specific amounts - there is no need to recalculate goals and indicators.

    In KliK CRM, the KPI mechanism is carefully thought out: in the system, you can read key performance indicators, collect and view payroll statements. The Motivation and Salary section, combined with deeply embedded and informative employee cards, claims to be a good help not only for sales people and managers, but also for the HR service.

    AmoCRM and MS Dynamics do not have what can be called chips or finds in planning and KPI. amoCRM is more likely building a funnel for employees and on its basis additional coefficients can be used to calculate the necessary coefficients. Dynamics’s personnel management mechanisms are part of the Microsoft Dynamics ERP delivery - and this is a completely different price and a different story.

    Reporting and Analytics

    This is also a fairly standard subject of competition and contention among vendors in the market: while ClicK and FreshOffice deploy OLAP cubes, amoCRM draws beautiful dashboards, bpm'online goes to clear and transparent analytics, RegionSoft, MS Dynamics conservatively develop standard forms of reporting and analysis, familiar and necessary to the user. In general, all of the listed systems, except amoCRM, are aimed at users who know a lot about analytics and are ready to make serious decisions on its basis. In CRM, there are ABC and XYZ analysis mechanisms, sales funnels, filters, and the ability to work with data in custom reports.

    Of the strange "tricks" - a flat sales funnel at KliK - do not expect to see the usual inverted pyramid, it is not there, there is a graph and a table implementation - not the most convenient interface. FreshOffice also slightly modified the classic funnel and proposed a combination of histograms and funnel, thereby making the familiar report informative, detailed and easy to read. The vendor RegionSoft CRM decided that there wasn’t a standard funnel and proposed an additional tool - the dynamics of the client’s promotion along the sales ladder, on which each customer displays interaction points with dates on the X axis and activities on the Y axis. This section allows you to track the relationship with the client in as much detail as possible - irreplaceable thing when conducting long transactions. However, subjectively, I do not have enough total interaction values ​​in a table view.

    Warehouse management and integration with retail equipment

    This is a section in which there is a clear leader and you can safely call it - RegionSoft CRM. This system, in addition to real-time warehouse accounting and a serious production module, is distinguished by the ability to work with barcode scanners, POS terminals (cash register, receipt printing, cashier interface), discount cards, label printers, data collection terminals. Such functionality is somehow more expected from 1C. MS Dynamics CRM is also able to work with the listed equipment, but only for an additional fee through the already mentioned software connectors. If you count for one retail warehouse - it turns out a bit too much. In second place on the CRM functionality for retail is KliK, which includes the capabilities of warehouse batch accounting, work with barcode scanners and serial numbers, and procurement control. FreshOffice CRM offers warehouse accounting with the movement of goods, movements, fixing balances and so on.

    Mail, mailing list features

    If vendors are usually fine with telephony and call processing, special attention should be paid to the possibilities of working with e-mail - users may expect unpleasant surprises related to setup and mailing. This issue is also relevant because HTML-mails have a strong reputation as an effective tool for sales and marketing, which means that they should meet the needs of the business as much as possible.

    At bpm'online salesit is possible to configure mail synchronization via MS Exchange, integration with Gmail and mail integration via IMAP / SMTP to save the entire history of correspondence with the client. This logic of interacting with mail has many advantages. HTML-mailing can be done only through third-party services, downloading the template to the system, or buying bpm'online marketing, the functionality of which is less universal than sales. In general, marketing just exists as a lead system, but buying it for the sake of the need for newsletters is too expensive.

    Mail in RegionSoft CRM is an independent mail client that allows you to create and quickly send letters to both individual clients and groups of clients using thematic selections from a common client array. The system allows you to create personalized letters, letters with substitution patterns, letters in HTML-format with pictures. Moreover, RegionSoft CRM does not require any integration with third-party email clients.

    amoCRMallows mailing through the MailChimp service - it is convenient and quite functional, but has the same drawback as other widgets in amoCRM - you have to pay extra for it. FreshOffice CRM and MS Dynamics CRM are tied to MS Outlook - respectively, all possible restrictions for mailings are inherited from the restrictions of Outlook itself (which, by the way, is also paid if it is not a question of cropped Express). In the last three cases, CRM acts only as a donor of contact information for newsletters.

    Clicks CRM can send letters through an SMTP server, the system allows you to create message templates for mailings with attributes, media, tables and hyperlinks. I could not find the ability to send full HTML mailings.

    Interfaces and user interaction

    Since the recent local review, almost nothing has changed in the system interfaces, so I’ll say a few words about each of these really powerful CRMs.

    Bpm'online - this is not the same desktop Terrasoft CRM. The system received a newfangled laconic interface, went to the cloud, divided into many versions and ... ceased to be universal. This is a justified development of the situation in terms of profitability, following trends and diversifying the product portfolio, but a controversial decision for the user: for example, if I chose CRM for my company today, I would be confused: I just wouldn’t have enough sales or marketing.

    RegionSoft CRMcontinues to sequentially increase the functionality of its system, periodically releasing some new services. This is a universal, balanced CRM, delivered in three standard editions for different types and scales of business, as well as in the industry edition of RegionSoft CRM Media for television companies and radio stations. It does not need either the Internet or additional services - almost complete autonomy. The disadvantage of such systems is that sometimes in CRM there is extra functionality for the client, but the price remains the same.

    FreshOffice CRM is available in both desktop and cloud versions and is constantly being improved - thus, compared to the test a year ago, CRM is faster and more responsive, however, hangs and unpleasant crashes during configuration and report generation are preserved.

    Click CRMin its basic classic version, it retains all of the listed advantages of the desktop system and is also universal, but there are more excesses in it. For example, I’m interested in their trick - working with finances and financial reporting, when even a cash flow statement can be built in the system. However, this does not make KliK a full-fledged replacement for 1C, and when integrated with 1C, this is completely useless. In general, KliK due to the use of MS SQL Server (by the way, in most cases, again additionally paid) remains heavy and slow - it processes data for a long time, builds reports and has installation instructions on 33 sheets. I think, partly due to such reasons, KliK CRM decided to start its journey into the clouds and created a platform for web-KliK, but so far it inspires optimism only with its pleasant stylish interface.

    MS Dynamics CRM- A strong system, not ready to live in Russia without the solutions of certified partners for additional integrations. In principle, this system “as is” would be suitable for small businesses, but Microsoft prices are higher than the capabilities of most SMB companies.

    Configurators, API, SDK

    Vendors improve their systems day after day, working on the basis of user experience and market and technology requirements. The “chips” they offer are not superfluities, but an occasion to think about whether such an automation organization will help companies to take the path of intensive development with the help of technology. However, even a tiny company may need to customize. And then the vendors either modify themselves, or offer tools to change their systems.

    In terms of developing Developer Tools, Terrasoft and Microsoft succeeded, which, in fact, is not surprising - among all the participants in the review, these are real giants with the widest opportunities for developing this area. Terrasoft offers its own SDK, with which you can modify the functionality. In addition, they have created a strong Community, within which you can find answers to many questions that arise when the system is independently developed. Needless to say, Microsoft has created its own SDK for Dynamics Developer Center clients, which allowed it to build a network of partners offering turnkey solutions for integration with almost everything that is necessary for the business. But personally, from the point of view of the user, it’s a shame for me to pay for connectors to the site, 1C or the minimum trading equipment.

    RegionSoft, Client Communicator, FreshOffice (with its own API) support standard configurators, including the FastReport developers and implementers familiar with them. However, the development does not stand still and Klik continues to develop its new web platform, sharpened by JavaScript experts, and RegionSoft offers users an Application Server that supports PascalScript, C ++ Script, JScript, BasicScript and includes an integrated HTTP server.

    Which way to choose, if necessary, improvements depends only on the CRM user, because sometimes the costs of in-house development several times exceed the cost of the vendor's services.

    How the crisis hit CRM - we study price changes

    Today it’s fashionable to go into web archives and compare pre-crisis and post-crisis prices for everything you can. Indexing also did not go around the survey participants, but the price comparison surprised with its incredible spread. I suggest you look at the price dynamics, and at the same time get acquainted with the new cost of licenses and new licensing conditions. Traditionally, versions similar in functionality and purpose are compared.

    CRM versionLicensing termsOld price for one license, as of dateNew price for one license, on a datePrice increase,%
    bpm'online sales enterprise
    The price is tied to the euro, there is a cloud, there is a personal on-site:
    400 € - users / year in the cloud
    550 € - users with on-site
    The rate of 48.14 p. / €
    on 08/15/2014
    The rate of 69.05 p. / €
    on 02.27.2015
    RegionSoft CRM 5.0 Professional
    Competitive Perpetual License
    11 350 r. / User, 01/25/2015
    12 300 p. / User, 02/27/2015
    FreshOffice CRM Desktop
    Competitive Perpetual License
    12 800 p. / User, on Jan. 2014
    15 000 p. / User, 02/27/2015
    CLICK CRM Trade Prof
    The default is personal
    14 500 rubles / user
    on 08/31/2014
    17 400 rubles / user
    on 20.27.2015
    AmoCRM cloud
    Rent per user per month. Similar packages are compared, the price policy has completely changed.
    1,500 / month / 10 users - 150 rubles / user (Optimal package for 10 users)
    249 p. / User / month
    on 20/27/2015 (Startup package up to 5 users)
    MS Dynamics CRM cloud
    Rent per user per month
    2 340 p. / User
    on 11/11/2014
    3 250 rubles / user
    on 20/27/2015

    Obviously, several strong CRM branches have developed on the market, among which any company can find a solution to its needs. However, all of them are united by two trends:
    • universality - CRM should provide maximum automation and be the basis of corporate IT infrastructure
    • customizability - the creation of constructors, APIs, SDKs, etc. to refine CRM for specific needs in a short time and with maximum savings.

    CRM enables the company to be more competitive and flexible, allowing you to get a number of indicators, based on which you can see the slightest changes in relations with customers.

    In general, think for yourself, decide for yourself - to have or not to have.

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