Trends in CRM Competitive Marketing Strategy

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has become real market. We are now seeing trends in the way CRM vendors compete in this evolving market place.

CRM Vendor Competitive Moves

We evaluated CRM competitive behavior in 2010. To induce trial of new customers, we have seen vendors implement:

A. ‘Try before you buy’ – marketing strategies, with offers of ‘Free 30 day to 90 day’ CRM trial periods.

B. ‘Limited time offers’ whereby low-cost/user entry-level fees were fixed for up to a year. Microsoft CRM Dynamics offer of $34/month for 1 year, is an example of this strategy.

C. Offers for ‘free migrations’ from CRM A to CRM B.

While all three strategies can induce trial effectively, CRM vendors will still have to address a common customer concern. That concern is: “what limitations will we run in down the road with this vendor? As well, even though the CRM service is offered free (for limited time), there always are real in-house / professional costs of migrating, such as data preparation, user training and so on. Free does not exist.

Trial & Comparing CRM

A Granny Smith ain’t no Fuji Apple: they don’t taste the same, they don’t cost the same. Some apples are best for kid school bag snacks and others best for apple pie. Likewise, the solutions offered by Microsoft CRM Dynamics, Salesforce.com or Oracle are similar but different. They respond to different user requirements and have different cost profiles. And the offer of fruit on the market stand, in the CRM market there are literally hundreds of vendors offering plausible solutions that may befit any particular organization.

All vendors have their own particular advantages and ability to deliver unique features. For example, Microsoft CRM Dynamics will leverage ‘Microsoft Shops’ where they can integrate it with existing Microsoft software suites, such as Office 2010 or SharePoint. In contrast, Salesforce.com has Chatter. CRMHelpdesksoftware.com coined the term of Chatter being ‘Facebook for the Enterprise’.

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