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May 11, 2010 Business Technologies

How to Buy an Online CRM System 101

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By Sonja Fridell

CRM buyers guidePurchasing and implimenting a CRM system can be a daunting task. Sometimes you can buy directly from the software vendor and other times you can buy through a Value Added Reseller (VAR). BrainSell President Jim Ward addressed the topic of who to buy from as a guest blogger on the Sales Opperation Blog this week.

Jim focused on the pros and cons of buying direct and buying from a VAR. Here are some of his points in short… to read the entire post, visit Marci Reynolds’ Sales Opperation Blog.

Definitions:

Direct Sales: A direct sales model for a CRM software vendor means the vendor employs their own sales force and you do business directly with the vendor.

Value Added Reseller (VAR): When buying through a VAR you’re buying through a company certified to resell the vendor’s software. VARs offer additional services such as training, development, consulting and implementation  to add “value” (the “V” in VAR) to the sale.

Buying Direct Pros & Cons:

Pros: If your company is implementing a very large software project, buying direct can give the depth and resources a large company needs for such a big implementation. If you’ve got plenty of in-house IT resources, your own people can sometimes impliment the software…

Cons: Large direct companies can take longer to implement. The vendor only represents their product and therefore there’s little to no objectivity. You will be aggressively sold to….

Buying from a VAR Pros & Cons:

Pros: Many resellers have expertise in more than one product and will address your software requirements with an objective eye.VAR’s provide full service offerings and have expertise in all areas.VAR’s are certified in the products they resell by the vendor and are required to go through extensive training….

Cons: If you have extensive in-house IT resources, VAR’s have little to offer in value other than the product sale. Not all VAR’s are certified by the vendor, check! Some VAR’s are unwilling to share implementation services with your company’s internal IT resources…

In short, there are lots of factors to consider when making a CRM invenstment. Investigate and find a VAR or direct seller that cares about all of your needs and has an open mind.

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