Write A CRM Review

Small Business CRM software Reviewer Guidelines

We are looking for independent small business CRM Customer Relationship Management and related software reviews and articles!

This is your opportunity to generate free business and establish yourself as an authority in your particular genre or product.

Write a CRM review or article for SmallBizCRM and get your name in highlights with a hyperlink to your email or website, if you wish.

Maybe you are already using a Small Business CRM, Contact Manager(CM) or Personal Organizer/Personal Information Manager(PIM) ? Then you can write from experience and from the heart!

The CRM and CM products are mainly for the small business market. They could include all the hosted or web based CRM’s, CRM’s for Apple Mac, as well as the traditional in-house Contact Managers & CRM’s like ACT!, Goldmine, Maximizer, Prophet, Time&Chaos, MS Business Contact Manager, LeGrand CRM and hundreds more!

The CRM reviews can be done in a simple bullet format – no serious writing skills or MBA-speak necessary. You can also just review a segment of an application – eg. Its suitability to email campaigns. We can edit it for you, but still give you credit. We will not publish anything without your sign-off.

See example of CRM Reviews..

Proviso – The review MUST be original ie. written in your OWN WORDS. NO cut ’n paste from any copy, anywhere, allowed!

The length of the CRM review can be from 200 words upwards.

Broadly, we are looking to establish:

  • How practical the CRM application is,
  • Its suitability for various vertical markets or industries
  • Its ease-of-use.
  • User experience with help, documentation,vendor/VAR website
  • Value-for-mone
  • The CRM product’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP). What differentiates it from the others.

The primary purpose of these reviews is to be useful to people trying to determine which CRM products and suppliers are appropriate to their requirements.

These CRM reviews also serve as a source of reference for the CRM vendors themselves. They will be able to get a better idea as to their products performance on different platforms, with different users. They will be able to get ideas as to what features to include in future versions.

We will give you more detailed guidelines to follow to help you with your review.

We accept that a review is a subjective exercise, but please keep the tone cordial (even if they do happen to be in opposition to yours 😉 Stick to the facts.

You are welcome to compare the product under review to other CRM applications. I know, I know – comparisons are odious, but that is what searchers are often looking for.

If you are interested, get in early, as we can only accept a limited amount of reviews per product.

A review is useful because it is subjective – we are all different. Our PC configurations are also often different, too.

We don’t all own PC HotRods, so performance and stability is expected to differ. This is more or less the format you can follow.

Reviewer (Your) Name.
Your PC spec – Processor (eg P4), operating system (eg Windows XP etc), browser (eg IE 6, Firefox), amount ofRAM (eg 512 Mb)
Product name.
Vendor Name. Contact names and address would be nice..
Version of Product. Eg ABC CRM v1.2.3
Operating system. Eg Windows XP, Apple Max OSX,
Cost per seat, anything unusual about pricing, current promotions
Trial version on offer? Eg. 30 Days FREE Trial; Single User FREE

Download product. Make a note of how long, smoothly (or otherwise) it goes. How big is the product – eg. 85Mb

Install product. Ditto

Simulate some normal activities, like:
Import some sample records. 10, 100, 1000, the more the merrier. Again, make a note as to how easy this process was. What Import formats are supported eg. Ascii, xls, dbf etc

Create a company record manually and add a few contact people to the company.

Create a couple of profiles to describe company/contacts:
Company – industry etc.
Contact – golfer, decision maker etc.

Create a Task in the Task List. Associate it with a contact person. Also add a manual task eg take dog to vet ie unrelated to any records in CRM database. The Tasklist is, in a way, the heart of the CRM software. This is where the user, particularly if they are in sales, should spend most of their time, organizing their day, their life!

How easy is the Task list to use? What functionality does it support eg. Can you email a contact directly from it? Once a task is ‘complete’, are you prompted to schedule a further follow-up? Does it automatically write back to the clients notes etc etc.

Create a user-defined list, with your own column/s added. you might be wanting to ‘tidy-up’ the database, and sort by email addresses, for example.

Access Client Notes (imagine a client on the other end of the line – how long does s/he have to be kept waiting while you navigate to their notes, to see who last dealt with them.)

You might want to break down the headings something like this:

  • Contact Management ( Profiles, activity history, user defined fields)
  • Account Management – company profile, org chart, activity history, relationships)
  • Opportunity Management – Opportunity Profile, Products, Sales cycle, sales forecasting, competitor info, win/loss info, automatic quote processing, multi currency, product configurator.
  • Sales Management – team/collaborative selling, sales process tracking, sales process workflow, list management, territory management, expense reporting, product management, price/promotion management.
  • Marketing (creating labels, e/Mailmerge, campaign management, automation, activity reports)
  • TeleMarketing Time Management – calendar’s week/month/year view, task lists, reminders alarms, followup/ scheduling capabilities, group scheduling, workflow.
  • Customer Service. Does the product help you follow- through with clients, manage service calls, offer a Helpdesk type feature?

Security. Are you allowed to Create, Insert, Modify, Delete records. Can you see other users private records?

Networking. This is probably beyond most reviewers resources. But if you are in a multi-user environment, you can test things like group calendar, record- locking if you both try to access the same record simultaneously. Is the locking down to ‘field-level’?

Integration. How well does the CRM product integrate to other app’s? Outlook, accounting systems (eg QuickBooks) or spreadsheets like Excel. Is there standard, built-in support for this?

Customisability. Adding user-defined fields, reports. Is source code available etc.

Scalability. Is the product scalable to bigger, more industrial strength database engines (eg SQL Server) if needed? If so, which ones?

What language is the product developed in? eg .NET, C++, C#, Java, Visual Basic etc.

You can, no doubt, find many more to add to the above list.

Finally, Uninstall the product. does it even offer an ‘uninstall’?

How user-friendly did you find the product? Could you get by without using the manuals? It is one thing developing a feature-rich application; it is quite another designing it with an intuitive GUI (user interface).

A wish list. What features would you like to have seen in the product?

What sort of Sales Environments or industries do you think the product is particularly well suited to?eg. FMCG companies, insurance industry, service industry.

A brief bio about yourself, with your preferred hyperlink.

Please contact us if your are interested in submitting your Small Business CRM reviews or articles.