Avidian Prophet CRM or Salesforce.com?

therealims
therealims used Ask the Experts™
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We are considering Avidian Prophet CRM and Salesforce.com as CRM solutions for our sales team.  I wanted to reach out to the community and get your thoughts and experience with either or both.  We are leaning towards Avidian Prophet CRM but wanted to get the good and bad on both to support our decision.
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I must first admit that I have never used Avidian Prophet and don't know much about it. (In face, this is the first time I have heard the name.) I have used Salesforce CRM and one called Sugar CRM. I have also looked at a few others in my research.

In my experience, unless you can't justify the budget, you should use Salesforce.com.  It is, by far, the market leader, both because of this it has the best feature set as well as the best support from supporting tools.  Since installing Salesforce at my most recent company, we have been able to find tools that work with salesforce for just about everything - automated calling, contact databases, etc.  And they all plug seamlessly into salesforce, because the software companies build them with Salesforce in mind.

My experience using a competitor (in my case Sugar) was that you would often have to create major work-arounds to integrate 3rd-party tools (or run with manual work-arounds.) And features that we would want would often require custom programming on our part, which would be a nightmare when it was time for an upgrade.

In my experience, if you can afford Salesforce, which is not too bad if you have a small team that will not grow quickly, there is probably no reason not to use it.

If you have specific questions or issues that you have seen with Salesforce, I would be happy to address them more specifically.
In hearing the options you are presenting - one is a market leader and one is a less known competitor.

In using CRM systems across four companies, one of the common challenges I have hit is handling integration between the CRM and complementary systems, whether they be ERP, email marketing or analytics systems.

Most third party systems aim to integrate with Salesforce. When I have used other CRM packages (instead of Salesforce), I have typically hit roadblocks with third party integration that I wouldn't have hit had I used Salesforce.

For that reason, I would say that the other system you are considering had better be very compelling if you select it over Salesforce.
Serena HsiMarketing Consultant

Commented:
I also have not used Avidian; and, there are quite a lot of add-ons that 3rd party devs have built for Salesforce. If your salespeople intend to broadcast a lot of emails to prospects, I recommend that you move (if you are looking to move) to a CRM that allows you to broadcast through a 3rd party marketing platform, like Pardot, Silverpop, Marketo, etc., instead of allowing users to broadcast through Outlook.

You shouldn't allow sales to send bulk emails through Outlook if the smtp hits your company domain.

As an account/contact/lead management tool, Salesforce Professional edition works pretty well. Paired with a low-end email marketing platform like Pardot for one-to-one, drip, marketing automation, and broadcast emails, it is still relatively inexpensive (when compared to enterprise solutions like Dynamics CRM + an email marketing platform). On monthly pricing, it's comparable in features with Avidian.

Not everything is true in Avidian's comparison chart with Salesforce. Pretty much for any report system, you have to be online in some capacity to get them. Even with Avidian, I highly doubt that you can really access your reports in Outlook without being online and connected to an Outlook server.

Ultimately, it really depends on what sales (and to some extent, marketing) wants to do with how prospects are targeted (maybe you want to be able to share lead activities between sales reps), how the MQL and SQL funnels are managed, or how existing customers are retained through customer lifecycle management practices. When you factor that in, it's really not a pricing question anymore.

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Thank you!

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