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Sales Stack Comparison Matrix: Platform Versus All-In-One

· All In One CRM,Small Business

What if the entire process of implementing your sales stack could be simplified? We love "what if" questions here at VipeCloud and are proud that our customers have a simple and rapid ramp up once they decide to work with us.

We have also learned from our customers that the process of researching all of the potential sales and marketing apps your organization will need is time consuming, frustrating, and arduous.

Why is this the case? We think that while CRM is core to your sales and marketing operations, most CRMs have taken what is known as the "platform" approach. They have spent, and continue to spend, a tremendous amount of resources to enable myriad of "apps" to connect to them.

The Irony of the CRM Platform

The marketed value of the platform is that customers of a CRM can 1) choose among a variety of apps which provide competing functionality and 2) relatively easily connect data from those apps back into the CRM.

The irony in this approach is that CRM platforms ultimately provide a disservice to small (and often medium) sized businesses in three ways:

  1. Every business has nuanced details within their go to market tactics and sales management requirements, however, the nuances are less pronounced in smaller businesses. That means the functionality required across competing apps is fairly standard. Therefore, the benefit to the small and medium business to pick and choose between competing apps is nominal.
  2. The requirement of the customer to identify the categories of apps they want or need, and then research which of them are best for their business and their "stack" is more taxing on the limited resources of a smaller business than a larger enterprise. 
  3. Every additional app chosen for the customer's sales stack adds inertia to the customer's internal operations. For each app processes will need to be defined and workflows will need to be learned. Furthermore, each app - by definition - stores and manages data in their own way, which is inevitably not the same way as your CRM. Data can often be copied or transferred, but it is difficult to realize no loss of value in the process.
Our conclusion is that the platform approach benefits app providers but not the small or medium business CRM customer.

The Value of a Single System

We believe redirecting what would have been "platform" resources toward internally developed functionality provides the most value to the small and medium business.
  1. The increasingly standard functionality of most components of a sales stack will address the needs of small and medium businesses.
  2. The need to research the mini-markets of apps for each category of functionality is eliminated.
  3. Inertia in the sales stack is also eliminated because with a single system only one user experience needs to be learned. Furthermore data across features are - by definition - stored within the same system.
One last point to consider is "what if my small or medium business becomes an enterprise?" First off, congratulations! Second, at that time you can begin to specialize your sales stack to your tried and true processes. You will have the budget, time horizon, and wherewithal to finally do so.
You might also look back and realize that making the right decisions for your business along the way is why you became an enterprise in the first place :).

Sales Stack Comparison Matrix

To help you decide for yourself which CRM approach is best for you, here is a matrix which compares functionality across a variety of vendors. Enjoy!

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