When a CRM is Not the Answer…

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has been around for many years. Over time, CRM has come to have a broad meaning in what it can do for its potential customers. However, as like any software product or service, one size never fits all. For example:

You can use both Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel to do word processing. Both of these products are more than capable of allowing you to write letters, documents, etc. But, this is not what they were designed to do; Microsoft Word is specifically designed for that function. And vice-versa. You can make tables in MS Word, do your own math like MS Excel or make presentation slides like MS PowerPoint, but it is hard and cumbersome to do.

Westlake Software, Inc. has created a new business service platform specifically designed for the management of vendors and partners of your business (Vendor Relationship Management [VRM]). Unlike a CRM that is focused on new accounts, creating a funnel, etc., a VRM shifts focus onto proof of performance, competitive tracking, training, etc.

How do you know when a CRM or a VRM is the right solution?

For example, your product is in 10,000 Walmart, RadioShack and Best Buy Stores world-wide and you need to support a field labor team of 1000 mobile users in 20 languages. Or you may be a pharmaceutical company managing and tracking 250 reps nationally with the Doctors and Hospitals they visit. This is where most CRM products and services start to break down. Emphasis needs to be on proof of performance, distribution of resources, collection of field data and management and tracking of trainings for both employed and outsourced workforces. Focus is now product and location based and less individual customer sales focused.

Vendor Relationship Management Customer Relationship Management
Store-Door, Product-Service Focused Customer Contact Focused
Training Centric Selling Centric
Performance/Compliance Forecast/Speculate
Sales Advancement Customer Acquisition

Just like MS office products, they are each designed to do a specific job. When a CRM fits, it can be a great asset to your workforce, but when it is not, it can significantly diminish your productivity.

"We looked at both VRM and CRM solutions for our mobile workforce. The decision was made to move forward with a CRM and we are now not using the system at all and paying 3 times as much under contract. Poor decision on our part for not understanding the differences and thinking a CRM would solve all of our problems. Executive at a Major US based Wireless Carrier

"We opted to move forward with a top recognized CRM verses a VRM not really understanding the difference. A single feature out of hundreds is used and we are spending millions." Executive at a globally leading electronics manufacture from Asia

If you are finding that your needs better fit a VRM versus a CRM or are not sure, contact us today to learn more. We have over 1000 features that can help your organization become substantially more productive and can demonstrate the technology to you.

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