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Software selection does not take place in a vacuum.



In the IT and software industry, terms like Brownfield and Greenfield are common. Greenfield corresponds to the German phrase “starting on the green field.” This is rarely possible. A startup can do it, but an older company has ERP, cloud or non-cloud, its own or third-party data center as a framework. Therefore, CRM selection always requires alignment with the circumstances.

What should you always fundamentally consider in CRM tools?

Topic: Service and Support

What support does the manufacturer or service provider offer? What Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are standard? Do these SLAs suffice? Where should you negotiate?

Does the CRM provider offer, for example, email support? How are connected third-party providers supported? Are they included in the general SLAs? Can the user submit service requests to support? Does it make more sense for only key users to do this? Is there a ticketing system for it? How quickly are tickets answered? Who monitors and reports on this?

Topic: Hosting, Cloud CRM, and On-Premises

Unfortunately, we often find that hosting becomes a significant cost driver in the end. For the answer to the question of which cloud solution is suitable, there is a good answer here, among other places.

Is an on-premise solution, i.e., installation on your own server, the better solution?

Buy or rent (a SaaS solution)

A question that users almost no longer ask. The vast majority of providers now follow the example of As today’s largest provider (global market leader), Salesforce established this business model. The topic of cloud computing or cloud-based models has become so strong that hardly anyone offers software for purchase anymore. For providers, this is the more lucrative option anyway.

Very important: Documentation

Knowledge must not be lost. Rather, it should gradually grow through documentation. Therefore, documentation integrated online in the CRM system is also important. The user should be able to access the help documentation at any time from the currently accessed CRM functions.

Pay special attention to documentation with open-source software. Who creates it, in which language is it available?

Is free CRM available? Does a free CRM system make sense? Is open source (OS) free?

Distinguish between permanently free CRM solutions, i.e., CRM freeware, or free entry-level solutions (startup edition) that start with limited functionality (not to mention attracting). And in the course of usage, the user realizes that the functionality is not enough. Then the license price quickly becomes expensive.

Price information is usually in US dollars or euros. However, good price representations are always in euro exchange rates.

Are open-source (OS) solutions really free?

The license costs are waived. That is correct. But support and customization programming naturally cost money. Further development, if done by the community, is also free. But fundamentally, not every OS product is free.

Some providers make their source code publicly available. Then, although further development is allowed, license costs (rent or purchase) may still apply. For example, special programming not done by a manufacturer but commissioned by an individual. Here, it is important to deposit the source code in a safe at the notary in the current version.

Is OS software better or worse than “non-OS”?

That is difficult to answer. The principle applies here too: it depends on what the company expects. There are indeed open-source providers who offer a good CRM system that stands up to comparison with others. In the end, it must fit your company.

Who are the most well-known vendors in the CRM field?

Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, SugarCRM, Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe, Marketo, Hubspot or Hubspot CRM, open-source CRM like VTiger CRM, Zoho CRM, or smaller full-service providers like TecArt CRM, Julitec, Sunrise. You can find all German-speaking providers in our CRM provider landscape and the table “CRM Software Comparison”.

A CRM comparison based on multiple criteria is not easy. Market competitors repeatedly attempt it. Our focus is on market knowledge. We reject a detailed comparison of entire software products. There are simply too many peculiarities and specialties in each company that can play a role.

We always tailor a CRM software comparison individually to our customers. The often-heard phrase “We adapt to the software’s specifications. They’ve already developed that for our competitors.” unfortunately leads to ruin. Customer relationship management in practice is too different. Every company should develop its peculiarities and reflect them in its customer relationship management system. This is the only way to achieve a unique selling point with the customer.

We have many years of experience in CRM software selection.

In the many CRM projects, we have learned what to look out for. We call this “looking under the carpet” or “behind the scenes”. We receive important insider information from customers, users of software, or the provider itself. We don’t trumpet this information. Trust is always a valuable commodity. But we can certainly give tips or warnings to our customers’ management that the average person wouldn’t think of.

Who provides information on CRM tools in addition to

For many years, Schwetz Consulting has produced the CRM Market Mirror in cooperation with Trovarit AG. Within the IT-Matchmaker portal, interested parties can obtain tips on providers before selecting and implementing software.

Each consultant approaches customer relationship management and CRM software selection a little differently. Over the past few years, we have refined our method more and more through user feedback. We are 100% neutral in selection consulting. That is, we receive no commission from the manufacturer or service provider.


In Google keyword optimization for the German language, the term CRM-Softwares (deliberately written with an “s” at the end) also appears. So we’ll just write this term in the text. Even if it doesn’t make sense. Our client surely doesn’t use this word. But if it helps perfect the text. Please Google.


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