Speed of application use
Probably the key for all business’s and the reason that more than 80% of the CRM market is still application based. If you have x amount of people using the system for X amount of time, you will have to understand that this is costing you up to 30% more because managing this amount of data through a web interface will mean more man hours inevitably. Application based systems (win based) will be quicker to access i.e www.mycrminhousesystem.com but this will be it from a speed perspective.
CRM systems are by design a lot of pages / managing a lot of data / creating a lot of reports etc and unfortunately the world of the web just is nowhere as quick to manage this amount of functions. The key explanation for this is web based versus application based, anyone that uses Microsoft outlook, but occasionally has used Outlook Web Access (web version) will know the difference in speed and usability compared to the desktop application version, the same will apply to lotus notes / inotes etc.
Depth of components available
Although the web has come in leaps and bounds if you have component rich system you are going to be at disadvantage if you are completely web based. The internet IE or Firefox etc in their rawest form are operating systems of which there abilities are less superior to XP / Vista etc. CRM systems commonly have complex functions and screen designs like, Send SMS, Send emails, reports, lookups etc. Unfortunately the web just is not advanced enough to be able to match the functions available through a win based system.
Development of components
CRM tools in the blue chip environments are commonly win bases of which further developments on top will be created for integration into the end clients work flow. Customisation for web is a lot more expensive and more resource intensive to design and develop. This is why you will find that CRM’s like Sales Force are usually more out of the box solutions.
Corporate network access
Most cooperates would not even benefit from the core reason that you would use a web only CRM tool which is instant access anywhere in the world. With the core reason being that of information security. Most companies would not want access from outside the corporate network which lends itself to the only benefit of a web only environment. 3GB’s server requirements are minimal and with some use of 3rd party products access from anywhere in the world can be gained with ease if this is a requirement.
Exports and integration with other applications
Mentioned above but is a key fundamental when choosing a web versus win strategy is that of integration. CRM systems need to integrate with other systems to build analysis / communications / reports / finance etc. I’m not stating that a web provider would not be able to provide integration but they will charge you for the privilege and takes some of the power away from the company and places it back with the vendor as a revenue stream for them. CRM systems like Act / Siebel / 3GB have a wealth of integration tools built in, and more importantly can be administered by the work force.