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Contacting reference customers during the evaluation stage of a CRM project

Paul Greenberg, SearchCRM.com's expert for evaluating CRM, recommends contacting reference customers during the evaluation stage of a CRM project.

We're in the evaluation stage of a CRM project. I'd like to get in touch with reference customers for each of our top three potential choices. How can I get in touch with the actual end users?
First, get in touch with the vendors and ask to speak with the leader of their reference customers program. They'll often arrange it for you. Second, if that doesn't work, use Google and other search engines to find out who was in charge of the projects, then call the customers directly and ask. It is usually good form to work with the vendor on this but if they don't support you, feel free to call customers yourself. Use Google and other search engines freely and you'll be surprised at how many customers you can find.

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