1. CRM is not a just software
Since CRM plays an important role in corporate strategy, its crucial that you define what it is you hope to capture and report on within the system. Be sure to consider the state of your customer relationship, and consider its effect on all business units and end-users from the start.
-How will CRM support your corporate strategy?
-Which departments or functional groups need to be involved in system design and who will use it?
-Which processes will be impacted or require change?
2. Making CRM work for your business
When choosing a solution, be sure it includes a flexible architecture and platform technology. This allows organizations to more cost-effectively tailor the system to their unique business process and to be adaptable and competitive as needs change. Forward-thinking organizations use select flexible CRM systems that will enhance their business agility, not confine them.
-Are your market conditions stable or dynamic? How will you accommodate change and growth within the system?
-What technology infrastructure is needed to support new systems, new data sources, and new users?
-Can all important and relevant customer information be collected and combined within this technology infrastructure?
3. Define the benefits
As part of the CRM implementation process, consider the anticipated ROI; by defining CRM success metrics up front, companies can help ensure the goals are realized and met. Executives, business users, IT staff, and the CRM partner must work together to define these goals and to tie the CRM technology to appropriate business processes and data requirements.
-Have you established key business metrics? How will you report on them?
-Have you benchmarked current conditions and metrics for future comparison?
-If you choose not to adopt CRM, what might the long-term cost be to your business?
4. Total cost of ownership
Total cost of ownership for a CRM system can be hard to predict, due to the uniqueness of each implementation and the differing levels of complexity among enterprise technology environments. However, analysts estimate that up to 90 percent of total CRM costs are associated with customizing, integrating, deploying, supporting, and maintaining a CRM system.
Companies selecting on premise CRM face the majority of their CRM costs up-front. In contrast, a hosted CRM delivery model typically requires a smaller up-front investment and attractive monthly cost, but over a three-year period, may actually have a higher total cost of ownership than an on-premise solution. In addition, with hosted solutions, your company does not own the software and may be limited in your ability to customize the system to your business or industry needs and unique processes.
For additional comparison please
-Which option, on premise or hosted, make more sense for your company?
-Are you considering costs over a longer period of time?
-Does industry-specific CRM make sense for your company?
5. Find a partner
It’s important to assess business objectives, technology strategy, IT budgets, opportunity costs, customization requirements, and industry-sector requirements before selecting a CRM solution. But beyond that, it’s important to ensure that you’re picking a solid partner you can work with now and in the future, such as ERT Group. Business and implementation experience is what will ensure things go smoothly and that nothing is overlooked during the project.
-What kinds of implementation support can be provided? What kinds of training options are available?
-Does the partner have industry experience?
-Does the partner have strong references from reputable customer companies?
If you’re looking for specific CRM software information, check out the resources on the
Article written by Stephen Schilling, Technical Consultant – ERT Group