The promise of customer relationship management (CRM) software is compelling: increased sales, lower customer acquisition costs, and improved service response times. Yet, not all CRM deployments are created equal, and many fall short of generating these benefits.
Why? In many cases, it’s because the company lacks a clear business case for CRM, which defines why you need the system and what business value you expect it to create.
The business case drives the project plan – functionality requirements, software selection, and so forth – setting the direction for the entire deployment. It’s also a crucial for garnering the executive support you need for your initiative to succeed.
What should you include when developing a business case for CRM?
Why do you need a new CRM system?
- What’s wrong with your existing CRM processes that you’d like to see improved?
- Are you looking to automate manual processes or eliminate redundant tasks – to reduce personnel expense, improve efficiencies, and lower risk of costly shipping errors?
- Are you looking for more detailed real-time customer intelligence to make sales and marketing campaigns more efficient and effective?
Consider both the cost of doing nothing and the bottom line benefits of solving these issues.
What value do you expect this CRM deployment to create for your company? Think in terms of metrics or key performance indicators (KPI) to define success and measure progress, such as:
- Increased revenue
- Project payback
- Market share gains
- Profits generated from net new sales
- Productivity, efficiency gains
- Lower customer acquisition costs
- Higher customer retention, improved profit per customer
- Lower customer service costs
- Improved sales conversion ratios
- Shorter sales cycles
What functionality do you need in your CRM system to fulfill the overall vision and drive your key performance indicators? Obtain input from stakeholders who will be impacted by CRM, including those in sales, marketing, customer service, IT, accounting and the C-suite. If one of your target metrics is “productivity gains,” for example, work with sales personnel to identify areas where CRM can eliminate redundant tasks, reduce busy work and give them more time for selling.
Without a clear business case, you could purchase the most powerful software on the market, fully loaded with “bells and whistles,” but see very little results to justify the money – a nightmare scenario for most IT directors and executives tasked with making large-scale technology purchases. To mitigate this risk, contact the technology advisors at