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Bob Sullivan, InfoGrow

10 Questions to Ask a CRM Provider

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A successful CRM system starts with understanding the processes that you want it to improve. For this analysis, it is important that someone at your company looks at your business operations as a whole. If such a person does not exist, then pay an outside expert or, better yet, find a CRM vendor who will take the time to fully understand your processes and get all team players involved, right from the start.

If you are about to be a first-time CRM user, or you are a current CRM user looking for help with your disappointing CRM, here are ten questions to ask a CRM provider:

  1. Will the CRM solution help to acquire customers, keep customers, and grow overall company revenue?
  2. Will the CRM solution accommodate rising customer expectations and improve customer satisfaction?
  3. Will the CRM solution bring together multichannel customer interactions, such as E commerce and website searches?
  4. Will the CRM solution help to better manage fragmented customer interactions processes, such as on-boarding, order administration, loan processing, and customer service?
  5. Will the CRM provider offer mobile solutions for smart phones and tablets that improve employee productivity?
  6. Will the CRM solution include social channels to support customer engagement for market research?
  7. Will the CRM solution make use of big data from social media and other sources?
  8. Will the CRM solution allow flexibility for CRM software-as-a-service?
  9. Will the CRM solution coordinate customer feedback so that all employees understand customer expectations in terms of how their decisions affect business?
  10. Will the CRM provider:
  • Take the time to-fully understand your needs?
  • Get all of your users on board?
  • Train all your users?
  • Offer value-added products to enhance your CRM system for your future needs?

In other words make sure you get a vendor who will start you off right and will be there for you as you grow.

By addressing these questions and ensuring their answers, you are setting yourself up for a successful CRM implementation. Blindly jumping into a CRM system is the number one cause for the disdain for CRM, it is not the fault of the solution, rather the initial misunderstanding of the expected outcome and the possibilities of the set-up.

Keep in mind automation, such as a CRM will not fix an inefficient process. Improvements in CRM technology do not guarantee success. Much of CRM's bad reputation is due to users not fully understanding their processes and not asking the right questions when shopping for a CRM.

by InfoGrow

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