I’m going out on a limb here and assume you’re all familiar with the TV game show Jeopardy! Created by Merv Griffin, it first aired in 1964. The daily syndicated version we’re all most familiar with premiered in 1984 and since its inception has featured Alex Trebek as host and Johnny Gilbert as announcer. Trebek is expected to retire from the program in 2016, at which point his tenure as host will have lasted for 32 years.
Contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in question form. Which brings me to my point. In order for your software selection process to be successful, to result in the adoption of a system that’s a good fit for your company now and for the next 32 years, one that all of your end users will embrace, you need to have certain answers first! Otherwise, your process will be in jeopardy!
Allow me to explain.
If your company is embarking on the road to
1) Do you have a compelling reason to purchase a new CRM software system? If the answer is no, then you shouldn’t bother. Your search will be in dire jeopardy.
2) Do you have a realistic budget for a new CRM software system? If the answer is no, you should wait until you have the requisite budget because there would be no point in looking at enterprise CRM systems if you only have a budget for a Rolodex. You’ll just be putting the success of your search in jeopardy.
3) Do you have company-wide buy in for this project? If the answer is no, stop right there. The project will be doomed to fail before you even start. Get everyone on board before you begin, from the top brass to the IT department, to the sales team. That’s how you avoid jeopardy.
4) Are your business processes documented? This is a critical step, so if your answer is no, put the project on hold. Documenting your business processes before you start meeting with potential vendors is a great way to save time and money during the selection AND the implementation process. It’s also a great way to take stock of the way you’re doing things now that you may want to change. This is not to say that skilled software resellers can’t do this with you. They can. But it’s better to have these ducks in a row ahead of time, so you don’t risk jeopardizing your search due to a lack of documentation.
5) Have you done your homework and created a short list? If the answer is no, your search is already in jeopardy. Because, whether you realize it or not, you do NOT really want to evaluate 12 different options. Why? Because in today’s world, you can find so much information online that it’s actually easy to eliminate candidates pretty quickly and boil your choices down to a short list of no more than four.
In summary, you need the following answers in place to avoid jeopardy: a compelling reason, a realistic budget, company-wide buy-in, business process documentation, and a short list.
I hope I’ve given you some direction and useful information from the point of view of a software reseller who has been around the block a few thousand times. We’ve seen all of the mistakes that companies make that put the software selection process in jeopardy.
Conversely, if your answer to all of questions above is YES!, then you may be ready to move up to a world-class Microsoft Dynamics CRM system. So please, browse our Web site at
By Marcia Nita Doron, Altico Advisors , Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM Partner serving New Hampshire (NH) and beyond.