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Pam Selección de Software CRM: A Best Practices Approach

 

Your Selección de CRM Requirements List

You should now have before you a customer assessment, a map of your customer relationship policies and processes, your business strategy and your software inventory. From these, you're in an ideal position to build a CRM software checklist of the things you need Customer Relationship Management software to do. A prioritized CRM software requirements checklist provides a rock solid backdrop and the information to systemically align your top business requirements with particular CRM applications.

For example, perhaps you see from these combined lists that you need to sync your sales team and gain visibility into sales trends and quarterly reports in real or near-real time. Perhaps you need more, such as the ability to integrate this information with software you are already using or a mobile CRM component that will help transform your field service or repair technicians into additional sales people. Whatever it is that you truly need CRM software to address, put it down on your checklist.

There are a few additional CRM requirements you should consider for your CRM shopping list. Here are a some of the most common:

  • Scalability – Identify your future business and application software needs for scalability. You will want to know if the CRM solutions under review will be able to scale to handle your future growth. What software modules, feature sets or new functionalities can be added later to help you with that growth? Some examples: customer surveys, multi-currency management, quotes generation, sales order processing, quota management, increased analytics, mobile CRM, social CRM and deeper integration with legacy systems. Once you understand what is available from your CRM vendor to support future business growth, be sure to understand the costs involved to scale or add future software feature sets. Ask about costs to add additional users, as well.

  • Web-based vs Installed Software – It's important to understand whether a specific CRM product requires local software installation, maintenance and support or is entirely web-based and accessible via an Internet connection. There is no right or wrong answer to this question other than what your company prefers or requires. Make no assumptions on remote accessibility. Decide in advance if you want remote accessibility and if so, your preferred method of delivery.

  • Consider Your Brand – Increasingly, consumers expect to be able to do business 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fortunately, with self service options, online community channels, e-commerce integration and intelligent call center routing, CRM software can help you accomplish that. However, there are other less common considerations to ponder that affect how your brand is perceived by the consumer. For example, customers of a discount operation tend to prefer fast click through but customers of big box to high-end retailers want to read customer reviews, share special finds via medios sociales, and choose from several shipping options. If your CRM delivers less than your brand projects or your customer expects, you'll soon be in trouble. It's vital that you choose a CRM solution that presents a view to the customer that is consistent with your brand.

  • Data In, Cash Out – Look at your existing data with fresh eyes and determine if you can get more value or intelligence out of that same data than your current system allows. For example, if you change a text field in your online survey form to a multi-select form you can find emerging customer trends faster. This information can be used to trigger your supply chain to add inventory, your merchandiser to bundle certain goods or services, your finance people to offer new purchase options, and your company to add or discontinue product lines ahead of the curve to spur profits or curb losses. By making the determination that a web form change is in order, you'll know to look for that capability in a new CRM solution. In other words, don't assume you need merely to add on to what you have; consider instead that you need to revitalize that information and how it is used.

  • Contact Center Impact – If you currently operate centros de contacto then you will need to weigh potential impact on those centers before you make a change, particularly if those centros de contacto are in other countries as there could be additional licensing and technical issues. If your centros de contacto have special needs from knowledge bases and call scripting to language variations and integration issues, then add those to your CRM shopping list. If you do not have a contact center but plan to have one or more in the future then look for the flexibility and scalability in CRM solutions to accommodate your plans.

  • Consider Training and Support Needs – Training and support issues are just as important as software features and system functionality. Understand the PC skills and proficiency of your staff and decide before you shop how much training assistance you need to bring your staff up to speed on new CRM software. CRM software training is often under-estimated, closely linked with change management challenges and often cited with CRM software failures. Knowing your users' training requirements in advance can aid you in planning, and negotiating training costs with the CRM purchase.

    The same applies to user support issues. Do you have sufficient staff to support CRM software? Generally, on-premise CRM requires more IT involvement inside your company than does hosted CRM. However, not all hosted CRM software can efficiently run without some internal IT support. Determine now how much internal IT support you have available and how many IT hours you are willing to allocate to CRM. Additionally, support from the CRM vendor is likely to be an ongoing process. It would be prudent to ask vendors for references from companies using their product to gauge support satisfaction. Make the calls and see if their customers are happy with the support they receive after the sale. This knowledge will go far in helping you select the right CRM partner for your company.

If you are unsure whether a function is available in a CRM product add it to your list anyway so you will remember to ask the vendors about it. Always ask the vendors questions rather than solely rely on the various collaterals and online product descriptions because competing vendors sometimes list the same features by a different name. Also, the functionality you seek may be a matter of customization or extended functionality or even achieved through integration with other software and thus may not be listed separately on a features list.

In short, make your list comprehensive but do not assume feature lists from vendors' sales materials and on web sites are comprehensive.

Even so, you can now begin a preliminary elimination process. This is helpful considering how many CRM brands and features are out there. Compare your list of needs to the vendors' lists of capabilities and eliminate those that provide less – or more—than are on your requirements list.

This exercise will render a list of suitable CRM software solution candidates. Unless you have chosen a software delivery platform, separate your list into two lists according to platform; one list will be on-premise versions and the other will be Software as a Service (SaaS).

Next - Avoid These CRM Pitfalls >>

CRM Software SelectionCRM Selection StrategyCRM Selection RequirementsCRM PitfallsCRM Negotiation

 

 

 

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Training and support issues are just as important as software features and system functionality. CRM application training is often under-estimated, closely linked with change management challenges and often cited with CRM software failures. Knowing your users' training requirements in advance can aid you in planning, and negotiating training costs with your CRM purchase.

 

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