CRM Selection Process Part III: Requirements

Jan 10, 2018 | General

CRM Selection Process Part III: Requirements 

There are hundreds of CRM options out there, and selecting the right one requires patience and diligent data gathering. So far you’ve identified the reasons for implementing a CRM as well as your stakeholders in Part 1. And in Part 2 you spent a great deal of time looking at your existing data and data location. In the third part of our four part series on CRM selection process, we’ll explore the next two steps you need to take BEFORE you even start coming up with a list of potential CRM vendors: data analysis and create clear requirements.
Remember, it is critically important to document, document, document as you move through the CRM process. Collecting the information is only helpful if you can use it later!

Data Analysis

Now that you’ve gathered all the data from executives, managers, end users and outside sources, it’s time to synthesize it. Create a spreadsheet that includes criteria for all possible data categories that apply to your company, and you’ll see the patterns begin to emerge. Your departments or categories might include:
  • Sales (Inside & Outside)
  • Sales Order Processing
  • Invoicing
  • Marketing
  • Market Research
  • Advanced Business Intelligence
  • Customer Service (In-house and Field Service Reps)
  • Systems Operations
  • Technology Requirements
  • Software / System Support and Services
Within each of these categories begin to identify the specific fields that you will need.  Remember in your CRM system you will be able to search on these fields – we’re talking about customer segmentation. Remember, your CRM is going to be gathering information that you’ll need to use later.  Some examples include: To analyze patterns and trends, determine the lifetime value of your customers, increase sales and increase engagement. Use these concepts to help you develop your sets of fields. 

Create Clear Requirements

This is the foundation for your vendors’ request for proposal (RFP). Through the data you gathered, you’ll see what the requirements are for your new system. This is the information you will share with your prospective vendors in order for them to give you a complete bid for their services. Be sure to give ALL vendors the same information! When a vendor requests more information – send it not only to the one who requested it, but to all your prospective CRM partners. That will keep your playing field “even” and ensures that all of your bids are based on the same information.
Now you are armed with the data you need to generate the best options possible. In the next blog, we’ll cover the three steps to vendor selection.
Feeling a little overwhelmed? You might want to download our guide to stronger customer relationships – detailed insight into the value, issues and ROI of CRM implementation, by clicking here.
AspenTech CRM has worked with hundreds of companies to find the CRM system that meets all their requirements. We know how to create clear requirements that make the CRM evaluation process a manageable one, leading to an informed decision. Give us a call today at (866) 880-4228.