The Common Sense Questions To Ask

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As the economy continues to limp by, you realize your business
requires efficiencies.  You need to better compete and you want to
do more with less.  So, you do some research, verify with
business associates and come to the conclusion that you need a new
system to help streamline and automate operations.   Yes, you
have been introduced to Customer Relationship Management — a
combination of strategy and software solutions may take your business
to the next level.
   Caution!  It is a serious
move that requires a serious investment — both time and money.

You are now ready to start reviewing the many different vendors and
options relating to your deployment.   It is somewhat
overwhelming but with the help of the internet and perhaps a
consultant, you start your review.  Once you have narrowed it down
to the last 3 vendors, it is time to make a decision.   Right
before you do this, perhaps asking some Common Sense Questions may be
prudent:

  • Does the Solution Deliver Business Objectives
    Not just general business objectives but objectives unique
    to your organization or your small business.  The specific way
    your Sales team works.   The unique marketing methodologies
    you utilize.  The outsourced customer service company that you
    use.   Or perhaps, something as simple as the various
    internet devices utilized by your business to get the job done.
     
  • What is the Programs Long Term Value
    Is this a permanent Hosted (SaaS) model where you
    subscribe to the service or is the solution an on-premise solution
    where you require the right IT staff to deploy and maintain the
    system.   Or better still,  is there flexibility — can
    you move between Hosted or On-Premise?   As your business
    requirements change, does the solution grow with you or will you be
    going to this entire process again in 3 years?   So, what is
    the ROI again?
     
  • Cost
    Many a time, you look at the cost of the software license
    (if it is an on-premise solution) or monthly subscription
    cost (if it is an online hosted solution) and you make your decision
    based on that.  Wait a minute!  There is more.  
    What about the cost of training your staff, on-going
    maintenance and additional services not part of the “package” ? 
     
  • Staffing Requirements
    Time and time again a deployment has gone south just
    because the appropriate level of staffing to deploy a CRM initiative
    successfully was completely neglected.   The sooner you
    realize that this is NOT just like installing a new version of MS
    WORD, the better!   The CRM system will force everyone
    in your organization to work a certain way!  So, not Configuring
    it correctly can be disastrous!  It is
    absolutely critical that the CRM solution works the way you
    do business and not the other way!   This requires
    appropriate levels of staffing to review, coordinate and get
    trainned.   It will take time of your managers, your
    executives, your line staff, your…  you get the message — it
    touches everyone in your organization.  So, all staff must be
    trained on it.  Make sure that you have allocated and accounted
    for the time.
     
  • Risk
    Last but certainly not least — the Risk.  What if you
    do not meet the timeline for deployment? What if the CRM initiative is
    a Failure?  Yes, what if it is?  How will it impact your
    business.   Answering these two questions will avoid any
    undesirable consequences to the health of your business should you have
    to face them.   Having said this, CRM industry has come a
    long way since the late 1990 and your chances of success is almost a
    guarantee — of-course, you must follow best practices.

In addition to the above questions, there are best practices that
can help ensure a successful CRM deployment.  I encourage you to
visit our Resource Links.    But as always, feel free to
ask a question and we will utilize our vast experience to put you on
the path to success.

[url=http://blog.suradocrm.com] CRM 1080 [/url]

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