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Choosing a CRM System

Often CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is only considered when business owners think things are getting slow or revenues fail to flow. This is only one reason to consider a CRM system.

One of the most important tasks when looking for a CRM system is  - Who will be responsible for establishing an on-going consistent customer strategy for your business that continues to build sales, revenues, profits and value?

For any CRM strategy to be successful you need an internal champion. The tool you choose will often have a greater chance of success if there is commitment to success and responsibility from someone inside your organisation.. Often the tool you choose must also be liked by the internal champion and be compatible with your internal systems.

Whether you’re seeking a to begin your journey or looking for further expand on an existing system our group can assist you. Our services could include but are not limited to:

  1. Looking at a new system.
  2. Upgrading an existing system.
  3. Converting from an existing system.
  4. Expanding an existing system.

Each of the above require a different strategy. When you choose 4UCRM your consultant will work with you “one-on-one” to be that “go-to” CRM expert your business demands. Your Consultant has mastered more than 10 proven strategies that will help evolve your company to the next level. They have the tools to help you measure your ROI on customer acquisition campaigns.

There are over 200 CRM products in today’s marketplace. Before choosing one for your business it is important to develop and follow a strategic plan.

If you take the time to develop your plan before you engage any consultant generally the outcome is 25-50% greater than just doing it because everyone else is.

Some keys to begin the process are:

  1. What goals are you trying to achieve?
    • Higher customer retention?
    • Better response campaigns?
    • More sales reporting?
  2. Have you set yourself a budget?
    • Software
      • Software costs vary from system to system and you should allow for future upgrade costs where applicable at least for the first 2 years.
    • Implementation
      • This will vary from system to system be in house, SAS or server based.
      • Regardless of which system you choose you need to allow for some of your budget to get some external assistance in determining what will work in your business.
    • Training
      • Allow for everyone to receive some expert training? In general you should allow a min of 4 hours per user.
    • Hardware costs?
      • Do you require new hardware or upgrades to your existing systems?
  3. Are key staff involved in the decision process?
    • Having key staff involved means that there is some internal ownership of both the project and processes involved.
    • You will get an opportunity throughout the process to find the internal champion which in all IT projects means your business has a far better chance of success and moving forward at a faster rate than normal.
  4. Have you made a list of functional indicators that you want included in your project?
    • These could include:
      • Mail Merge capability
      • Remote or web access
      • Easy search capability
      • Ability to grow with your business
  5. Have you made a list of the goals you want to achieve?
    • If you are able to clearly outline the business goals you will find that you can then pinpoint the specific areas of
      • Better reporting
      • Better Sales accountability
      • Increased turnover
      • Better profitability
      • Better productivity
  6. Do you have a plan for your test and production rollouts?
    • One of the key components is to make sure that if you are testing multiple options that it is as close to what will end up being your production environment.
    • If you are using multiple vendors at this stage have you allowed in your budget for this investment of testing.
    • General recommendation here is do not just pick a vendor and rollout, do some testing first.

All of these steps are important to ensure your investment maintains a return over the long term not just in the honeymoon period. We have clients we have been working with for more than 15 years.

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© Copyright 2011 4UCRM.com  All rights reserved. Last Updated Tuesday, September 18, 2012
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