Tips, tricks, and tools for defining CRM system requirements
While other types of software have fairly standard requirements, CRM can vary widely from one company to the next. What does your business need in terms of CRM?What makes CRM software such a challenge for businesses, developers, and IT managers? If you're ready to choose a CRM model or hire a programming firm to create one for you, you may already have discovered the first problem: defining exactly what you want and need from such a system.
Unlike ERP or accounting software, which have essential functions and features that are pretty much standard across industries and companies, CRM can take many forms. It can comprise anything from a limited customer service platform to extensive, feature-rich software with a much broader scope. How can companies determine exactly what they need? What's the secret to creating a CRM system that will work for your business?
CRM: What does it mean?If the first problem in designing a CRM system is identifying what you really need, then the real issue may be the terminology itself. "CRM", or "Customer Relationship Management", can refer to any aspect of a business' operations that involves customers - from organising accounts to sales to support and customer care. CRM may encompass surveys and elaborate research schemes to determine exactly what your customers want and need, or it can be as simple as an information management model for your sales and customer service departments.
Because there is so much variation in how different companies define CRM, it's important to pinpoint exactly what you require from your system. Ideally, this should be done before you contract a developer - or even before you start interviewing candidates to build your new CRM platform.
Five factors that are more important than CRM featuresRead on to identify five of the major factors that every business should consider when pursuing CRM systems:
If you're considering a new CRM system for your company, be sure to factor these five elements into your planning and contract discussions. Your foresight will pay off in terms of functionality, ease of use, steady reliability and security, translating into years of growth and improvements.
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