The growth of CRM across businesses of all sizes continues unabated, and accordingly the options of available CRM systems and products are also increasing. The choices can make selecting the right CRM option a difficult task for CEOs. As a CEO, you need CRM software that enables measurable business growth, a competitive advantage, and better decision making.
Here are 7 questions that you need to ask before implementing a CRM solution:
1. What do the department heads want from the solution?
What is it that your CFO, IT manager, customer service manager, service managers, and marketing managers require? Cost-effective increases in productivity and high ROI on technology investments are what CFOs want. Corporate data security, easy access to information, scalability, and ease of use are what an IT manager wants. Similarly, sales and marketing managers require a CRM tool that allows quick access to up-to-date data and the ability to execute marketing communications across different channels.
2. How will CRM help?
What is your core business focus – is it expansion, consolidating your position, or introducing new products? Look for a CRM solution that complements your business focus and that can be integrated with your current business processes.
3. What should I choose?
What serves your business interests best – an on-demand solution or an on-premise solution? If you are heading an SMB, then should you choose an SMB product from a large vendor or from a mid-sized vendor that focuses specifically on SMBs? Which is the best industry-specific CRM for you? Or are you better served by choosing a generic CRM solution and then customizing it? Along with these considerations, you should also factor in your IT staff requirements.
4. How ready is your business for CRM software?
You should consider how customer-centric your business is. Is there a need to become less product-centric and more customer-centric? Do you have a value chain in place? Is the value measurable and will your CRM value be measurable as well?
5. How do I achieve a seamless deployment?
Factors to consider include the scalability of the solution, your plan for support services, issues to be covered in the service level agreement, and integration of the CRM solution with any legacy system that may be in place.
6. What are the compliance issues that I need to consider?
As the CEO, remember to consider any regulatory risks that may occur with a software deployment. Your efforts at going live with your CRM system depend to a great extent on your readiness regarding compliance matters.
7. Will the CRM solution live up to its name?
Whether or not your CRM deployment lives up to the term “customer relationship management” depends upon how well you answer the six questions listed above. You also need to be prepared to add the human level involvement in efforts such as marketing, sales, and other front-end processes.
CEOs considering a CRM deployment will undoubtedly hear of the high rate of CRM deployment failure. However, by asking the right questions and coming up with the right solutions, you can plan, deploy, implement, and then reap significant business benefits from your CRM system.