By Dick Wooden on October 2, 2013 at 8:30 AM
Here are the most common requirements we hear from our potential clients:
- It must be scalable so as my business grows I know that it can handle the new data, the emails communications, and the digital documents that our business will need to access. We may be a small business now but we expect to become a mid-sized business within 3 years!
- It must be adaptable, configurable or better yet, customizable so that the CRM system can be personalized for my business terminology, operational processes and future needs.
- It must have integration with common Microsoft Office suite: Outlook for email, Word for templates and mail merging and Excel for imports and exports.
- Accessible multiple devices: I want it to be easily accessible from my Windows 8 desktop or MacBook Air laptop, my home PC through a web browser, or a remote connection such as Windows RPD or Citrix. Also it needs to work with the mobile smart phone that I'm now using which may be switched to an iPhone, Windows phone or Android phone.
- It must be practical to the sales reps in the field using their smart phone or tablet and easy to use so their productivity can provide them more selling face time with customers and prospects. Can it quickly lookup a contact, make a phone call and allow them to type in notes of the call?
- My IT manager says that it must be based on the Microsoft SQL database and the CRM database must be extendable and modifiable. They will need tools to make form, query and report modifications.
- It must help my CSR's quickly understand the past communications when a prospect or existing customer calls in. They need to be able to build rapport quickly, show an concerned interest in helping the caller and then quickly make notes about the conversation. Ideally if they are supporting a sales representative they need to be able to pull up existing quotes and make changes as needed and send off the revised quote.
- There needs to be various self-help and on-demand training available - our people only have so much free time to invest in training in one setting, so refresher training options would be helpful. It would be great if you can create how-to videos using our system info so the training is more real.
- When this system is implemented we like to take baby steps so we can adjust and make the change a gradual process. Can you also provide a pilot phase so we can get some key people involved, to provide feedback and then roll on the latest and greatest to the whole company?
- My sales manager needs to get an update daily on what the sales reps have been doing and what they have on their weekly schedules. If our sales manager can eliminate the need for the sales people to create a call report that would be an additional benefit.
- We must be able to trust the CRM system to be available whenever and however we need it now and in the future. Ideally the CRM system becomes our one true version of the truth...
- It must be developed by a well-established software publishing company that continues to innovate and support their product. I've heard that ACT! contact management has over 25 years in its market-place and Saleslogix CRM over 15 in mid-market- that matters.
- Able to Measure success: It needs to be able to have reports that can provide an executive overview of sales opportunities, services issues/resolutions and marketing effectiveness. The reports need to have the ability for us to easily select filter conditions so we can drill into the detail we need at different times. An added benefit would inclusion of advanced business analytics that would also like to CRM related information in my accounting system.
- Accessible and Helpful CRM Guide: Ideally there should be a local business partner that I can call who not only supports the software but also can provide insights and solutions to my related business development needs.
- As an investment it needs to appreciate in value. Of course, it must be cost effective and help my business to generate a positive return on the investment. I know that my staff will use this heavily and enter lots of information about our prospects and customers. So it will become a huge knowledge database for us. (Likewise whenever I sell the business.)
If some of these are what you wanted then give Dick at call at 269-445-3001. I'd be glad to help and discuss ideas and improvement options for your business.
What is a want, need or must have in your CRM system for achieving business excellence?