No company in the world wants to buy a CRM system that no one will use after its installation. A thorough analysis can prevent such an unpleasant situation. Why is the analysis of a CRM implementation project so important?
In our article, The Joys and Sorrows of Implementing CRM, we focused on companies that want to start using CRM and outlined the entire implementation process from the very beginning. We also described the pre-selection process as the potential problems that emerge during the initial stage may cause fatal errors in the future. Therefore, the analysis of the project deserves special attention. As it is said, a calm sea does not make a skilled sailor.
Analyze the project step by step
To have a better overview and understanding of the implementation process, it is ideal to divide the project analysis into several categories. This will give you a complete picture of what you want to achieve, and it will be easier for you to unweave the imaginary ball of tasks.
The organizational structure of your company
- Think about the organizational structure of your company and put together a team whose members select the ideal CRM. The team should include the representatives of all departments that will work with CRM. This is the only way to conduct an objective analysis focused on CRM software requirements.
- You are not defining an organizational structure just to collect thoughts from all types of users. You will also be able to resolve different user levels, which helps you set the corresponding access rights.
- One of the most significant benefits of CRM is data sharing. In other words, the unlimited availability of the necessary information and documents. However, data sharing should be in line with the organizational structure of your company. For example, some documents must not leave the human resources or accounting department.
- Find out what data you need to record in CRM. Typically, this includes customer data, business opportunities, projects, communication history, or scheduled activities.
- Once you have this information, verify that CRM can work with the data required. This applies especially to companies that use special working procedures.
- It is also important to note that each department within the company works with different data and can use the so-called custom forms which customize the administration settings according to individual company processes without the involvement of a developer.
- Data management is closely related to the import of existing data. Before the implementation of CRM, make sure that you will import data from Excel, Outlook, or that you select a different method.
- Select your CRM system so that it meets your needs as much as possible already in default settings. Do you want the CRM software to keep an eye on deadlines, automatically send emails, or check important information? Then make sure that the selected CRM can do it.
- You can automate several company processes thanks to CRM integration with third-party tools. If you use an accounting or editorial software that is compatible with CRM, it would be a pity not to use this option. So explore this possibility as well.
- If a specific CRM does not offer the integration with the system you work with, find out if the CRM software is open to further development. Of course, additional development increases the cost of your CRM implementation project. So consider whether the new feature is adequately beneficial. However, if you select a CRM that does not support further development, you close this option entirely.
- For most companies, it is essential not only to control the progress of business opportunities but also to analyze their results. Thanks to CRM, you can track, for example, the number of bids, orders, calls, meetings, emails, and much more. Moreover, you can check the progress of ongoing projects, timesheets, holidays, payrolls, and other data.
- If you can think ahead and evaluate the reports you need, you might come up with new ideas.
- The technology issue is crucial, even if most users will not have to deal with it. Moreover, it can reduce the possibilities of the CRM selection process. One of the first questions is whether you decide for the desktop or web application version.
- Next, you have to discuss with your IT department if you prefer to install CRM on your own server or select a cloud solution. For security reasons, some businesses prefer their own servers. The fact is that cloud solutions do not require their own infrastructure and are therefore not so expensive.
- Last but not least, think about the availability of the system. If someone from your company works during travels or is often outside the company, he can use the mobile app or the web app, if CRM is available in this variant as an add-on.
How to evaluate CRM system requirements?
Do you have all the necessary information and are aware of CRM requirements? Then it is a good idea to sort them by importance. One of the most effective classifications is to "must have", "would have" and "nice to have" requirements. In short, there are some requirements that can not be changed. Then you should sort the criteria according to the order in which they can be addressed. The assessment of your needs could, therefore, be as follows:
- Technology requirements should be the first to evaluate. If a server or even a user PC does not meet the requirements for CRM operation, it is not possible to continue with the implementation process. However, thanks to the current standards in the PC world, this is mostly not a problem.
- Once you solve the technology issue, you can focus on the user part. You should start with data management. Divide your data by importance and verify if the CRM software meets your needs.
- When you know what data you want to process, you can address CRM functions. This part may be quite creative for some types of companies. If you are not sure, which functions to select, CRM helps you set efficient work processes. If you feel this is your case, contact CRM experts.
- The list of reports should be based on data management and system functions. The system should, therefore, export reports containing the data you require in the format you need. In most companies, this happens in Excel.
- Although you have divided users at the beginning of the project analysis by the organizational structure of the company to gain knowledge from all departments that will work with CRM, when it comes to the evaluation, it is the other way around. You must determine the roles of users and decide what data they will work with, what functions they will use, or what information is appropriate for reporting in their department.
So, before proceeding to the CRM implementation, be aware that there is a huge difference between the installation and implementation of the software. The difference is hidden in an in-depth analysis that helps you test the CRM software to ensure you and your employees that you will use the software and enjoy its efficiency-increasing benefits.