Do Your Homework Before Choosing a CRM System

Be Careful

A recent article in industry trade journal CRM Buyer got us thinking. In it, the author tackles the surprisingly complicated subject of CRM systems. He wisely argues in favour of a comprehensive approach that acknowledges the importance of treating this business essential with kid gloves.

We couldn’t agree more.

The decision-making process that provides the steep and rocky path to CRM certainty is rife with potential for error. Its careful navigation is critical to success because, notes the article intro, “The errors you make early on will reverberate through the entire lifecycle of the CRM application.”

To help readers avoid such a fate, the blog offers “3 early errors that can kill CRM in the cradle.”

1. Being dishonest about what’s not working.

Sometimes, says the article, ego and fear inhibit business owners from being straight about the lay of their lands. They would sooner lay claim to a well-oiled machine than pause to highlight the cogs holding them back. But such rose-coloured glasses do nobody any favours.

“Honesty at the start of the project is critical,” the piece points out. “If your team is unable to handle this, or if the process causes too much internal tension, then look to a third party who can help you get to the painful truth.”

Enter 360 and its IT Health Check

Here, your business is the subject of a wide-ranging appraisal that:

1. identifies areas of risk;

2. recognizes inefficiencies;

3. provides a benchmark of industry best practices.

The report we produce amounts to a thorough snapshot of your IT infrastructure, offering details on its every aspect, from power protection to disaster recovery.

2. Rushing to a technology solution.

Before barreling into an expensive purchase, a company needs to first evaluate how it actually works — its processes, and how its people use them. Only with these data in hand can you reliably understand what software might address your problems — and solve them.

360’s Needs Analysis recognizes the need for every company to make clever choices with respect to which technology will best serve their business interests and requirements, present and future. And this kind of stuff, remember, is unique to every firm. Recognizing that the stakes are high and the risks considerable, 360 can step in and help an organization determine what CRM solution makes the most sense for its very individual needs.

3. Failing to lock down your own goals.

“The initial phases of examining your business should result in a list of goals” that provide business owners with something to aim for, says the story. Getting them wrong, no surprise, could prove fatal.

The massive undertaking that is the signing-on of a new CRM system is a scary, exciting thing. If the whole notion overwhelms you, as this piece sagely mentions, you’re human. But help is at hand.

Bring on the kid gloves.

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