You know your organisation needs a CRM solution, so why not start the buying process? You know all the benefits it will bring – revenue growth, lower operational costs and enhanced visibility of key business information to inform and improve business decision-making.
Surely the sooner you get it in place the sooner your organisation will start enjoying those benefits, so you should start reviewing vendors straightaway?
The problem is you will be pushing for an investment that is likely to be significant – significant in licence and implementation costs, and in the amount of effort required by the organisation. Very few Boards are going to simply wave it through; most will want to see a robust business case.
Identifying specific benefits
This is the point many CRM implementations go wrong. Before choosing a vendor you need to spend time building a business case. Fail to do this and you run the risk of asking your Board for a substantial investment without presenting a robust and persuasive argument based on rigorous research and presented with clarity. That is a meeting that is unlikely to go well.
Furthermore, even if you do get investment you will run the risk of implementing your solution without a clear view of either potential benefits or objectives. Far too many CRM implementations fail to deliver the anticipated benefits, and one of the primary reasons for this is organisations failing to build a business case.
You may well be convinced of the general arguments for CRM, but it is only by building a robust business case that you understand the specific benefits it will bring to your organisation. Where precisely in your organisation can you increase revenue, improve customer retention, cut costs, and so on? Gather this granular detail and you are far more likely to get investment and to deliver those specific benefits.
In our new ‘Step by Step Guide to Building a Business Case for CRM’ we detail the ten essential steps to getting it right:
- Understand your desired business outcomes
- Assess the required changes
- Understand the market context
- Map through to commercial benefits
- Understand the Costs
- Calculate return on investment (ROI)
- Define a budget
- Future-proof your case
- Focus on your strongest points
- Identify and involve key stakeholders
It is a time-consuming, complex, and often contentious process, but this guide breaks it down into clear, manageable steps to follow and provide insights into what you need to do at each step in the process. It also shows the areas where you can get help. In particular, it highlights the areas where you can call in CRM vendors.
Vendors expertise of implementations across sectors and in different types of companies should be very useful in assessing likely benefits and costs, but it is important to bring them in at the right stage and ask them the right questions.
Finally, bear in mind that this process may well take some time, but it is time well spent. Follow the ten steps and you will emerge with a CRM system that will transform the way your business operates. Begin today and before long your colleagues will be as excited as you are by the potential of a well implemented CRM.