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10 Essential Steps for Building a Business Case for CRM

Type: #Blog#CRM

Your guide to getting all-important senior CRM buy-in.

While it’s likely that you know the business-boosting benefits of investing in a CRM platform, your company’s key stakeholders might not.

Ninety-one per cent of businesses with more than 11 employees use a CRM system. CRMs have the power to boost conversion rates by 300%. But while this is the case, not everyone is willing to invest in new technologies

If you’re a CRM advocate and want to convince decision-makers within your company to see the value in committing to a customer relationship management system, putting together a watertight case is vital.

We’re going to walk you through the essential steps to success.

1. Set your core business outcomes

Without a clear-cut idea of what you want to achieve with your CRM, it’s unlikely you’ll ever make it happen.

The first big step in building a viable business case for CRM is outlining your desired business outcomes while being as specific as possible.

For instance, do you want to achieve revenue growth through particular sales channels or improve your customer retention rates? Or are you looking to enhance decision-making and boost operational costs?

It’s likely you have more than one core reason for CRM investment, but the point is: setting definitive goals will ensure you lay down solid foundations for your business case.

2. Drill down into the necessary changes

Once you’ve set your core business outcomes, the next phase of the operation is to examine your outcomes in more detail.

Looking at your existing pain points will guide your efforts and allow you to assess the changes you will need to make to achieve your desired outcomes.

For example, you might find that your sales cycle are extremely long and your conversion poor or that your customer service response rates are subpar. Whatever the roadblock, identifying your most pressing issues will empower you to outline what you will need from your CRM to get to where you need to be.

Remember: A CRM shouldn’t just tackle your existing issues; it should also foster organisational progress and present new opportunities.

3. Understand the market in more detail

Step three involves putting your outcomes, pain points, and prospective initiatives into market context. To gain (and offer) a deeper understanding of how a CRM can benefit your business, you should see how your competitors are using CRMs to their advantage.

Discovering how your customers view your brand and your service will also let you know how CRM can provide the insight you need to improve vital aspects of your service delivery, consumer messaging, and engagement initiatives, among other areas.

4. Map out the commercial benefits

Armed with your outcomes, assessments, and market knowledge, you can map out the potential commercial benefits of investing in a CRM system.

Consider how access to comprehensive data-driven insights and sales forecasting & reporting automation will boost business productivity while calculating how much extra revenue you will get from your CRM investment.

Adding solid calculations, stats, and figures to your business case will make it more credible in the eyes of the stakeholders you’re looking to persuade. So, map out the likely benefits of a CRM in detail and back it up with solid examples or projections.

5. Consider the costs

With your prospective benefits firmly in place, the next logical step is outlining the costs of implementing a new CRM, taking integration requirements, regular system maintenance, and licence fees into consideration.

Gauging your costs will lead you to an accurate return on investment (ROI) calculation. And any vendor worth their salt will give you an accurate breakdown of those all-important CRM costs.

6.  Work out your CRM return on investment (ROI)

Expanding on our previous point, once you’ve worked out an accurate breakdown of costs, you should work out the prospective ROI of your CRM investment.

Providing the board with an accurate ROI calculation (including definitive targets and benchmarks relating to your CRM implementation) will make your business case all the more compelling.

Our practical guide to calculating the ROI of your CRM will give you all of the tools you need to get started. You can also use our ROI calculator.

7. Outline your budget

With your ROI firmly in place, you should set a realistic budget for your CRM implementation and investment initiatives.

To navigate this stage of the journey successfully, it’s important to consult potential vendors concerning costs if you’re looking to scale your ROI figures up or down before taking those numbers to the board.

Set your budget carefully, and once you’re confident you’ve reached an achievable figure, you’ll be ready to move onto the next phase.

8. Look at the long term

When we say “look at the long term,” we mean that you must look at how you’re going to future-proof your business case.

Looking at the immediate results on quick wins will make your case shallow. If you want to create an argument that is compelling and impactful, looking at the benefits of your CRM over a five-year period is vital.

Take an honest look at how your business is likely to change and scale in five years, as well as how CRM technology is likely to evolve. Any worthwhile vendor will be happy to help you find viable answer to those essential questions.

9. Hone in on your strongest points

To refine your business case and convince the board and your colleagues to buy into a CRM system, you should choose the three most compelling benefits at your disposal.

Highlight the advantages that offer the greatest returns or provide the best personal benefits to the work lives of everyone in the business. You might focus on revenue growth or a significant reduction in operational costs, reduced administrative responsibilities, and access to better-quality, more accessible insights.

Honing in on your strongest points will help you sell your story without overwhelming everyone with too much information.

10. Identify and involve your key stakeholders

Last but not least, when compiling your CRM business case, you must identify the stakeholders that are likely to guide your proposal to success.

Reach out to senior stakeholders within the business—not only those with budgetary sign-offs but also decision-makers with authority that can act as effective advocates for the benefits of CRM investment.

Involve the right people, and your CRM business case will be far more likely to gain the momentum and approval it deserves.

We hope this 10-step plan guides you towards success. To explore these concepts in more detail, download our definitive CRM business case building guide.