What to consider when creating your CRM ROI forecast

Creating a CRM ROI forecast is essential if you are to keep track of the actual benefits when compared to those intended.  You would have already created this when you commissioned the original management report to put forward the argument for the new CRM system. This would then have been perused and evaluated by management before going ahead.  Within the body of this report you would have referred to such things as saving money, improved transaction speed, reduction on the amount of staff hours required to carry out certain processes etc. Whatever you put together is now your kick off point for further evaluating your CRM budget and ROI forecast.

Where to begin

It may need a little bit of fine-tuning or refining but basically the content of this original report should provide you with the raw material to get going in order to calculate metrics and take measures. Your end goal is to prove that the intended ROI has been achieved and in order to do this, all forms of added value should be illustrated.

Recommended reading: figure out how much your CRM project is likely to cost using our completely up-to-date CRM pricing guide

But where do you get your benchmark data from? You will need to compare the CRM now to the manual system that was in place before. In order to do this, you will need to find historical data and then compare to the new metrics, unless you were canny enough to put in place a new metrics reporting system some time prior to the new CRM going live. However, don’t make the mistake on getting fixated with cost reductions. Look at other ways of showing improvement such as major advances in relation to processes and systems, advanced accuracy, addition of sophisticated reporting and keeping a handle on general sales system activity.

Look at the bigger picture

If management have the idea in their head that a CRM system is a burden that has to be accepted as an unwanted necessity on the list of company overheads, they have their thinking skewed; the CRM system should not be viewed as just a cost that cannot be eradicated and because of this, you should concentrate on ways of measuring the service quality of the system, the new and additional projects that you have been able to cope with or the free time that staff are now able to utilise. It’s all about looking at the bigger picture.

Another great way of enhancing your report is to look at the risks that have been mitigated. For example, if you had not gone ahead with the new CRM, what risks might you have faced? Have the risks now reduced?  Have any negatives that may have influenced the company been totally avoided altogether? This is a good way of boosting the return on your investment and is something that should not be ignored.  

Now and in the future

By creating your CRM ROI the correct way and taking into account the many positive attributes of the system and not just financial ones, you will be provided with an accurate measure of ROI and even a forecast of where you expect the new system to take the company in the future.

When drawing up a CRM budget or calculating ROI, always remember that the new system is an ongoing and formative piece of complex software that is going to add value to the company not only now but going forward too.

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Jane Tareen

About the author…

An MBA-qualified professional, Jane specializes in all kinds of copywriting and creative content production. With many years spent working in advertising and publishing, she is also skilled in editorial production and proof-reading. Whilst writing, she has a constant companion in the form of one very large Fox Red Labrador!

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Jane Tareen