CRM requirements gathering: your complete guide
Defining your CRM requirements accurately is important for the following reasons:
- Funding can be allocated correctly – by gaining the attention of management early on; funding is much more likely to be allocated. You need to show how the company will benefit from the new system and how it can be achieved.
- Purchasing risks are minimised – the likelihood of purchasing an incorrect system is far less likely when the function of the CRM is understood before technology is singled out.
- Costs can be reduced – by ensuring that suppliers provide quotations tailored against a detailed specification, costs are far more likely to be accurate.
- Project delivery is faster – a detailed specification lends itself to a much faster implementation.
- Cash flow is protected – requirements are gathered together before you start spending.
- Project adherence – your project is far more likely to come in on time and on cost as requirements should not change. The chance of ‘scope-creep’ is removed.
- User understanding – this will be enhanced as those that will use the system will better understand why it is needed.
How to carry out this stage of the process
It is well worth taking the time to get this stage right as once the groundwork is done, everything else should follow on much more smoothly. As well as putting together a list of requirements together in a document, formulated in a document or spreadsheet, you also need to link into the processes that the new software will integrate with. The full value of the CRM system will not be utilised if it is not used correctly and does not fix a path towards defined objectives.
You will find it much easier if you make a note of the outcomes you wish to bring about and then work towards the processes required. Look at each element in detail, working out how each element should be supported, the functional needs and migration of current data plus integration demands going forward.
Your introduction could begin with a summary of the current situation, problems occurring such as poor workflow and delayed internal processes and the desired outcome. Then move towards details of the processes necessary to achieve each objective. Look at the related functional CRM requirements, ending up with a document that will bring about the purchase of the most suitable system from the most satisfactory supplier.
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