When it comes to choosing a CRM platform, decision makers are often left scratching their heads. Which platform is best for my needs? How can I keep my organisation’s marketing, sales and customer service teams happy? Which option will deliver the greatest return on investment? If these questions sound familiar, you’re not alone. While most people responsible for IT purchase decisions are well acquainted with CRM software, it’s important to remember that not all are created equal.
Choosing the right product and partner can deliver a considerable strategic advantage. This is especially true when it comes to harnessing data to build intimate customer relationships across the lifetime. Read on to discover the top five questions to ask your implementation partner before choosing a CRM platform.
1. Can you help me identify my most valuable data?
You need to be confident that the data in your CRM will work for your business rather than having to make your data fit your software. Too much irrelevant data can make CRMs sluggish, making it difficult to access valuable information quickly. A good implementation partner will help identify which historical data holds the most value, and which does not need to be added to your CRM.
2. How will you keep my data safe?
Regardless of the business you are in, you’re likely to have a degree of sensitive data that you want to protect from unauthorised access. And it’s not just government agencies and financial institutions that need to worry about security. Every organisation should have effective CRM security protocols to protect against threats. The best implementation partners ensure your data is hack-resistant and secure. They may also recommend establishing Centre of Excellence committees to keep your CRM data protected.
3. What training will be provided?
Even the best CRM platforms will fail to deliver results without adequate user training. Comprehensive training is critical to the success of a CRM in a variety of significant ways. Top implementation partners offer training that increases user awareness of the CRM’s functions, features and customisation. Robust, well-executed training will result in users who are more confident. This leads to greater efficiencies, increased adoption and higher acceptance.
4. How will my chosen CRM platform fit within our broader digital strategy?
Some service providers view a CRM as little more than a database. We believe this perspective limits the value of CRM platform. A CRM is much more than a way to manage sales leads or store contact details. It’s essential that all its data can be uncovered and used as part of a comprehensive digital strategy. Leading implementation partners, on the other hand, recognise that CRMs – especially in the context of personalisation and building intimate customer relationships – should form part of a broader digital strategy to deliver targeted, personalised and successful marketing campaigns.
5. Do you outsource implementation to a third party?
The last thing you want after building a relationship with an implementation partner is to have the actual work outsourced to someone else. It happens more often than you might expect. The best providers understand your chosen platform and manage end-to-end delivery and support. They partner with you to translate your objectives into an actionable plan. This results in a better experience for your customers, and improved outcomes for your organisation.
Bonus: How will you customise my CRM platform to deliver maximum benefits?
Beware of implementation partners that adopt a cookie cutter approach to CRM. The most effective CRM solutions are those that are tailored to an organisation’s specific needs. Your organisation might get the best results with a platform like Salesforce, for example, while another may need a combination of products to realise their business goals.
Choosing a CRM can, understandably, be fraught with concerns. So it’s vital that your chosen CRM solution demonstrates a high return on investment and is fit for purpose. Choosing the right implementation partner and knowing which questions to ask them can go a long way towards ensuring you purchase a CRM that delivers. RXP is a market leader with extensive experience in designing and implementing high performing CRM solutions. To find out how RXP can work with you, get in touch or download our free white paper: Digital Trends 2017: Harnessing data to build customer intimacy.