There are many factors that can influence a CRM solution scope for an organization. Factors may include meeting specific timeline, budget, business requirements, user/department preferences, available resources and technologies, and others. Thus there’s always going to be some tradeoffs and negotiations in scope/feature, cost, and/or timeline in successfully implementing a CRM solution.
In the previous article, I bundled CRM Solutions into one of the three groups: Basic, Standalone, and Integrated. In this posting, I will talk about an approach you can take in choosing the “right” CRM Solution for an organization.
I am going to elaborate on Value and Pareto’s Principle (the 80/20 rule) concepts and how applying these two concepts can be beneficial for an organization in getting a handle on their CRM solution scope and approach.
Value of product/service is defined by weighing the benefit(s) and the cost associated in obtaining that product/service. Thus when one assesses the “Value” of one of these CRM Solutions, they need to weigh the benefits these CRM solutions can bring to an organization and the cost associated to acquire them. It should be noted that the value is subjective, since not all benefits are easily quantifiable, and often is based on individuals’ perception; however, using a value criteria can help an organization to focus on what’s important (not all important features may be necessary right away) and assist them in selecting the right set of CRM features for their organization at a point in time. Following are couple of high level questions that should be addressed by an organization pursuing to implement one of the three CRM solutions:
- What specific benefits does an organization want to realize out of the CRM solution?
- How much can an organization afford or budget for the CRM solution?
Secondly, we can apply Pareto’s Principle (80/20 rule) to application solution usage. Pareto’s Principle states that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In CRM application usage, one can say that 80% of CRM usage will come from 20% of the CRM features/requirements. In other words, implementing the top 20% of the most frequently used features will make up the 80% of the CRM application usage by the users. This is not to say that an organization should only implement the top 20% of the most frequently used features and not the rest. In addition to the most frequently used features, there will be other important specific features/requirements that will need to be implemented for a given organization based on their business needs. Thus careful analysis and planning of business requirements and CRM features are required to scope out the right CRM solution whether it’s Basic, Standalone, or Integrated CRM solution. The point is that an organization can realize CRM solution benefits even if they do not implement all of their business requirements and features of CRM to realize productivity benefits of the CRM solution.
When an organization takes the approach of looking at their CRM scope from the value perspective and pick and choose the features/requirements that are important and/or will be frequently used by the users of the system (80/20), they will be able to create a CRM solution that’s useful and cost effective for the organization.