If a significant customer relationship management (CRM) system project is on your agenda, here are some checklist items that the vendor proposal you have should contain.
The proposal should have references in your industry. It works as a proof that the vendor has domain knowledge and project successes in business environments similar to yours. Though references are hard for vendors to produce, make sure there is the right depth in the vendor’s team. You should always supplement the vendor-supplied references with calls to friends you have working at your competitors.
The proposal should also have ample amount of integration with market automation scenario. Sometimes, the best of breed in CRM systems have weak marketing automation features, and vice-versa. The system will be incomplete if it isn’t tightly integrated with enterprise-scale e-mail blasters, advertising engines, social media monitors, landing page generators, registration systems, and event management/calendaring features unless your CRM project is focused only on customer support. Make sure that your project uses only off-the-shelf adaptors for marketing automation, enterprise resource planning (ERP), order entry, delivery/fulfilment, and other related systems.
Since CRM is all about communication with the customers and internal staff, the CRM system needs to be integrated with the main channels of communication: e-mail and phone. This means private branchexchange (PBX), auto-dialers, automatic call directors (ACD), interactive voice response(IVR), and any cloud telephony infrastructure, depending on your company’s scale.
Keep watching this space to know more about such mandates to keep in mind while accepting a CRM Vendor Proposal.