Choosing the right ERP CRM or customer relationship management software system for your company is somewhat like a partnership, and it is critical that you get the right system implemented the first time. Spend enough time on the CRM selection process and do your homework. A thorough due diligence process goes beyond reading articles and reviews. There is a good chance that these materials are biased in some fashion or another. Get on the phone or meet with ime. Do your due diligence, which means do more than read articles and pointers such as this one. Do some networking and talk to or better yet, meet with current and former customers that are in the same line of business and industry. Unless you are involved with ERP software and CRM implementations on a daily basis, there is a good chance that you do not know the latest products on the market, or have the expertise and knowledge base required for a successful implementation and CRM software selection.
They are a few key pointers you should now as you begin your CRM system and ERP evaluation process. You may be aware that there are a growing number of businesses that are using web based CRM systems, or better know as Saas, Software-as-a-Service. One key benefit of these third party hosted applications is that they do not require significant IT resources to get them up and running or to keep them running and up to speed. If your business does not have an army of IT professionals to pull from, a web based CRM application may be the ideal solutions for you verses an on-premise enterprise application. However, if you do have the IT resources on hand, and on-premise, an installed CRM package could be integrated with more systems and technologies within the company particularly with your ERP systems, ERP modules and mobile applications. This alternative could be short lived as SaaS ERP vendors are working on developing solutions that will accommodate businesses’ technology platforms in the near future.
Another point to remember is that a CRM software implementation draws the most complaints internally from the CRM users. If your company is limited with internal resources to successfully drive this process, you will need to make sure you enlist sufficient outside resources during the CRM implementation process to make sure internal stakeholders are sufficiently trained and educated on the new enterprise system. On this same point, if your business is on a strong growth path, you need to make sure you will have adequate resources available in the future to scale up the CRM implementation to potential new divisions, departments and employees planned on your strategic plan.
Remember that people run your business and people are the users of the software. As we all know, there are preferences and personalities involved in almost any business decision, particularly one that touches and impacts so many employees in your company such as a CRM or ERP implementation. Employee acceptance and utilization of a CRM systems is critical for its success so you want to make sure that the enterprise app is as user friendly as possible and robust enough to perform to your standards. Quite often technologies are described as being easy to use by the IT staff, while the sales department find the system to be complicated and out of touch with reality.
With all the options out there it will take some effort to find the optimal solutions. However, after you begin the education process and get into the swing of things, you will most likely narrow down your short list relatively quickly.