Small Business Customer Relationship Management

Advantages of Business Requirements For Your CRM Project

January 26, 2008

I harp on the need to have business requirements a lot, but it’s worth harping on. Why? Because whether you’re a medium size company doing a full-blown CRM or a small business doing a Sales Force Automation project, having a good set of Business Requirements is the single best predictor to success.

Let’s look at some of the advantages that make having CRM Business Requirements a predictor to success…

Business Requirements Save You Money

 The clarity that comes from working on your business requirements will:

  • Help ensure that you know what to focus on when implementing CRM,
  • Helps you choose the right CRM or Sales Force Automation software,
  • Does a lot of footwork that your CRM Partner would otherwise want to charge you for (i.e. Saves you money!)

Business Requirements Naturally Lead You To Choose

You’re much more likely to look at several competing products if you have a good set of CRM Business Requirements. Once a company has a clear set of Business Requirements, it becomes very natural to “shop it around” and see which CRM or SFA software can satisfy the requirements best. Without Business Requirements many small businesses only look at one or two solutions and buy the one that their instinct tells them is the better (what a mistake!).

Instead of Following Some Salesperson’s Sales Process, You’ll Be In Control

Sellers of CRM and SFA want to be in on the ground floor of your buying process, gently (or not so gently) steering you to the “logical conculsion” that their solution is the best choice. It’s a far easier argument for the seller when they can act as the trusted advisor
and help the customer figure out what the solution should look like.

Your written Business Requirements document will be (should be!) the first major interface potential CRM Partners will have with your business. It sets the tone for the rest of the project and your relationship with your chosen CRM Partner. Your business requirements document will send a signal that you’re in control of the project and will make it less likely to have quot;sales games” played against

Starting off on the right foot will not just save you significant amounts of money, it will also dramatically increase your chance of success.

You’ll Get Much More Value From The Sales Cycle By Having Business Requirements

Sellers prefer to “work with” customers to put together a solution–work that they can often charge for. Companies with clear Business Requirements for CRM can get prospective CRM Partners to do a lot of foot work at no charge to “prove” their solution will satisfy the CRM Business Requirements.

The Process of Putting Together Business Requirements Means That Users Get Involved

The process of developing Business Requirements gets users involved and that will help the overall change process and user adoption rate for CRM.

Better Budgets With Business Requirements

Better estimate the scope. By investing the time to catalogue your Business Requirements, you will have a very accurate sense of what the CRM system needs to be able to do. This will help you estimate the scope and budget for your project.

Pick The Best CRM Software

Use the CRM Business Requirements to choose the best CRM software for your small business. The Business Requirements becomes the single most critical piece in selecting the right technology for your small business. It becomes the measuring stick by which all technologies are measured.

For more ideas on starting your Small Business CRM or Sales Force Automation project on the right foot, download a copy of our FREE “CRM Street Smarts for the Busy Executive”.

For a complete brain dump of what to do and what not to do when implementing CRM for your small business, be sure to check out the CRM Survival Guide.

ACT! vs GoldMine: What You Need To Know To Choose The Best One

October 30, 2007

CRM Software Comparison which is best?For some reason, one of the most asked questions of me is “which is better: ACT! or GoldMine?”

Sometimes, they ask about Maximizer or SalesLogix, but ACT! and GoldMine are currently the two main ones I get asked about for software comparisons.

I remember when I was a Consultant, selling CRM software, I used to wait for the head-to-head product comparisons from the CRM manufacturer. Why? Because it’s what my prospects kept asking for! And I wasn’t alone…this kind of product matrix or comparison chart was probably the most asked for marketing document from the Reseller community.

But they weren’t head-to-head comparisons at all. It wasn’t competitive intelligence. After a while I came to understand that these charts were thinly veiled marketing hype posing as “competitive intelligence” and were very biased and, in my opinion, deviously skewed. (A careful reading will reveal that the features or functions have been worded in such a way as to give one CRM package a better rating or score). Read more

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