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Are You Getting Your Biggest Bang-For-The-Buck From Your CRM Investment?

ISM - Customer Centric Business Strategies

Are You Getting Your Biggest Bang-For-The-Buck From Your CRM Investment?

As the economy bumps along towards recovery, organizations are increasingly turning to the CRM Assessment as an effective way to secure their biggest bang-for-the-buck from their CRM investment in business process enhancements and enabling CRM tools.

The objective of the CRM Assessment is to critique your organization’s existing CRM initiative to answer these key questions:

  • Is CRM still in lock-step with your organization’s strategic direction?
  • Is your CRM application able to deliver your organization’s functional and technical needs?
  • If your CRM technology cannot deliver these needs, can other more innovative CRM tools fulfill these needs?
  • In addition to technology issues, are there relevant CRM “process” and/or “people” issues that need to be resolved to secure maximum benefit from your CRM investment?

CRM Assessment Components

The CRM Assessment examines one or more of these four components:

  • Strategic Linkage Review. Reviews/critiques your existing CRM Roadmap. This review/critique aims to answer these two questions: Do you have a CRM Roadmap and does it tightly align with your organization’s strategic & business direction? How can your CRM Roadmap be improved to achieve tighter alignment?
  • Organizational/Operational Assessment. This includes digging into cultural issues including user adoption to determine whether your organization’s current CRM efforts can be turned around such that all CRM users see the “what’s in it for me” and utilize the system as it was intended to be used. You’ll need to make a determination whether your organization has reached a “tipping point” since this impacts what can or cannot be done with your current CRM system. If you determine that the current user adoption sentiment is beyond the “tipping point” it may be in your best interest to re-launch your CRM application using a new software application. You will also indentify people issues in part by designing, implementing and analyzing a web-based User Adoption Survey that should be sent to all relevant CRM users. This survey will identify areas that require improvement and provide recommendations for how best to achieve these improvements.  Typically this covers CRM governance, training, communications, local support, incentives/rewards and other relevant user adoption issues.
  • Business Process Assessment. You will want to assess how well your current CRM system addresses your organization’s key business processes. Typically you document your top five “as-is” business processes that are important to your organization’s business model and that impact user adoption of CRM, and determine whether these business processes have been or can be incorporated into your current CRM application’s workflow tools. You will also want to determine whether users feel it is easy to implement key business processes in their day-to-day work.  Finally you will want to make recommendations regarding what business process enhancements may be in order, including business process enhancements to your existing CRM application.
  • Technology Assessment. This will include reviewing your current CRM application with an objective to answer these types of questions: Do users find the system to be intuitive and easy to use?  Are they complaining about the system running slow and if yes what’s the issue?  Has your CRM application been installed and configured properly?  If no, can corrections be made quickly and economically?  Is it easy or complicated to create reports showing for examples which companies have purchased which products from you in a specific time period? Can this potential deficiency be quickly and economically resolved?  Are back-office systems (e.g., financial systems) that provide valuable customer information into your CRM system seamlessly integrated?  If no, can this integration work be done cost effectively?  Should you be considering innovative technology alternatives to your current CRM application and if yes, what other CRM tools are available that can meet your organization’s needs?

CRM Assessment Deliverables & Timetable

The output of the CRM Assessment typically consists of a written presentation that gets presented to your management team. The presentation includes recommendations regarding whether your current CRM system should remain the system of choice as well as the current people/process/technology issues that your organization needs to resolve to secure high user adoption of your CRM investment. Your CRM Assessment should take 2-4 calendar weeks to complete.

Closing Thoughts

Most organizations have invested large sums of money and effort to launch their CRM initiatives. Fewer organizations have taken the time to determine whether they are getting their best bang-for-the-buck from the CRM investment.  The CRM Assessment is a cost-effective way to identify and resolve issues that may be hampering both user adoption and payback from your CRM investment.  As we move out of the great recession, customer retention and advocacy reins supreme.

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