67% percent of companies implementing CRM tools said finding time to evaluate CRM systems was a major problem.1

In this article we will discuss if the information you need on your customer is easily available, how to assess your current CRM tool in a scorecard format and finally, what to do to get started down the path of selecting the CRM tool that is right for your company.

I. What should you expect?

At this point it is difficult to find an established business that hasn’t heard about Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems.   CRM tools help manage a company’s interactions with current and future customers. It involves defining a strategy and supporting technologies to organize, automate, and synchronize sales, marketing, customer service, and technical support.2 A growing business can realize tremendous productivity benefits when it adopts CRM tools but only if those tools provide the functionality that is best suited for the companies needs.  No matter if you are looking at purchasing a CRM tool for the first time or interested to see if your current tool is working hard for you, you will likely benefit from this information!

If you are hunting for a new CRM tool the below checklist can be used to define items you should look for in a CRM tool.  If you currently have a CRM tool you can use the below scorecard to assess whether your CRM tool is working hard for you or making your team work harder than necessary.

II. Scorecard – Rate Your CRM Tool

An effective CRM tool should always provide the below functionality. Read each of the core functionality statements below and rate your current situation to determine if your CRM tool is really providing you, your employee’s and your customers with the critical information you need.

For each of the functionality statements below ask yourself if your current CRM tool provides the feature successfully for your employee’s and helps with your customer interactions.


Directions for Scoring

Full Functionality – both internally and with customers = 2
Available, but doesn’t meet all the needs = 1
Not Available = 0

How did your CRM tool score?

16 – 22 points: Congratulations you have a pretty successful CRM tool! Be sure to take this valuable data and utilize it to better anticipate and serve your customers needs.
8 – 15 points:  You may have an opportunity to enhance your CRM tools
0 – 7 points:  Get started by following the steps below to ensure success in selecting an effective CRM tool!

III. Getting Started

If your score falls between 0 and 15 then your company may not be as efficient and successful without a stronger CRM tool to support you.  Follow the high-level steps below to get started on what your business needs to provide you with a more satisfied customer.

Steps to follow:

1.  Readiness Determination
  • CRM101: Evaluate what business issues will be resolved through more effective CRM use
  • Readiness Assessment: Assess your organizations readiness to implement a CRM effort across 16 Key Categories (click the Readiness Assessment Tool link shown below)
2. Vendor Selection
  • Use a fact-based evaluation and selection process and obtain guidance on an  implementation timeline
    • Business Requirements Definition
    • RFP Development, Distribution and Evaluation
    • Vendor Demonstrations
    • Selection and Contract Management
3. Implementation
  • Take the critical implementation steps to making the implementation come to life keeping in mind internal business cycles and key implementation challenges previously identified.  Consider each of these workstreams when implementing software tools.
    • Data Migration Strategy and Execution
    • Detailed Process Design and Development
    • Technical Infrastructure Assessment
    • Training Strategy and Rollout
    • Implementation Planning and Direction
    • Communication and Change Management
    • Program and Project Management

Keeping these key items in mind when assessing or beginning a CRM tool evaluation will help you stay focused on the functionality that impacts your organizations success.  Having completed multiple technology enablement projects specific to CRM, Himes Consulting Group has compiled a Detailed Technology Assessment Scorecard that can be used to further guide a self-assessment and a Readiness Assessment tool showing the 16 Key Categories.  If you are interested, click the link above to request more information.

For additional information on this topic or to learn how Himes Consulting Group can help you, please contact us at INFO@HIMESCONSULTING.COM.


Works Cited

1 – “CRM Adoption- Biggest Problems…”by David Sims- http://blog.tmcnet.com/telecom-crm/2007/11/30/crm-adoption-biggest-problem-in-83-percent-of-cases-wigan-gets-crm-tre.asp
2 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_relationship_management

Executive Summary:

  • Make time to evaluate your CRM tools to ensure you can use the valuable data collected to serve your customers needs
  • Using a Scorecard to analyze effectiveness of “Must Have” functionality will show you any areas of focus
  • When getting started on selecting a new CRM tool or bettering functionality within your current CRM tool, begin with the below workstreams to ensure you stay on track:
    • Readiness Assessment
    • Vendor Selection
    • Implementation