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Ask these questions before you sign up with CRM suppliers and Consultants

‘Sales, Marketing and Support functions are critical pillars of an organization. By the end of the day these functions bring revenue to your pockets. Hence, before making any change in the processes, you should carefully evaluate and thoughtfully plan to execute this activity.

First of all the things, you and your teams have to be very clear: Do you need just a CRM tool or Do you need an effective CRM process? Do you intend to go on cloud (Its advantageous!) or do you need an on premise version of it for your enterprise.
Making the wrong choice could be expensive and even jeopardise your business.

Before implementing a process or solution based on CRM technology, ask the shortlisted consultants or suppliers the following questions:

  • One of the main priorities of implementing CRM solution is Automation. Check whether the tool is capable of being integrated with the organization’s existing processes and systems. (Remember: this can increase or decrease productivity)
  • How long have you been addressing CRM challenges in the market?
  • What are the specific costs associated with the product, i.e. a one-time purchase, or an annual renewable license, or a charge per user per month etc?
  • Do you offer trial periods for the CRM tool so that I can try before I buy?
  • Is the system scalable? If my customer base grows will the system expand to cope?
  • Can you recommend any third-party developers who make use of your core CRM products?
  • Do you have forums and user groups where experience, solutions and ideas can be freely exchanged?
  • Can you provide references for businesses in my industry sector who are using your software?

Often, CRM consulting companies are resellers or trusted partners of world class and proven CRM products. If you have signed up with one of them, you should be asking the following questions:

  • Which tools are you comfortable with and customize?
  • What type of solutions do you offer and what industries you cater to?
  • Can you share some examples and case studies of how you were instrumental in transforming sales, marketing and CRM processes.
  • How much do you charge for technical support?
  • What type of consultancy services does your company offer and at what rates?
  • Do you offer training in the CRM solution and, if so, at what cost?
  • How long do you take to implement the CRM?
  • What are the profiles of the resources who will do the consulting?

It is advised to use standard and proven CRM tools where:

  • Your data is safe
  • The interface is clean
  • Scalability is not an issue
  • Support is available and tickets are addressed quickly
  • There are user communities and developer communities
  • Has a wide user base
  • You have access to consultants who can offer support and customize.
Naga Darshan J
Darshan is a CRM Strategist, Entrepreneur, Author and Business Coach. He heads the sales and marketing for Rapid GPRS and has been instrumental in transformation of several businesses.

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