Our CRM system is >6 years old and we are working with manual workarounds and many different systems, we have spoken to several suppliers which all seem to have great solutions. We need to future proof our decision so we have been putting off moving forward. Now is the time – what are your top tips?
Choosing the right CRM system can be daunting as it is not a small investment, to help future proof any decision our advice is to ask yourself some key questions. Suppliers (some, not all), will promote all the benefits they can offer, all the latest technology and bells and whistles, being swayed by this is all too easy, therefore, having a clear understanding of the points below will help you identify what you need and importantly why. You can also address the potential user adoption challenges right from the start. You have to keep in mind that there are no suppliers that will deliver 100% of your requirements, but when you address these areas you will be able to have a balanced and informed decision.
- Business Requirements – do you know what you are trying to achieve now and in the future. Understanding this will help you when looking for the right solution for you?
- Business Process Mapping – do you have a clear view of all the processes your organisation run that needs to be supported by the CRM? Reviewing the ‘as is’ state, understanding the challenges, and mapping out the ‘to be’ state across the organisation, not only breaks down organisational silos but ensures you have an end to end picture.
- Data – do you know what you have and where? Many organisations doubt the data they have but understanding what’s there and making sense of the silos can often be enlightening. In our experience, it is not the lack of data, but the confidence and knowledge of what is there.
- Systems – have you mapped out your digital estate today, what technology has been adopted over the recent years, what legacy systems might you have that need to integrate or work alongside the CRM?
- Users – do you have a clear view of the challenges from a user perspective?
We are looking for ways to deepen our relationship/engagement with our members and to become more financially sustainable. We don’t have the right reports in place to segment and target members. Is this something that we can build into our current systems?
Segmenting your audience will help increase engagement, targeting them with relevant messages ensure that they are engaged. If you constantly spam them with all messaging you will have the reverse effect! It’s not easy, but very worthwhile - if you are collecting the right data on your audience you can then work on a simple segmentation approach to start. The first steps would be to understand what data you help on your members, what you can extract and analyse and create some segments to help you with the first steps of this targeting. It is hard to say if you can build these into your current systems as age/type and set up will all have an impact on how much you can change, analyse the data you have today and where you have the gaps is key – only then can you evaluate if your CRM system is right.
We'll be featuring more challenges next month so do email your questions to us.
Ben Sturt is Managing Director of Chrysalis Digital.
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