Thursday, July 31, 2008

CRM 2.0 - Vendor selection process

Here are my thoughts about vendor selection process and implementation phases - any comments highly appreciated!

Phase 1 „Daydreaming“
  • Determine Business Needs
  • What are the challenges?
  • What was the initial reason to think about a new CRM strategy?
  • Get help from an external advisor if necessary.
  • Define the ideal CRM solution
  • Outline the Hi-Level requirements
  • See the company from a customers‘ perspective

Phase 2 „Talk Turkey“
  • Come back to reality – you can not archieve everything you wish (what about ROI?)
  • Sync with existing CRM strategy and business processes – approve a project
  • Priotize the wishlist – separate the crtitical points from the nice-to-haves
  • Discuss with customers, employees and advisors
  • Identify the technology to be used (i.e. SaaS)

Phase 3 „Issue RFI, RFP“
  • Create a list of required functionality
  • Send this list to anumber of vendors (4-8)
  • Find a rating scheme and qualify the returned answeres
  • Ask the vendors to create a proposed solution
  • Asses and compare the outlined solutions
  • Find the two (or three) best fitting vendors
  • Focus on the vendor rather than the product
  • Technology must fit the strategy!

Phase 4 „Compare Vendors“
  • Does the corparate culture fit?
  • Is the vendor financial stable and is the roadmap promising and complete?
  • Is the product future proof (technology, platform), can it grow with your company?
  • Pricing model and license cost
  • Cost of implementation and customization
  • Required Hardware

Phase 5 „Proof of Concept“
  • Find a business process that covers as much technical aspects as possibe but can be implemented within a three week timeframe
  • Ask vendors to implement this business process with their product on site
  • Have IT and business people supervise the customization and administration process – get their buy-in!
  • Finish with a workshop where the vendor presents the PoC and answers questions how it was done
  • Try to estimate the efforts for the full project

Phase 6 „Implementation“
  • Keep business involved - gather feedback from future users during the implementation phase
  • Create reusable application code
  • Keep future upgrades in mind
  • Involve customers as beta-testers
  • Favor a staged approach for a ‚big bang‘

Phase 7 „Rollout“
  • Let users decide, not the contract – usability is the most critical factor...
  • Design DOES matter!
  • Provide detailed information to users (employees and customers)
  • Training
  • Collect feedback and keep improving the functionality and business processes
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1 comment:

  1. Forgot an important point: Expectation setting and success criteria!

    The most CRM implementations fail because of fuzzy and not well defined success criteria...