Customer Relationship Management Platform Selection Guide

Speed up the process to build your business case and select your CRM solution.

Member Challenge

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) suites are an indispensable part of a holistic strategy for managing end-to-end customer interactions.
  • After defining an approach to CRM, selection and implementation of the right CRM suite is a critical step in delivering concrete business value for marketing, sales, and customer service.
  • Despite the importance of CRM selection and implementation, many organizations struggle to define an approach to picking the right vendor and rolling out the solution in an effective and cost-efficient manner.
  • IT often finds itself in the unenviable position of taking the fall for CRM platforms that don't deliver on the promise of the CRM strategy.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • IT needs to be a trusted partner in CRM selection and implementation, but the business also needs to own the requirements and be involved from the beginning.
  • CRM requirements dictate the components of the target CRM architecture, such as deployment model, feature focus, and customization level. Savvy application directors recognize the points in the project where the CRM architecture model necessitates deviations from a "canned" roll-out plan.
  • CRM selection is a multi-step process that involves mapping target capabilities for marketing, sales, and customer service, assigning requirements across functional categories, determining the architecture model to prioritize criteria, and developing a comprehensive RFP that can be scored in a weighted fashion.
  • Companies that succeed with CRM implementation create a detailed roadmap that outlines milestones for configuration, security, points of implementation, data migration, training, and ongoing application maintenance.

Impact and Result

  • A CRM platform that effectively meets the needs of marketing, sales, and customer service and delivers value.
  • Reduced costs during CRM selection.
  • Reduced implementation costs and time frame.
  • Faster time to results after implementation.

Research & Tools

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1. CRM Business Case Template – Document the key drivers for selecting a new CRM platform.

Having a sound business case is essential for succeeding with a CRM. This template will allow you to document key drivers and impact, in line with the CRM Platform Selection Guide blueprint.

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CRM Business Case Template

2. Customer Relationship Management Platform Selection Guide – Speed up the process to build your business case and select your CRM solution.

This blueprint will help you build a business case for selecting the right CRM platform, defining key requirements, and conducting a thorough analysis and scan of the ever-evolving CRM market space.

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Customer Relationship Management Platform Selection Guide — Phases 1-3

3. CRM Request for Proposal Template

Create your own request for proposal (RFP) for your customer relationship management (CRM) solution procurement process by customizing the RFP template created by Info-Tech.

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CRM Request for Proposal Template

4. CRM Suite Evaluation and RFP Scoring Tool

The CRM market has many strong contenders and differentiation may be difficult. Instead of relying solely on reputation, organizations can use this RFP tool to record and objectively compare vendors according to their specific requirements.

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CRM Suite Evaluation and RFP Scoring Tool

5. CRM Vendor Demo Script

Use this template to support your business's evaluation of vendors and their solutions. Provide vendors with scenarios that prompt them to display not only their solution's capabilities, but also how the tool will support your organization's particular needs.

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CRM Vendor Demo Script

6. CRM Use Case Fit Assessment Tool

Use this tool to help build a CRM strategy for the organization based on the specific use case that matches your organizational needs.

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CRM Use-Case Fit Assessment Tool
Customer Relationship Management Platform Selection Guide


Was a productive meeting. We never finished which is why I gave an 8, but that could be our fault! Ben was great as always.

Alfred H. Knight Holding viaPublication

We received some good validation from Chad and he charted a good course/next steps.

Baldwin Wallace University viaPublication

BEST: The methodology gets everyone engage in the workshop WORST: n/a

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Ben was very knowledgeable about the topics I wanted to cover and talked to me in a manner that I could understand.

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