Three Demands to Make of “Customizable” CRM
With a continually shifting competitive landscape, businesses are under more pressure than ever to respond to their customers’ needs. Of course, these needs also are continually changing. So, while most CRM vendors state that their solution is “customizable,” making that become reality often is challenging.
A November 2006 whitepaper from CDC Software, an enterprise software application provider company based in Atlanta, discusses the key factors you should consider when evaluating CRM flexibility and the benefits a customizable CRM system can have for your organization.
#1: Think Outside of Out-of-the-Box Solutions
For organizations with mostly standard business practices, an “out-of-the-box” CRM solution with the ability to configure specific business processes can accommodate their needs. But more established organizations—with complex requirements, unique business processes and/or a differentiated business model—cannot be so easily accommodated with a standard solution that doesn’t provide for a wide breadth of customizations to be made cost-effectively.
If you look at any organization carefully, it turns out that most deviate from standard practices. Every company’s sales process includes unique elements that differentiate it from competitors. If those sales processes are not aligned with the assumption built into the CRM system, then implementation of that system will simply try to automate chaos.
#2: Configure and Customize, at All Levels
The ability to both configure and customize at multiple levels of a CRM system in a straightforward manner yields the application that works no matter what market pressures dictate. For example, the CRM vendor needs to be able to provide a method for fast, low-cost upgrades that deliver significant new features and functionality without risk to the business, productivity or the overall system.
# 3: Integrates Easily, and Grows with Your Company
For a CRM system to succeed, it must integrate easily and reliably with existing internal systems, as well as with those of partners and customers. For businesses that are looking to grow and evolve, a truly flexible CRM system is needed that is both reliable and capable of evolving along with them.