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Level 2: The operational steps in selecting a CRM system

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Inhaltsverzeichnis

CRM Vergleich

The selection process in detail and overview

  • What topics/questions do we cover in this section?
  • Why is a CRM software comparison so important and not difficult at all?
  • How does such a comparison usually work?
  • What questions should you ask the manufacturer?
  • What criteria should be used for a comparison?
  • What kind of documents are created for this?
  • How do you choose a suitable winner?

So how can you tell whether the CRM software is right for your company? We help you to get an initial, neutral overview of the topic of CRM software selection. Also on the basis of the first German

Would you like more information? Simply go to our further information in the box on the right!

Why is a CRM system comparison so important?

You are investing a considerable amount of money. For a CRM solution, this is between approx. 30 euros and 300 euros per user/license and month. Do the mobile licenses have to be licensed separately? Now you can quickly calculate for yourself what this costs per month and year. Then there may also be hosting. Here the values can differ by 100%. How much adaptation programming or customizing is necessary for the introduction of the CRM system?

This quickly adds up to 500,000 euros or 1 million euros just for license costs or rent.

And are these all the costs that will be incurred for a CRM system over the next 5 years?

Almost. But more on that later.

What are all the cost parameters that play a role in software selection?

There are the set-up costs for installing the system (test and live system), then there are the costs for specifications and workshops. Of course, the license costs are the biggest chunk. Most of the time. Then there are the hosting costs. Does the hosting have to be managed or who does that?

Project costs must be calculated for the introduction.

Both for the service provider and for an external consultant. Unless you create free space for at least one person. This could be two 50% freelancers. Or 3 people at 30 % to 40 % each. That is the minimum. Reason: These employees are usually very important for the company. They are therefore also involved in many projects. You should therefore definitely bring external help on board for quality assurance and relief.

Then comes the part of the interfaces that is difficult to calculate. Which interfaces do you need? Can the service provider create them all? If not, who can help?

Often forgotten …

Documentation and training of the CRM system. There are two things to consider when it comes to documentation. One part comes from the service provider. But the user should also keep some documentation for the special features and customizations. This takes time and is very unpopular. It’s often the first item on the scratch list. Unfortunately, this is a big mistake. The company usually pays for it twice later. Don’t let up on your service provider here, you are their “customer”. He should be worth that to you.

Tip: Is the help and documentation also available for mobile applications?

Firstly, because the documentation effort is higher later on. Secondly, because until then your employees have spent a lot of time searching, repeatedly losing know-how and wasting other unnecessary time.

Address and data quality measures must be calculated in any case.

On the one hand, cleansing and optimization tasks often have to be carried out before implementation. On the other hand, today’s systems offer interfaces to data suppliers. Exciting variables can be added automatically. From the creditworthiness of a prospective or new customer to micro-geographic variables or, in B2B, the size of the company (turnover/employees).

A lead time of 6 months and a budget should be set aside for data cleansing alone. Who does this is always a popular question. Nobody in the entire company usually wants to do this voluntarily. That’s why we do it very often. We have over 30 years of experience in this area.

The remaining costs are travel expenses and accommodation for external employees and consultants.

That quickly adds up over 5 years

We always calculate the total cost of ownership over 5 years. Why 5 years? Because many on-premise solutions or the purchase of licenses become cheaper after 3 years than cloud applications that are rented. Yes, that’s right.

We summarize all costs in detail for 5 years and thus have a comparison. This is combined with user ratings and the impression of the service provider and its team. If important, we also obtain a credit rating for the service provider. Then we have all the facts we need to make a decision.

A cost example from practice:

A company with a turnover of around 50 million went through the selection process with us. The comparison of a certainly complex and therefore expensive solution produced the following picture:

Solution 1 (one of the usual suspects) estimated an all-inclusive investment or cost of 6.5 million euros for 5 years.

Solution 2 (a rather unknown specialist provider) estimated an all-inclusive investment or costs of EUR 4.0 million for 5 years for the same requirements.

That’s a “slender” difference of 2.5 million euros. And that after 4 months of project time, after several workshops, detailed queries and intensive discussions. So the result is a reliable estimate with a huge difference.

How does such a comparison work? The start for many CRM projects

The detailed process and requirements analysis usually results in a requirements specification (not a functional specification, which is something else).

Many companies use agile methods to avoid the issue of requirement or functional specifications.

We are not quite so relaxed about this. Especially if a company has hardly any general experience in project management. Especially if there is little or no experience in agile methods. And if the service provider only has rudimentary knowledge, then it’s better not to do it. Better classic instead. At least at the start. Later, when everyone has settled in, you can also switch to agile methods.

So we create a specification sheet for a CRM program based on the information and requirements from the workshops. Then there are the use cases that emerged from the process analysis. Which use cases are absolutely important (system-relevant)?

Our sample specification sheet now comprises approx. 30 A4 pages.

The number of criteria that play a role in evaluating a provider is over 150, and the number of sample use cases – i.e. processes that could be checked in the selection phase – is over 20.

OK, not all of these cases are always used. But this way we guarantee that nothing is forgotten. And the customer has the feeling that we have thought of everything.

What criteria play a role in a CRM software comparison?

We have collected a number of criteria and CRM functions?

For the current status (08.06.2020), we select a few from over 150 criteria:

Functions related to customer service:

e.g. Integration of an ACD system possible, Are service mails sent via a general or personal e-mail address. How does cross-selling work from the CRM system?

E-mail integration and e-mail tools:

Which e-mail program can be fully integrated? How well do the CRM system and email program harmonize in marketing or sales campaigns? How cleverly can e-mail marketing be carried out? Personalization and individualization should be checked. Are mass e-mails sent via the Outlook Exchange server? Is the personal e-mail client integrated directly in the CRM or via Outlook? To what extent can email tracking in CRM be used for campaigns? (If permitted by GDPR or other laws or opt-ins)

Who has multiple connections to email marketing tools? Most CRM providers usually fully integrate one email program. A second or third usually does not yet have the full functionalities or is only connected uni-directionally and not bi-directionally.

Connection of content management systems

As a rule, content modules are used for personalization and individualization. I.e. for e-mail campaigns, serial letters or offer modules on the phone (these are inserted into the guide during the call – depending on the process and response – as information for the agent or inside sales employee.

Content can be text, images, videos, etc. Documents can also be integrated directly into the customer relationship management system. These are then e-mail templates or letter templates. Each CRM tool has its own philosophy here.

ERP and CRM – which is the leading system?

The ERP software usually comes first. This often means that the CRM must be aligned with the ERP solution. But this is the wrong approach. The ERP system is usually less flexible in the address and data model. For this reason alone, the CRM system is the leader in the area of addresses.

Providers such as Zoho CRM or Hubspot CRM already have some functions (e.g. email marketing tools, email tracking) integrated, some do not. Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the all-in-one solutions, have either modules or apps or add-ons to be connected for almost everything.

As already mentioned, it’s about someone taking responsibility for the topic within the company. Someone who acts as a leader and caretaker for this topic, who constantly ensures that quality remains high.

On the other hand, lasting quality can only be controlled by KPIs. These are therefore also integrated into target agreements. This allows the management and leadership team to see whether they are heading in the right direction, whether quality is gradually improving and whether reporting is automatically improving as a result.

An explanation and motivation as to why data and address quality is so important is of course also part of the process. Why should a sales representative enter the data treasures in his head into a CRM? What do they get out of it? What do others gain from it? Why can they manage themselves better as a result? How can his work be made easier by automating tasks on the basis of good data? Which tasks should be carried out together for integrated data quality management?

Data quality management is also a management task because …

Address and data quality is not a cost factor, but a value-added factor!

Data maintenance and data quality must become part of the corporate culture. Every employee needs to have an entrepreneurial attitude that certain selected data is extremely important for the company. Without ifs and buts.

Sales and marketing, service and support

For sales, mapping the sales pipeline or lead pipeline is usually the most important thing. The more leads, the happier. Is the CRM for the sales force a web app or a “real” app from the app store? How does the mobile CRM work? Are all functionalities available on the mobile client? Can all leads also be processed on mobile? Or what restrictions are there?

What special features does key account management require? Group presentations, totalizations for branch operations. Contracts that, depending on the rule, immediately show the n best price when determining the price.

Marketing wants social media integration for social CRM. However, working within social networks should not just be reserved for marketing. Sales can also have a lot of fun using the various social media channels. LinkedIn or XING are the best known.

The next step: Which CRM tools make the long list?

Based on the requirement criteria, specifications and our market expertise, we now go into our database and check who could be a suitable candidate. We also ask ourselves other questions. FOR EXAMPLE

Do you need a provider with in-depth expertise in your specific industry? Or does an industry-neutral provider cover your requirements? In other words: Which CRM software is best suited to both the individual requirements and the processes of your company or your employees? And: How will it also be ensured that the CRM software can be implemented without major problems and harmonizes with both the technical possibilities and the other systems? What support does the provider offer, what support does the service provider offer?

For an initial assessment, we have created a database with all the important manufacturers. Our CRM Landscape provides initial information and classification of the CRM tools: Which solution is more suitable for small companies (TecArt, Wice CRM, Julitec, Act!), which for medium-sized companies (Zoho CRM, Bitrix24, CAS, Adito, Cursor), which for large ones (Hubspot CRM, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Adobe etc.)?

What special features does key account management require? Group presentations, totalizations for branch operations. Contracts that, depending on the rule, immediately show the n best price when determining the price.

Marketing wants social media integration for social CRM. However, working within social networks should not just be reserved for marketing. Sales can also have a lot of fun using the various social media channels. LinkedIn or XING are the best known.

And in any case, very important: is there a suitable service provider for the software solution?

Yes, not only the product, but the right service provider is just as important. The big providers in particular, such as Salesforce, Microsoft, SugarCRM, Oracle and Adobe, have partners who then implement the product. And in this partner landscape, as everywhere else, there are major differences. Differences in size, expertise and experience.

We present the long list – usually with 2-3 additional candidates – to the customer. This gives them an initial assessment of the market and the selected products. The presentation is made transparent on the basis of selected criteria. This enables the customer to understand the proposal.

Do you need a provider with in-depth expertise in your specific sector? Or does an industry-neutral provider cover your requirements? In other words: Which CRM software best addresses both the individual requirements and the processes of your company or your employees? And: How will it also be ensured that the CRM software can be implemented without major problems and harmonizes with both the technical possibilities and the other systems? What support does the provider offer, what support does the service provider offer?

For an initial assessment, we have created a database with all the important manufacturers. Our CRM Landscape provides initial information and classification of the CRM tools: Which solution is more suitable for small companies (TecArt, Wice CRM, Julitec, Act!), which for medium-sized companies (Zoho CRM, Bitrix24, CAS, Adito, Cursor), which for large ones (Hubspot CRM, Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Adobe etc.)?

What special features does key account management require? Group presentations, totals for branch operations. Contracts that, depending on the rule, immediately show the n best price when determining the price.

Marketing wants social media integration for social CRM. However, working within social networks should not just be reserved for marketing. Sales can also have a lot of fun using the various social media channels. LinkedIn and XING are the best known.

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