Wondering how to scope your CRM system requirements? Spot potential roadblocks before they occur, minimise the risks associated with implementation, and pinpoint the issues with your current CRM so you can find the fit-for-purpose CRM solution you've been looking for.
As the economic impacts of the global pandemic put new emphasis on familiar business challenges like reporting, attribution, and forecasting, organisations around the world are re-examining the CRM systems underpinning their operations.
As digital grows and more businesses recognise the importance of integrated solutions, they need a CRM that enables them to report on performance, prove the return on their activities, and accurately predict revenue.
“Now that all our data is in HubSpot, our next task is to make sure that there is data consistency in the way we report our activities and how we can monitor our campaigns to further optimise them.” Silvana Tafur, Director of Demand Generation, CEG
Finding a CRM that delivers all this isn’t easy. The market is busy and you will doubtless have other business requirements unique to your circumstances. This article will help.
Specifically, if you’re interested in finding – and implementing – a new CRM, the framework (and free checklist) shared below will support you in making the right choice for your needs.
Not ready for a conversation yet? Don’t worry — you can still use the template internally as a framework to start gathering your CRM requirements.
How to scope your CRM system requirements
The more context you can give a potential partner on your business, goals and challenges, the more specific the advice or proposal they can provide. For example, if they can understand what your business goals are, they can make sure they explain how the CRM can contribute to achieving them, which might help in building your business case.
If you’re using this document purely for internal scoping, revisiting the business context at the start of the document will help ensure stakeholders are aligned. It will be easier to manage the scope of the project and much less likely you’ll experience scope creep.
Let’s start with your business
This section will give the reader a clear picture of your organisation, offering, and customer needs. They will quickly be able to tell if their CRM system is going to be able to help you.
- How would you define your company’s core purpose?
- Tell us about your organisation’s primary offering(s).
- Explain the core challenge(s) your business helps solve, and how.
- Tell us about your top three business goals.
Your current solution(s)
To figure out what you need, it’s important to understand what is and isn’t working now. This can be achieved by answering a few questions about your current CRM platform.
- Which CRM are you currently using?
- Why are you looking for a new CRM?
- What are the pain points regarding your current CRM?
- What are the positives of your current CRM?
Your future CRM system requirements
Now you can start to plan your CRM requirements going forwards. The questions below will help you to identify a CRM initiative that is functional and serves the whole business.
- Who must it serve and what technical capabilities will they need?
- Who will use your new CRM?
- What other tools do you think your CRM would need to integrate with or replace?
- What kinds of permissions do you need to assign?
- If you’re specifically interested in HubSpot, are you looking at particular Hubs and/or features?
- What data would you need to migrate into a new CRM?
- What CRM objects will you need to use?
- Do you need ‘parent and child’ data groupings?
- Have you decided on a budget?
Read all about HubSpot CRM’s best practices and pro tips in one of our most popular articles.
Implementation of your CRM project
Answering the following questions will help the reader to understand your needs and potential sticking points.
- Who needs to sign off on the chosen CRM?
- Do you have a specific timescale in mind for rollout?
- Are you currently partnering with any external partners who might need to be involved in your CRM project?
- Do you know of any challenges or roadblocks which might mean the CRM project itself would be delayed?
- Can you provide any other information?
CRM system requirements checklist
As we mentioned above, you can download all the questions we’ve just shared — and a few more — in our free CRM scoping template.
In it, you’ll find space to record details about your needs, current challenges, and desired outcomes. Although it isn’t possible to design/implement a CRM based on one form alone, this information will help you define your requirements so you can make a more informed decision and identify your goals, spot potential roadblocks, and minimise risks.
Yes, please! Send me my copy of the CRM Scoping Template.
What’s next for your CRM project?
Whether you’re a full-time contact manager, are simply managing the CRM project, or manage a related function like sales or marketing, you should now be in a strong position to step back and evaluate exactly what you need from your next CRM initiative.
Going through your business processes and CRM requirements might take a little time but it’s essential if you want to find and implement the right customer relationship management platform for your organisation. It’s not just your internal operations that will benefit — with the right CRM, you’ll also be able to deliver a much smoother customer service experience, too.
Send your completed brief to your chosen partners, along with contact information for members of your presiding team and any additional information you wish to include.