Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is becoming a standard tool for most companies. In fact, according to Forbes, CRM is expected to grow to a $36.5 billion market worldwide within the next three years. So even if you don’t use it now, it’s likely that you will soon enough. Because frankly, if you have customers and you have sales people, you need CRM to help you manage those business relationships and the data and information associated with them. (Spoiler alert: Excel spreadsheets and post-its don’t scale.)
At its most basic, you can store customer and prospect contact information, accounts, leads and sales opportunities in one central location. For small businesses, a CRM system may simply help you put your data in the cloud, making it accessible in real time, across any device. But as you grow, a CRM can quickly expand to include more sophisticated features to help teams collaborate with colleagues and customers, send customized emails, gather insights from social media conversations, automate and manage operational processes, and get a big picture of your business health in real time.
The business benefits are many and we can certainly point you to a laundry list to help make our case. And in the interest of full disclosure, as Microsoft partners, we champion Microsoft Dynamics CRM. But the process is more than just researching and choosing a CRM system. Selecting and implementing the right CRM platofrm is a strategic process which includes determining if it’s done in-house or outsourced. Companies have to determine if they have the right mix of technical, business analysis and project management skills to actually do the CRM implementation. They need to calculate the time and resources needed. They also need to answer this question: can you ensure user adoption and continuous support for your staff with in-house resources?
Naturally, we’re biased on this topic, but trust us when we say that translating your requirements and configuring them correctly into a CRM solution takes experience, and if you’re time or resource-strapped, outsourcing is the ideal option. You’ll also benefit from the business process expertise an external provider has acquired through their previous client engagements. Other key benefits to outsourcing your CRM implementation include access to:
- An experienced facilitator to guide requirements gathering
- A project management team to interface with the CRM application provider
- Customization and configuration expertise for your specific CRM application
- Best practices across the CRM lifecycle, from initial needs assessment through implementation, training and support
You want your CRM system to work as a natural extension of the tools your teams use every day. You want lower training costs, increased user adoption, reduced application-switching, and a fast return on investment. As a regional CRM expert and Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, NexusTek designs and delivers custom-tailored Microsoft Dynamics CRM systems.