Due to Coronavirus, home working has established itself as the norm for many organisations. To support home working, suitable tools that are available remotely are essential. CRM is a good example. Access to a CRM solution has become essential for Professional Associations to be able to manage their processes, contacts, communications and many other activities remotely. In this article we look at the 9 questions associations should ask when preparing a CRM specifications document. If your plan this year is to equip yourself with a new CRM solution (or to change your supplier), this article is for you.
What is a specification document
A specification is the documentation that you use to express your needs and the desired functional scope for the proposed project. It must be drawn up in such a way that the service provider can provide you with the solution perfectly suited to your association. With well-written specifications, you optimise the project preparation phase as well as and simplify the deployment of the solution.
Question 1 – who are you ?
In order for the service provider to fully understand the context of the project, organisations should present their company structure. Key figures, sector of activity, scale of establishment, as well as the organisations operations, actions, targets, and strategic goals should all be detailed.
Question 2 – what are your goals?
Your specification should allow the service provider to easily understand the goal of your project and how it will improve your association’s processes. You must therefore detail measurable and quantifiable results so that the situation you want to improve is clearly identified. It is also important to define precise performance indicators.
Question 3 – who is in the project team?
We strongly recommend the association forms a CRM project team who have a good knowledge of the business and internal processes of the organisation but also a technical sensitivity. The Project team should be made up of team members from various departments to ensure that each department if fully represented.
Question 4 – what are your current processes?
So that the supplier can offer you the appropriate solutions, it would be useful for them to understand your existing functional: how do you currently meet your needs? What are your processes? An experienced service provider will certainly have already carried out projects similar to yours and will be able to guide you perfectly in choosing the best solutions.
Question 5 – what is your technical environment?
Describing the existing technical (hardware and software infrastructure) of your association, will allow your service provider to determine how to integrate your new CRM solution into your technical environment. You must not forget anything: servers, operating system, software, website, portals, browsers, hardware (PC / Mac, smartphones, tablets, etc.).
Question 6 – what about your data?
Data is at the heart of a CRM project, therefore, data migration is an essential part of the project, the quality and quantity of the data will determine the complexity of its migrations. Data preparation is key: what format do you use? What is the priority data? What data must be processed manually? etc.
Question 7 – what functionality do you want from your new CRM?
In this part, you must describe which business processes and database elements you want to find in your organisation’s new CRM solution. Sometimes is it more effective to represent your business processes diagrammatically!
This is also the moment to list the functionalities you need in order to manage all of your activity: make sure to include your desired automations, mailings, exports, reports, as well as rights management, etc.
Question 8 – key information?
This section is for the practicalities of the project. You should details useful information such as the start date of the project, the deadline by which the solution must be operational, the desired methodology.
Question 9 – what are you future requirements?
The success of your project doesn’t stop after go-live. In the final stage of the specification document you need to detail the medium and long term goals that you anticipate from the day to day management of your new CRM solution. This does not commit you to anything but allows the supplier to provide you with the appropriate plans for your future objectives.
The need for a new CRM
If CRM software works seamlessly, even during lockdown, it is because they are always connected. What we mean here is that they are integrated in SaaS (Software As A Service) mode. This means that the solutions are deployed on outsourced servers and that no software is integrated directly into your own servers. Thus, a simple internet connection is enough to access it.
You can find your work tool everywhere, even at home. You access all your contacts, all your exchanges, all your dashboards, all your performance indicators, etc. You can continue to work calmly and effectively thanks to your flagship features available on the Cloud: processing memberships, editing receipts, monitoring sponsorship agreements, measuring performance using indicators, etc. Nothing changes except your work environment.
And that’s not all ! As the CRM is hosted outside of your information system, you do not have to perform any maintenance and the updates are done automatically. The flexibility of such a tool allows you to make it evolve according to your activity.
We all understand that we do not know how the coming months will evolve but this difficult period (re) highlights the fact that the accessibility of our work tools, but also and above all of our data, is essential for the maintenance of our activities.
Do you want to know more about CRM hosted in SAAS mode?
Eudonet UK is the developer and integrator of its own CRM solution, Eudonet CRM. Hosted in SaaS mode, 100% secure, the Eudonet CRM software offers a solution dedicated to Professional Associations and Not-for-Profits. To find out more complete our Contact an Expert form and one of our CRM experts will be in touch to discuss how Eudonet CRM could meet you needs.