According to Gartner, cloud and CRM will drive enterprise software spending in 2014. Forty percent of CRM systems sold in 2012 were cloud-based software-as-a-service, with Salesforce.com the leading vendor, having 14 percent market share.
But what exactly will your company be spending for CRM? If you're helping to develop a CRM budget, you'll need to account for a number of factors when considering the total investment required. Whether your organization is already using CRM or planning a new cloud CRM implementation for 2014, here are eight items to consider budgeting for:
- •Seat licenses. Line item number one in building your budget for 2014 is the purchase of user licenses (new CRM) or renewal of licenses (existing CRM). If implementing a new CRM, will you have sales, marketing and customer service users? If an existing CRM user, will you need more or fewer licenses than you did in 2013?
- •Solution implementation. You'll likely want to work with an experienced CRM consulting company to implement your CRM solution. The right partner can bring the experience, expertise and efficiency that will help your CRM initiative run smoothly, and a partner with a proven track record can ultimately save you time and money.
- •Customization. If you have any unique needs in your organization or industry, your implementation partner can help you define and build custom functionality that will work flawlessly within your CRM system.
- •Data merging, cleansing and appending. Almost every organization implementing CRM for the first time discovers they have data stored in multiple places. All that data needs to be cleaned, de-duped and merged into the CRM. New and existing users may also need to invest in new data sources, such as demographic appends or marketing lists.
- •New features and enhancements. Current successful users of CRM tend to embrace their system, realize the possibilities, and want more. Perhaps you're using a basic CRM and are ready to add lead scoring, routing and assignment. Or campaign management. Or mobile customization. Many organizations are now adding internal social communication tools to improve collaboration and respond faster to opportunities, such as Chatter from Salesforce.com. Discuss the possibilities with your CRM vendor or implementation partner to help define the functionality and enhancements that are right for your organization.
- •Integration with other applications. CRM is often integrated with internal applications such as financials, billing or inventory, or external apps from partners and third parties who have developed useful applications on your chosen CRM platform. What applications will your CRM need to integrate with?
- •Training. Don't overlook the need to invest in end-user and manager training. Knowledge of the CRM and its functions will help increase adoption and ongoing use. And use of the system by sales, marketing and service teams, along with management in terms of accessing dashboards and reports for increased visibility into operations, is what delivers ROI on your overall investment. Existing CRM users should budget for training for any new features and enhancements being implemented.
- •Ongoing governance. There are many reasons to put someone in charge full or part-time of managing the CRM system. You gain better control and governance over the application. You have a go-to internal resource and an advocate for all matters CRM. You have someone to interface with your implementation partner. If CRM plays a crucial role in your organization -- and it does, since you're developing a budget for it -- then include this person in your budget as well.
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About CoreMatrix Systems
CoreMatrix (www.corematrix.com) is a leading provider of cloud computing consulting, systems integration, custom application development, social strategy execution and managed services for mid-sized to Fortune 500 companies. With experience gained from more than 1,800 cloud computing engagements, CoreMatrix is dedicated to helping customers achieve their objectives and obtain the greatest value from their investments. Customer examples include: American Express® Travel Management Services, 20/20 Companies®, PharmaNet/I3, Wells Real Estate Funds®, Designer Show Warehouse®, Transocean, GTECH®, Bridgestone® and WebMD®.
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Source: CoreMatrix Systems(TM)