Three essential steps to CRM requirements gathering

If you are thinking of implementing CRM software for your business, chances are you are already overwhelmed by the number of CRM vendors in the market today. Exploring these vendors and picking the right CRM from the lot can be quite challenging if your requirement-gathering process isn't well planned.

Nobody knows your business better than you, so it’s important you understand what you want in a CRM software before looking out for one. A well-planned CRM requirements gathering process makes all the difference between a successful CRM implementation and a botched exercise.

So, ready to begin your hunt for new CRM software? Here are three essential steps you can’t afford to miss in your CRM requirement-gathering process.

1. List your business challenges 

The primary reason why you need a CRM for your business is to solve your business challenge. This may be lack of efficiency and productivity, a need to increase sales and retain existing customers, or just a realization that you need a system that can hold all your contact data in one place.

Plan your CRM selection project with over 100 actionable steps to success

When you list out your business challenges, you have a fair idea of the primary use case of the CRM software. And you don’t end up buying an over-complicated system that your sales team doesn’t really need at the moment.

2. Involve all key stakeholders

Before you go ahead and embark on the selection journey, get responses and inputs from all your teams (customer care, sales, marketing, analytics, operations, etc.) on what they would like to achieve from a CRM solution. For example, the marketing team will need a CRM that monitors the ROI of marketing activities like newsletters, email campaigns, etc. The support team may want insights into customer data to boost relationships and reduce churn, the sales team will need a CRM that helps them identify the best business opportunities so that they can improve sales efficiencies and close more deals quickly.

Once you've collected your requirements, make a checklist of what expectations each team has from the CRM software. This checklist will help you throughout your CRM evaluation and act as a reference which you can keep coming back to during your selection process.

3. Identify CRM features that meet your requirements

Most CRM providers advertise their software as the best in the market. But before you hop in and purchase one for the brand name, take a step back and think whether your business really requires a complex, feature-heavy CRM just because it's well-known in the market.

Keep in mind that your CRM software must help you solve your business challenge and move you nearer to your business goals. And for that, you need to choose a software that has the right functionalities. For instance, if you have a real estate agency, you will need a CRM that manages contacts (both buyers and sellers), captures leads from website, monitors your sales pipelines, automates mundane tasks like sending thank you emails, etc.

Once you have identified the functionalities that you need from your CRM, you can start signing up and testing the shortlisted products.

Conclusion

Let’s be honest: no CRM software will fit your business like a glove.

You will have to make a few customizations to meet your requirements and processes. Buying a CRM software is a long-term relationship, and choosing the right one can empower your sales teams and allow them to do what they do best: close deals. Spending a good amount of time evaluating the CRM can go a long way in ensuring a successful implementation.

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Radhika Bhangolai

About the author…

Radhika is the Product Marketing Manager at Freshworks Inc., responsible for content strategy for Freshsales - CRM for SMBs with AI-based lead scoring, built-in phone, email, activity capture and more.

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Radhika Bhangolai

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