Why it pays to record frequent and direct interactions with customers – Pt Two

step 3: Assess Current state and Define Future state Gaps

Through meetings, organizations can gain an understanding of the client’s current CRM Software are capabilities and significant opportunities to improve their customer relationship management software so, and map out our findings. We also strive to understand their company’s future direction (usually between 6 months and 2 years).

We use the results to determine how close these organizations are to meeting and exceeding their customers’ expectations, and present the gaps between their current state of CRM and their desired state.

We then compare the current state of ERP Software against best practices within the clients’ respective industry and across industries that reveal opportunities to help our client become not only an industry leader, but also a cross-industry world-class leader.

step 4: Identify Value Opportunities

Value opportunities represent the potential benefits delivered by being more customer-centric. We identify and categorize value opportunities along the lines of people, process and technology by analyzing the gaps between the organization’s current state and its desired future state. Once value opportunities are identified, meetings should be held with the executive team to prioritize them.

One example of a “process” value opportunity is improving data capture for all customer contacts across sales functions and touch points (e.g. phone, e-mail, etc.). “People” value opportunities may involve additional training on service procedures for capturing customer data. “Technology” value opportunities might include developing a data warehouse.

step 5: Link Value Opportunities to strategic CRM Capabilities

Once we determine where the value opportunities lie, we map each to the 21 world-class POS Software capabilities detailed in the study mentioned above. Identifying which strategic CRM capabilities are needed enables organizations to more effectively direct their CRM efforts and ensure they derive the projected value of any CRM projects.

Below is a sample of link between a specific value opportunity and its corresponding strategic CRM capabilities:


Value Opportunity:

Improve customer understanding

strategic CRM Capability:

  • Possess good knowledge of the customer
  • Leverage customer information from the service process
  • Understand customer profitability and cost-to-serve.


  step 6: Define CRM Projects and Requirements

Once value opportunities are prioritized, specific ERP Support projects need to be developed. Defining and executing CRM projects will ensure the company masters the relevant strategic CRM capabilities.

An effective way to define relevant projects is through brainstorming sessions with the client. Samples of the outcome of a session might include:

  Understand customer profitability

  Enhance call center operations by implementing sophisticated touchpoint technologies

  Establish a data warehouse

  Improve ERPNext training

Once CRM projects are defined, it is critical to go one step further and identify the business and technical requirements needed. These should be specific and address the necessary people, process and technology components of each project.

For “Understanding Customer Profitability,” functional requirements might include creating a common definition for profitability formula for:

  Products, channels, sales staff, customer segments, individual customers

  Ensuring consistency across the enterprise

  Defining components of the formula (acquisition, marketing, servicing costs, etc.)

The investment cost takes into account number of users, internal and external human resources, training, infrastructure, hardware, software and implementation costs. The typical ROI for this range of investment though could vary from $22 million to $110 million.

  Each business case should include:

  Details and costs of required resources (people, technology, training, outsourced resources, etc.),
  Projected duration of time of each project and
  Options for completing the project using internal or external resources.

Once the costs are quantified for each project, potential benefits are estimated. This is much more difficult than simply quantifying project costs. The use of our study “How much are CRM capabilities really worth” provides significant value here. We are able to quantify the benefits of mastering specific CRM capabilities (identified in step 5) and thereby complete the most difficult part of the business case. A key requirement is to ensure that senior executives are in agreement with and will support the extent of expected benefits.

Business cases enable a company to prioritize each project’s value to the organization. With the creation of a “value realization plan,” client executives have a tool to judge the impact of changes to the CRM investment plan. An accelerated implementation could be modeled to quantify the effect of earlier accounting software benefits. Similarly, an extended investment plan allows them to quantify the impact of a slower implementation in terms of lost benefits over time.

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