When any organisation is considering a new CRM system (‘Customer Relationship Management’ but for our sector it normally includes fundraising, Gift Aid, stewardship and sometimes service delivery too) one of the biggest challenges (and cited reasons for failure) is that the software does not reflect the way that things are done i.e. the business processes. This leads to dissatisfaction, workarounds, and problems and is especially a risk if you are considering a bespoke solution, since everything needs to be specified in writing.
Before looking at possible solutions, an important step is to identify your requirements. We always like to help create an impact statement, i.e. what difference do you need the new CRM solution to make in quantifiable terms, and a list of requirements with priorities.
Blackbaud has just launched an ‘Invitation to Tender’ template which you can download for free, and they suggest that you will learn:
- The right questions to ask when engaging with CRM vendors
- The 15 areas of functionality to ensure you include in your checklist
- Over 100 fundamental functionality requirements to consider for your organisation
Now, provided we all bear in mind that they are a CRM supplier, and they are unlikely to suggest a question that they cannot give a good answer to, then this can be a useful resource. As with all things, you should tailor it to your situation, and include/exclude questions as appropriate. You may well get a call from Blackbaud, but you can always unsubscribe from their marketing.