To help IT managers develop a request for proposal for prospective CRM vendors, eWEEK Labs has put together a series of questions about capabilities.
Customer relationship management applications are well-established tools for helping companies unify and automate the process of selling to and supporting customers. While CRM applications share many common elements and designs, companies evaluating them should consider how adaptable a solution will be to their particular sales and support processes. To help IT managers develop an RFP (request for proposal) for prospective CRM vendors, eWEEK Labs has put together a series of questions about capabilities.
Click here to read reviews of two open-source CRM applications.
To lay the groundwork for the RFP, companies should detail their processes and needs. What is the selling process, the scope of the sales and support effort in terms of products and services, and the size of the sales and support organizations?
Does the product natively support our sales processes? If so, how is that support provided? (Prebuilt templates, forms, workflow rules?) If not, what efforts, such as consulting engagement, are recommended to bring the product in line with the sales process?
List at least three reference customers in the same or a similar industry, of equal size, and selling similar products using a similar methodology.
Does the CRM system include an integrated form-customization tool? If not, what other development tools are required to customize the application?
Does the product support document management internally?
Does the product include a module for managing sales and support projects?
Which applications and PDA platforms does the product directly support in terms of contact and calendar management?
What interfaces are available as front ends for the service? (Proprietary client, PDA client, BlackBerry, Web browser?)
What modules are supported by the optional clients?
a) PDA b) BlackBerry c) Web
Does each module support full functionality on the optional clients?
a) PDA b) BlackBerry c) Web
What scheduling and notification options does the product support for SLAs (service-level agreements)? (Localization, recurring actions, business calendars?)
What types of external events does the application support as triggers? (Web services, SOAP, file?)
Which server-based applications are natively supported through application connectors?
Does the product include a portal module for users to access other Web applications?
Does the product include an externally facing customer support portal?
Does the product support end-user configuration of key-performance-indicator monitoring and alerting?
Does the product support custom report generation?
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