Choosing a CRM

CRM is an acronym for Client Relationship Management. Having a system or tools that allow you to manage the people involved with your organisation whether they be clients, volunteers, donors, members etc. Being able to see their connections, their involvement and helping to manage that involvement and communication. Choosing any new system can be tricky and time consuming. There can be a lot to consider and there are so many to choose from. Here are a few things to consider.

Tuesday 28th November 2017

1. Time and Resources
How much time do you have to research and trial a new system? Do you have staff or volunteers who would be using it to also have a good trial to the system?

2. Implementation
Will you start slowly and run your old system along with the new or the "Big Bang" method, starting from scratch, ditching the old completely?

Get buy-in from the team, give enough time for everyone to learn the new system, give training and support. Spending time to get the new system embedded will ensure its success.

3. Budget
How much does the new system cost? Does it include support or training? Does it include upgrades? Are there any other additional costs?

4. Features
What do you need the system to do? There is not "One size fits all". Know what your organisation needs. What outcomes you need will dictate what the input should be. What are the must haves and deal breakers compared to the nice to haves? Do you need users to login from anywhere? A cloud based system gives ease of access from anywhere for multi users and you don't need to worry about back ups, upgrades etc.

5. Security
How does the system handle private and sensitive data? Are you able to give different users different levels of access? How secure is the system? There is never going to be a 100% secure system, but does it have adequate measures in place to make it much more difficult for unscrupulous people to access? In the unlikely event of a catastrophe how easy is it to get everything restored again?

6. Obstacles
Are there any obstacles and hurdles that need to be overcome? Be prepared and don’t be afraid of change, it is todays constant. But be aware, if you have had a lot of changes recently your team may be fatigued and need a break.

7. Support
Find a company that will understand you and your needs and give you the support that you need.

There is much to think about, but don't be put off, the rewards of having a system that works for you and your organisation far out weighs the pain of getting the new system in place.

By : Aukje - infoodle