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Choosing Your CRM: RFP Template 101
Using an RFP template allows you to save up to
85% of time and money you'd spend gathering information in order to specify your needs.It's true that life involves taking a few risks. Nothing ventured, nothing gained,
as the old adage goes. And as it is in life, so too in business: for success to happen, sometimes
a risk or two must be taken.
Even during the process of choosing your customer relationship
management (CRM) software, it might be necessary to take a risk or two.
Maybe you'll have to risk going slightly beyond your CRM software budget. Or maybe
you'll end up taking
just a little more time than you expected, and risk delaying CRM implementation.
But choosing a CRM solution shouldn't be a complete gamble. You shouldn't
have to lay everything you've got on the line, just to get a CRM solution that
meets your organization's top CRM requirements. And the process
shouldn't be left to guesswork, or to chance. Just as you would do appropriate
research before buying a new home or a new car, you should investigate all CRM
companies and CRM vendors as part of doing your CRM evaluation. Anything less,
and your risks could end up outweighing the benefits. And your CRM requirements
might get lost in the shuffle.
So in other words, using the
right tools—like a CRM RFP—as part of your
CRM solution research, your CRM software selection process won't be a
matter of building a house of cards. Instead, you'll come out the winner and
reap the benefits in spades.
Use a CRM RFP (Request for Proposals)—it's your own personalized wild card. With a CRM RFP template, you'll be playing the
CRM software selection game with a full deck. Whether
you're looking for CRM for manufacturing, CRM for banking, CRM for business, CRM
for enterprise resource planning (CRM for ERP), or CRM for sales or management,
a sample RFP template is your wildcard in the CRM software selection
Still playing with your CRM cards close to your chest? Want to know more about
how a CRM RFP help you get the CRM solution you need, and the best CRM solution
for your business?
Read on to find out:
- how a CRM RFP template can save you time and money, and
- how to write your own RFP for CRM technology.
What is a CRM RFP template?
A CRM RFP template is a comprehensive list of features and functions, or criteria,
which you can use as a guide as you decide what you will need from your CRM
A CRM RFP template is a specially designed spreadsheet (with MS Excel
or other compatible application). CRM RFP development is done
with the help of CRM software analysts and the world's leading CRM vendors.
Thousands of criteria can be listed
on an RFP template, covering the features and functions of various customer relationship
- sales force automation (SFA),
- enterprise marketing management (EMM),
service and support,
- partner management,
- contract management and creation,
- project and team management, and
- technical functionality.
A CRM RFP template is organized in an easy-to-use, color-coded, and hierarchical
structure. Each criterion provides a column where you can assign a priority to
that criterion, as well as a column for vendors to indicate their specific level of support for that criterion
(one of the later stages of using the CRM RFP template). The criteria are often accompanied by annotated explanations
that make the CRM RFP templates even clearer and easier to
How can you possibly lose?
Use a CRM RFP template and make sure that when all your cards are laid on the
table, you come up trumps instead of tapping out.
How can a CRM RFP template save you time and money?
You'll still have to ante up, of course. You're not going to find a CRM
solution for free, even with a free CRM RFP.
You don't need to start from scratch when you
use an RFP template for your CRM software selection.
But if you use a CRM RFP with a list of up to thousands of criteria,
much of the work has already been done for you. With a
CRM RFP template, you don't have to start from scratch
and analyze your CRM needs one by one. You won't have to wait for all the
departments in your organization to make the time to create lists of their
requirements. And you won't have to wade through all their results,
cross-checking and compiling, in a process that could add weeks onto your CRM
solution search. Instead, every feature and function provided by
every CRM solution on the market has already been assembled for
you in a detailed and accurate list.
So, it's not really necessary to write an RFP. All you have to do is go through the
ready-made list and check off the criteria from
the CRM modules that apply to your needs (and send out copies of the CRM RFP to
all your departments, and have them do the same). Having a pre-designed list of criteria
also means that nothing gets lost in the shuffle: it's all there, an ace up your
sleeve, waiting for you to play to your advantage.
You can, of course, use a pre-designed CRM RFP template as a guideline, and
add new criteria or new sections if you choose to. But even
adding a few more criteria to an already extensive list will save you time,
compared with the time involved in making up your own CRM RFP criteria list.
You could also start with a CRM RFI. A request for information
(RFI) is a
less-detailed spreadsheet that you can first send to all departments in order to
collect their definitions of CRM requirements. And then, you can send those
definitions of required CRM functions on to CRM vendors, to find out how their
CRM solutions match your needs. But these are extra steps that your time budget
might not permit in your CRM consulting process.
Save time now—deal yourself in.
Go straight for the CRM RFP template.
Because time saved is money saved.
But if you are interested in writing an RFP, here's...
...How to write a CRM RFP in 3 Simple Steps
How to write a CRM RFP Template Step #1
Use the CRM RFP to determine your own CRM solution requirements. Why spend
weeks making your own list, when you can get one ready-made with a full house of CRM requirements?
It's easy to make sure that all CRM vendors and CRM solutions are dealt in, when
you use a CRM RFP.
How to write a CRM RFP Template Step #2
Use a CRM RFP template to assign priorities to your criteria. Weighing your criteria
then allows you to create a decision matrix, and help attain a more accurate
product comparison. Side by side by side, CRM vendors and CRM solutions can be
compared, helping you to determine your shortlist.
How to write a CRM RFP Template Step #3
Send your weighted list of criteria on the CRM RFP template to the CRM vendors on
your short list. Define your CRM project, and ask the CRM vendors how they will meet
your needs (not just in terms of the criteria, but also implementation and support). Then, compare the CRM vendor responses,
and determine which one offers the all-around best CRM solution for your
A CRM RFP is an ace up your sleeve.
Without a CRM RFP, you're only cheating
A CRM RFP template lets you
- compare which CRM products support the right mix of your enterprise's
marketing, sales force automation, and customer service requirements
- evaluate CRM features and functions that support a methodical approach
to sales and marketing functions
- understand how each CRM product supports your analytics requirements
- compare the advantages and disadvantages of hosted CRM solutions versus
on-site CRM implementations
- access listings for CRM vendors that you may not know about, or that you
may not have considered
Don't deal yourself a bad hand—use a CRM
RFP. And you'll be able to play your CRM consulting cards right.
For more information about CRM and CRM RFP templates, visit these links:
Using a CRM RFP template reduces your risk of choosing the wrong CRM software
solution. Save time and money. That's your bottom
About Technology Evaluation Centers
Technology Evaluation Centers (TEC) provides decision support systems that
enable enterprises to objectively identify the CRM software products that best
fit their individual requirements. TEC has a library of resources, from CRM
RFP templates, to articles, white papers, and comparison reports. TEC's
method of software evaluation, including CRM consulting services, enables
decision makers to mitigate the risks associated with enterprise software
Simplify your life! Get
started on your successful software comparison today.