CRM is an excellent tool that can help with storing your contacts, seeing their involvement and communicating with them effectively. However, choosing any new system can be tricky and time consuming. We have outlined a few important points to consider while making a decision.
In order to wisely manage the people involved with your organisation (whether they are clients, volunteers, donors, or members), it is important to have a Client Relationship Management system.
CRM is an excellent tool that can help with storing your contacts, seeing their involvement and communicating with them. However, with so many options available, choosing any new system can be tricky and time consuming.
In today’s blog post we’d like to discuss a few important points that need to be taken into consideration:
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? Most providers offer a 14-day trial when you can use the system for free. It might also be possible to negotiate a longer trial period, especially if you need to train a team to use it in the future.
Will you start slowly and run your old system along with the new or start from scratch, ditching the old one completely? Get buy-in from the team, give enough time for everyone to learn the new system, and provide training and support. Spending time to have the new system embedded will ensure its success.
How much does the new system cost? Does it include support or training? Does it include free migration of old data? Does it include upgrades? Are there any other additional costs to consider?
What do you need the system to do? There is no “One size fits all.” It is important to have a clear understanding of what your organisation needs. Your expected outcomes 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 and such.
How does the system handle private and sensitive data? Are you able to give different users different levels of access? Find a secure system that offers two-factor authentication that can be enforced globally. 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?
Are there any obstacles and hurdles that need to be overcome? Be prepared and don’t be afraid of change, it is today’s constant. But be aware, if you have had a lot of changes recently your team may be fatigued and need a break.
Find a company that will understand you and your needs and give you the support that you need.
There are certainly many things to think about, but don’t overthink it and don’t be put off. The rewards of having a functional and reliable system that will save you time and money far outweigh the challenge of getting the new system up and running.