Preparing the Business Case for a CRM Implementation

We advise charities and employees responsible for procuring a CRM to prepare a thought out and comprehensive plan that factors the financial and non financial benefits and implications for your organisation, both short and long term. We find it useful to frame these under the following elements: 

Motivations: It is important to clarify your motivations for implementing a CRM and present a clear Business Case. For example: Is it going to make you compliant with data protection guidelines or procurement requirements? Is it going to help you manage business and team performance more easily, or enable you to measure your impact and report to Funders more readily? Funders often prioritise grant applications by need, so it may be valuable to articulate what could happen if you don’t invest in a system.

Return on Investment: It is useful to articulate a clear, tangible financial benefit from your investment in a CRM system, both in the short and long term. If you are going to invest £x into a system, how much do you envisage this saving you in reduced administration costs, leakage costs, or missed opportunities? How much do you envisage it helping you generate in terms of increased sales or funding?

Change Management: Funders love to see that change management has been considered, and that the organisation will properly plan and embed a change management strategy to ensure that the planning and adoption process is managed in the best way possible. Statistics show that over 60% of IT projects can fail due to underlying issues that can be prevented with a change management plan from the start

Business Analysis and Requirements Gathering: If an organisation can show it has already invested in a business analysis and scoping exercise (led by someone internally or with an external consultant) to document their requirements and receive quotes for the work, this can demonstrate that the organisation is committed to implementing a CRM. A scoping session can help the team to explore the benefits, the digital opportunities, explore requirements and create a consensus, which all helps to generate internal buy-in to a CRM. 

Project Management: Ideally any CRM project should be led and managed by someone who is internal and permanent to the organisation and that they have sufficient skills, time and knowledge to lend to the preparation, review and adoption process of a new system and management of internal team members and external consultants. This ensures that the project is properly managed on all sides and will reduce risks related to costs and time slippage. Agile project management is a typical approach to managing IT project these days.

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