Conventional wisdom on CRM requirements doesn't work

The final major flaw with the functionality led approach to CRM requirements gathering is the Rumsfeldian notion of the unknown unknowns. Users, who invariably haven’t used CRM technology before, are expected to articulate a complete vision of what they want from a system, and invariably are only able to produce a handful of bullet points.

Even those who have been exposed to CRM technology before, generally because the system they used wasn’t well set up, and/or the deterioration of memory over time, and/or their exposure to a limited sub-set of functionality, tend to struggle to produce meaningful requirements.

On the other extreme, this approach does occasionally produce users who can create a very detailed but ultimately Frankenstein-esque vision of a system out of all context with what’s deliverable from conventional CRM technology.

The implications of the above are that:

The stated requirements are so limited that most packages in the market can meet them, and so the meaningful comparison is nigh on impossible.

Key functional requirements are missed which increases the risk of purchasing a CRM package that doesn’t meet the ‘real’ needs. For example I’ve seen a lot of organisations with very sensitive data security needs fail to document any data security related requirements.

Or in the ‘Frankenstein-esque’ situation the stated requirements are so ‘unusual’ that vendors are discouraged from bidding, and those that are received have huge price tags. I know of several expensive CRM tendering exercises that produced no responses at all, with all invited vendors deciding to ‘no bid’.

Anyway, that rounds out why the functionality led approach to requirements gathering doesn’t work, next time I’ll try and articulate a better way…


Related CRM Software Articles

Wikipedia Website Now Available for Mobile Devices


Wikipedia has launched a mobile phone optimized version of their encyclopedia website at mobile.wikipedia.org. Wikipedia has officially launched a mobile phone optimized version of their encyclopedia at mobile.wikipedia.org. This is a plain vanilla...

Read more about Wikipedia Website Now Available for Mobile Devices...

Salesforce and Google Apps


The announcement of Salesforce for Google Apps has again raised questions about why Google hasn’t been successful in getting major corporations to widely deploy its Web-based productivity applications, particularly the Google Apps Premier...

Read more about Salesforce and Google Apps...

Search Content



WhitePapers


Sales Force Automation Comparison Guide

Businesses of all sizes can benefit by automating all aspects of their sales processes with an SFA (Sales Force Automation) solution. But due to the sheer number of features that most SFA solutions...Read More


How to Buy a Phone System

Considering a new phone system for your business? The Phone System Buyer's Guide from VoIP-News provides you with all of the information you need to make a more informed decision. The Guide helps you...Read More


Oracle Magazine

Oracle Magazine contains technology strategy articles, sample code, tips, Oracle and partner news, how to articles for developers and DBAs, and more. Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) is the world's largest...Read More


Which CMS Is Right For Me?

If you're wondering which CMS is the right one for your organization, this comprehensive guide will take you through the various options available, detailing the pros and cons of each. Download...Read More




View All Whitepapers