CRM Requirements

by Wanda Thibodeaux; Updated September 26, 2017
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To stay competitive, businesses look at their customer relationship management. CRM refers to the the control of the relationships the business has with its customers. The basic concept behind a CRM system is to keep the business operational through finding and maintaining clients. CRMs use technology to organize and analyze business processes for this purpose. This means that CRMs need defined requirements that indicate what processes are necessary and how they should function.

Functional Requirements

Functional requirements are everything the business needs to conduct business with the customer. On the most basic level, functional requirements therefore are operational requirements. They may include items such as having a website, hiring a specific number of representatives, Internet and phone access for corresponding with clients, and specific software or hardware. These items sometimes are broken down into subcategories such as technology requirements or vendor requirements. Functional requirements differ based on the overall goals of a company, but as pointed out by Aurther O'Connor of cioupdate.com, all functional requirements need to adapt to the customer, and managers should document the requirements clearly to define the company's objectives and restrict unnecessary resource expenditure.

Budget

CRM budget requirements look at how much a company can spend on marketing, products, customer service, maintenance and training. Often businesses develop CRM budgets based on what the company or similar companies have done in the past. However, because the functional requirements of a business may change to accommodate customers, O'Connor emphasizes that it may be better to take a goal-centered approach to CRM budgets. This means that a CRM officer should develop a CRM budget according to what the company ultimately wants to do. The advantages to this approach to CRM budget requirements are that it always is future-based and that it lets the CRM officer concentrate on the overall goals of the company.

Customer Knowledge

Knowledge of the customer is a fundamental component of all CRM systems. It includes understanding customer trends and groups, why the customers initially or repeatedly choose the business and the factors that influence customer choices. CRM requirements thus may include points centered around customer data and analysis, such as customer surveys and sales statistics based on inventory and receipts.

Implementation and Maintenance

Implementation and maintenance requirements dictate what is necessary to pull the entire CRM system into working order. These requirements may involve concepts such as time (e.g., how long will a process take), or they may detail items such as upgrades or certifications. These requirements usually are more broad than other requirements because they often determine how other requirements are addressed.

About the Author

Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website, Takingdictation.com, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.

Photo Credits

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