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Achieving Excellence in Customer Management, Research Proposal Example

Pages: 3

Words: 884

Research Proposal

CRM System Rationale

Certech’s product goal is to centralize study guide materials on portable USB devices that tailor to the needs of potential exam takers. The initial product focus will be to combine study materials from Microsoft and CompTIA, two top certification makers in the IT field.  The hardware, software, packaging, and shipping of the USB devices is made possible through the sharing of information between Certech and various vendors. The company requires a customer relationship management (CRM) system to tackle the challenges associated with operations, such as the attrition of clients. A CRM tool that can track clients is critical for a positive and growing bottom line.

There are four main critical success factors for the CRM system to be employed. Firstly, sales is one of the most effective measures of success. The efficiency of the system will be measured according to the level of sales that is expected to increase as a result of anticipating the clients’ needs and as such better timing. Secondly, the ability to identify customer requirements will be determined by the level of customer satisfaction. Thirdly, the level of product cross-selling will highlight the CRM system’s ability to generate enhancements or alternatives. The ability to track profitability if the final critical success factor.

Off-the-shelf CRM Alternatives

Certech will not develop its own CRM system. Instead, it will purchase and integrate an off-the-shelf CRM system that will have to be tailored for the organization’s needs. While there are numerous CRM systems available in the market, two stand out, Salesforce and NetSuite. According to a market comparison of the two CRM systems, both software packages have a number of similar features that set them apart from other CRM software packages in the market (Payne, 2009).

The most notable differences include the pricing. While Salesforce has a fixed price of $65 per user on a monthly basis, the cost of NetSuite’s system varies from one organization or another. The standout feature for Salesforce is its user friendliness that it has shown throughout the market. NetSuite is capable of pulling contact information from website visitors (Pride & Ferrell, 2014). Both products have similar contact management features as well as sales and marketing features. However, Salesforce has the social CRM and live chat capabilities, both of which NetSuite lacks. One of the significant downsides of both software packages is the inability to deploy the software packages on-premise.

Preferred CRM System

Taking the two alternatives into consideration, Salesforce would be the most ideal software package for the company. This is mainly founded on the history and track record that Salesforce has within the industry. Salesforce is market leader and an innovator as regards the development of CRM systems. Salesforce has been selected based on three strengths that make it suitable for the company. These strengths also highlight management’s expectations in deploying the system.

Salesforce is expected to offer the company immense contact management capabilities. The contact management features found on the software package is expected to enhance customer management by designating 10 different types of customers when creating new contacts. This classification is essential in understanding customers and specific customer behavior. The system is also expected to enhance filtering of contacts using the contact filter feature. This is essential in grouping customers and developing marketing campaigns to generate additional contacts, business ideas and leads. The system is also expected to introduce efficiency to the managing customers as a result of its ease of use. As such, employees are expected to be able to handle the system within a relatively short period of time.

Recommendation

The Salesforce CRM system will be implemented in a 5-phase procedure. The first step will be identifying the goals, vision and metrics that the company holds, as well as the tools, dependencies and resources required for this procedure. This process will also entail defining how Salesforce CRM will be integrated into the corporate mission. This stage will also involve selecting an implementation approach and building an appropriate project timeline.

The second phase will entail setting up and customizing Salesforce to the organization, its structure and operations. Salesforce will be used to collect customer information and effectively analyze the data collected. This will be achieved by defining the security settings for each user, creating custom fields, objects, rules, tabs and page layouts. This will be finalized by creating and developing the desired reports expected out of the system. The final phase will entail the deployment of Salesforce. This will be achieved by adding users to the system before loading the production data. Data can be imported from existing systems if in the same format. The end users will also have to be trained. This is also crucial in encouraging the adoption of the system.

In conclusion, Certech has researched and chosen a software package that will meet its needs. The company has also identified itself as the supplier and manufacturer along with its retail and transportation partners. Salesforce will provide transparency and allow heavy monitoring of all company customers. If approved, the CRM software package will integrate nicely with both the ERP and SCM systems.

References

Goodey, P. (2013). Salesforce CRM : the Definitive Admin Handbook. Birmingham: Packt Publishing.

Payne, A. (2009). Handbook of CRM: Achieving Excellence in Customer Management. Burlington: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann.

Pride, W. M., & Ferrell, O. C. (2014). Marketing. Boston: Cengage Learning.

Stolt, R. (2010). The Importance of Customer Relationship Management in Business Marketing. Boston: GRIN Verlag.

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