Unifying Contact Management with an Agency-Wide CRM
Case Study: CRM Software Evaluation
An independent, quasi-public agency that provides financing for affordable housing had an agency-wide need for a unified customer relationship management (CRM) system. The agency was capturing and managing contact information in several different systems, with no standardized process between the agency’s different divisions. The organization was looking to create a single, consolidated system of record for managing all divisions’ contact information to support their growing business development efforts and improve the customer service experience for their customers. For this reason, the agency hired Aciron to conduct a thorough assessment of their CRM needs, evaluate CRM options in the marketplace, and recommend a CRM system that would best meet the agency’s needs.
Aciron began the engagement by conducting user interviews with key stakeholders from across the agency including representatives from each of the agency’s departments. During these meetings, we discussed the current process and the pain points users were experiencing with managing their department’s contact information. The Aciron project team worked closely with the client’s key stakeholders to discuss, analyze, and capture all CRM needs and priorities, which included the ability to track contact information and contact communications, generate reports, and manage marketing campaigns.
Upon completion of the requirements gathering interviews, we determined the priorities of each department’s CRM needs in relation to the overall company CRM goals by categorizing them into “Must Have” and “Nice to Have” buckets. After analyzing these requirements, we created a decision matrix outlining how the features of leading CRM vendors’ solutions addressed the agency’s needs. The decision matrix highlighted the agency’s requirements, their priorities, and whether the CRM solutions adequately addressed the “Must Have” requirements. By analyzing the decision matrix, Aciron and the client were able to narrow down the list of CRMs to the two most promising solutions: Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.
After compiling the decision matrix and narrowing down the potential solutions, Aciron’s consultants conducted a thorough assessment of the features of both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. To conduct this assessment, Aciron not only worked with the CRM vendors’ representatives, but also used in-depth research and our experience with both systems to review the manner in which the client’s “Must-Have” requirements were addressed, as well as each system’s pros and cons. Our team compiled these findings and our final recommendations in a report that we presented to the client, putting them in a position to make an informed decision about which CRM to implement agency-wide.
After conducting user interviews, gathering and prioritizing CRM requirements, and performing the vendor evaluation and analysis, Aciron recommended that the client select Microsoft Dynamics as their CRM system.
We made this recommendation for the following reasons:
- The agency is already using Office 365 and other Microsoft technologies, so Dynamics will integrate seamlessly with their other systems. Plus, the agency already had a number of Dynamics licenses at their disposal.
- The client already has internal IT resources to support Dynamics.
- Dynamics offers single sign-on capability for users, which was a critical requirement for the agency.
Currently, the agency is still determining the best way to move forward with implementation and in what capacity Aciron’s consultants will assist. Once the agency has fully implemented Dynamics as the single platform for capturing and managing information about contacts, they hope to improve efficiency of contact management throughout the organization. The agency is also eager to more accurately track all touch points and communications they have with external entities so that they can analyze and improve their business development and customer service efforts.