In the last article, we explored two key things that you should consider when exploring a new CRM – how the organisation will use it in the future and what to considerations when budgeting for it (read the previous article here).
Below we talk about Configuration v Customisation, clarifying the terms are often interchanged however they have very different outcomes. This article also explores integration with Third-Party platforms, something that your organisation should consider and which can really improve efficiencies across your organisation, but also can mean some considerations for your budget.
So to begin…
Configuration v Customisation
This is all about future proofing your CRM so it’s important to understand the distinction between these two terms.
When we say configuration, we’re talking about using the native tools or out-of-the-box features offered by a product. Some common examples of configuration include:
- creating the look and feel that you are after; brand colours, logos, email templates etc;
- levels of access – who can see what information is held on records, what they can do to those records (such as editing, deleting, merging etc)
- creating new or re-labelling existing fields to reflect the data captured by your organisation;
- re-organising page layouts so that the flow works for different teams;
- designing workflows and automation*; and/or
- Integrating third party Apps
Where possible, NobleCX tries to avoid customisation, however there are instances where all configuration options have been exhausted, meaning we have to go down that path.
Not to get too technical but customisation generally means that you have modified one of these out-of-the-box features by introducing code or triggers in order to meet your business needs. Customisation isn’t a bad thing, it just means that going forward, you’ll need to have either resources in-house (such as a developer or someone with that skill level) to make any changes or you will assign some budget for an external resource for ongoing maintenance or changes.
A word of caution with customisation. Because customisation is code, if you need to make a change, you’ll need someone can make the change, but also someone that understands exactly how the code behaves, otherwise you risk breaking the system.
Do your homework with this. Ask questions of your vendor, simple ones such as “Will I (or someone less technical than you) be able to change this once we go live” or “What happens if there is an update to the CRM, will this get updated automatically too?” to get an understanding of what kind of resourcing you’ll need in the future.
Integration with other applications
Similar to configuration and customisation it’s important to understand how well your new CRM integrates with other applications. Choosing a CRM that can integrate with 3rd party Apps is crucial in improving efficiency across your organisation while also giving you that 360 view of how someone is connected to you.
This goes beyond the standard event platforms. A CRM that easily integrates with things such as your Email: Website; Donation forms; and Marketing and Social Media platforms will help you streamline your day-to-day and give you real-time access to information.
And where it can’t integrate directly (think of some 3rd party peer-to-peer platforms or Finance systems) at the very least, make sure it has tools to help simplify the importation of data.
So what’s next?
Once you have those requirements: prioritise.
Your budget might not stretch to meet all these requirements all at once, but knowing what the requirements are, allows you to look at CRMs that are flexible enough to adapt to your needs and not be rigid in what can be delivered.
Plan for time, and allow a little more. This gives you time to properly test different scenarios during User Acceptance Testing. Check in with users during this time, as adoption will really come down to how they find the system.
If you are migrating data from one system to another, you want to get it right. Take the time to tidy up existing data, and lose what you don’t need to carry across. Remember good data in equals good data out.
Request a demo. Go into the demo with a checklist of what you want to see (share it with the vendor first so that they can prepare). Ask questions even if you’re not sure they are the right ones.
Allow yourself to be challenged during the process and challenge the vendors.
This is a great time to see if some of the existing business processes are necessary or if they were necessary because of your legacy system.
Thinking of switching to Salesforce?
Why NobleCX is your best choice
NobleCX is an Australian-based cloud solutions specialist. We partner with organisations of all sizes and industries to deliver customised system solutions – so you can work faster and smarter.
Our salesforce.com certified team is committed to helping you get more from your investment with Salesforce.
We take the time to listen to your unique business challenges and then respond with the best possible solution.
Some of the benefits of partnering with NobleCX:
- Our extensive range of services ensures we can support almost any business challenge.
- Direct support from Australian-based Salesforce Certified Consultants and Administrators.
- Maximise your investment in your systems solution. By partnering with NobleCX, we can help you take advantage of features and functionality of your system to increase your ROI.
Which salesforce.com solution suits your organisation?
Salesforce.com has a range of CRM applications to help your organisation based on your needs.
Salesforce Sales Cloud is the most common and popular salesforce.com app.
You may have a need for a robust Customer Service solution, Salesforce Service Cloud can help.
In addition, the salesforce.com Foundation has a set of managed packages called Non-Profit Success Pack (NPSP) developed and maintained by Salesforce.org and made available for free via the Salesforce AppExchange. It allows nonprofits to better manage some common nonprofit business processes.