The CRM assessment provides an in-depth look at the organization and compares the current environment against CRM best (and worst) practices across a variety of industries. The assessment focuses on the five critical components of a comprehensive CRM environment:
- Implementing a coordinated, customer-focused business strategy
- Creating a CRM-friendly organization structure
- Establishing a CRM-savvy organization culture
- Utilizing a comprehensive definition of “customer”
- Implementing an integrated customer information technology environment
Strengths and weaknesses are identified, and progress is evaluated in each of the five components. Recommendations are generated based on a “CRM Continuum” of best practices across multiple industries. The CRM Continuum includes the five individual areas, (strategy, structure, culture, definition, and technology) and represents the level of readiness in each key CRM area. This unique assessment mechanism allows an organization to quickly measure progress within each component while also understanding the impact of individual components on CRM progress as a whole. The assessment provides a natural starting point for CRM planning, strategy development, next step analysis, and project prioritization.
Benefits that an organization can gain from a CRM assessment include coordinating CRM investments and maximizing their return, having a yardstick with which to measure CRM progress, and ensuring the appropriate involvement and feeling of ownership for both the business and information technology communities. Each assessment consists of information gathering, analysis, presentation, and knowledge transfer.
- Information gathering is typically accomplished through a combination of documentation reviews, interviews, facilitated sessions, and surveys.
- Analysis is performed by examining the information collected and relating it to best practices.
- Presentation is accomplished through the delivery of a findings and recommendations document and formal or informal presentations.
- Knowledge transfer is accomplished through the interaction of ISI’s consultants with company personnel.
The assessment is performed on a time-boxed basis, and entails 20 – 40 days of consulting effort. The assessment schedule is dependent on the availability of the key people involved. ISI strives to structure the assessments so that they can be completed within a three to six week timeframe. A six-week engagement typically consists of the following schedule:
- Prior to arrival – schedule interviews and review relevant documents
- Weeks 1 and 2 (on-site) – gather information primarily through interviews and facilitated sessions
- Weeks 3 and 4 (off-site) – analyze information and draft report and presentation
- Week 5 (on-site) – potentially gather additional information, and present and discuss findings
- Week 6 (off-site) – finalize deliverables
The assessment has three major deliverables:
- The major tangible deliverable is the assessment report that delineates the major findings of the assessment and provides specific recommendations to leverage strengths and mitigate risks and weaknesses. The findings include information on the company’s progress in each of the five key areas in the CRM Continuum and the recommendations identify actions to help the company move forward in all five areas.
- A second tangible deliverable is the presentation and resultant discussion. The presentation is oriented to an executive audience and highlights the company’s progress in each of the five key areas of CRM.
- The third deliverable is intangible, and it is attained through the interaction of the ISI consultant and the company’s personnel. In addition to soliciting information, the consultant provides informal education and training in relevant concepts.