By Vera Lang
Research forecasts that by 2010, organizations worldwide will spend $11 billion per year on customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. A large portion of this expense is allocated to CRM’s Professional Services Cost. How can they maximize Return on CRM Investment, and in particular, to its Professional Services component?
CRM Professional Services are hard to estimate: are highly variable and depend on your CRM scope of implementation & support, customization needs and existing software integration requirements. They also vary by vendor, product type and other factors.
How to Estimate CRM Professional Services Cost
Professional Services for CRM planning & design, implementation and post-implementation encompass a wide range of tasks. To understand cost, companies are to first scope its entire CRM project. By detailing complexity, clarity and a real budget will emerge.
Break-down of CRM Project Scopes to Identify Professional Services Cost Variables
Phase I – CRM Planning
1. CRM Strategic Objectives, High-level Project Scope & Needs
2. Project Management, including definition of expected results & return schedule, mapping implementation plans and training roll-out.
3. Custom Business Process Mapping & Redesign, embracing industry best practices, preferred processes and process automation
4. CRM System Design & Specification for sales, marketing & customer service
5. CRM Customization & CRM Integration with existing applications.
Phase II – CRM Implementation
6. System Build & Configuration
7. Data Migration: data cleansing & import
8. User Documentation of CRM Usage embracing Redesigned Procedures – Corporate Communication for User Acceptance.
9. Administrator & User Training – cost depends on staffing numbers, existing skills, process redesign and system complexity
10. Hardware Installation, Upgrades, and Additional Software Requirements
Phase III – Ongoing Live with CRM
11. CRM Performance Testing
12. CRM Adoption & Usage Audits
13. CRM Transition and ongoing Support
All components impact on Professional Services Cost, and #5 and #7 are real cost drivers of CRM Professional Services Cost.
Coming in within Budget
Once you have a base-case of estimated CRM Professional Services cost, you can apply scenarios to see how the cost-structure varies by shifting requirements. Some tasks might be done in-house, while others must be undertaken by vendors for a fee. You might rethink your requirements once the price tags of options become apparent. It pays to do your homework.
This is a condensed version. To read the full version of this article, visit http://crmhelpdesksoftware.com/pricing-crms-professional-services-cost/