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Denise A Practical How To Guide to Marketing Software Vendor Selection

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Creating the Final Requirements Document

That's Lynda's last task here: she has to take the information she's been provided and assemble it into the RFP. This particular key process page may look something like:

Lead Distribution Functional Workflow

Inbound leads are handled by an Inside Sales Rep, who marketing-qualifies the lead, records it, passes it on to the appropriate field rep, and a updates a lead management report.

Process Description

  1. A lead comes in from a variety of sources.
  2. The Inside Rep enters the information into a spreadsheet.
  3. Inside Rep takes the call and marketing qualifies the lead.
  4. Inside Rep sends out any information requested and call ends.
  5. Inside Rep records the event in a spreadsheet.
  6. Inside Rep alerts the Field rep of the lead assignment.
  7. Inside Rep updates a status document for management visibility.

    Note: The two manual (green) processes identified in the prior session have been excluded.

Data To Be Used For Cost Savings Calculations and ROI

Receive and process the lead
Interact with the lead
Assign lead and alert rep
Record the event in a spreadsheet
Record the event in the sales management system
Lead distribution Cost Per Lead
Lost Leads
Total leads
per day:
Number of leads handled:
Number of leads mishandled:
  34% lost;
  33% followed up late;
  33% endless tag

Questions For Vendor Response:

  1. Did you read and do you understand the function we've described?
  2. Did you read and do you understand the specific and measurable goals we want to achieve?
  3. Can your marketing software directly and without customization achieve these goals?
  4. Describe the specific product functionality or modules that will achieve these goals.
  5. Describe the specific workflow processes by which your solution will achieve this goal.
  6. Describe, in days, the length of time to implement your solution to accomplish our goal.
  7. Describe, in days, the training necessary for us to become proficient with your solution.
  8. Estimate the length of time for us to reach investment break even on your proposed solution.
  9. Describe how your marketing program will interact with our legacy SFA system.

Of course this is only one key process of several. And while flushing out this level of detail is very time consuming, it is also the single greatest method to actually achieve the desired result.

A Systemic Marketing Software Selection Delivers Predicted Results

The process we've described here imposes discipline on you, as you begin the marketing software selection process. It forces you to think through, in a systemic fashion, the key business processes you want to impact with marketing automation software, and the prioritized and measurable results you expect to achieve. And it clearly spells it all out to your potential vendors, thereby eliminating questions, confusions and miscommunications. The result: a clear and comprehensive methodology for finding, selecting and succeeding with your Marketing Automation software solution. End

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Best PracticesVendor SelectionRequirements DefinitionRequirements Document

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Author  Author: Rick Cook
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Comments (4) — Comments for this page are closed —

Guest Rajif Solimi
  About how many business processes should be documented for the software selection project?
  Denise Denise Holland
    I recommend completing the business process descriptions and narratives for all marketing processes which you consider important once the system gets to production. It's a lot of work, but provides the greatest assurance that the marketing software will accommodate the processes you most want to perform.

Guest Sami Johnston
  Our executive team is really slow to appreciate the importance of marketing automation. We have some support from the sales director, but not rest of executive team. How important is an executive sponsor?
  Denise Denise Holland
    I would not commence a software selection or implementation without a project sponsor. It sounds like your challenge is to educate the executive team. If all else fails, you may get their attention with a compelling and justifiable business case document which illustrates benefits and projects a solid ROI.



Illustrating a process description, exact criteria for measurable payback and qualitative questions to engage vendors in meaningful discussion for each top objective is very time consuming, however, is also proven to provide the single greatest assurance to actually achieve the desired result.



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