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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) RFP Template Sample

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How to write an RFP for CRM Software?

Write a request for proposals (RFP), which constitutes the framework of you solicitation. 

In the CRM software technical requirements section of the RFP, embed the CRM RFP questionnaire presented below that will allow you to evaluate and compare qualified CRM software solutions and to select the CRM software solution that best matches your requirements.

The CRM RFP Questionnaire Template

FREE CRM RFP Template SampleThe following criteria are the first 2 levels of the Request for Proposals (RFP) Template for CRM available online that will help you select the CRM system that best fits your needs. The full template is a Microsoft (MS) Excel spreadsheet featuring the 5 levels of decision criteria for a total of 1,140 criteria. Only 28 are presented below as the first 2 levels.

1. CRM: Business-to-Business (B2B) CRM

The Business-to-Business (B2B) CRM enables organizations to manage the whole customer/partner lifecycle and rapidly establish a selling channel, whether merely conventional or online through web-based applications (E-Sales).

It encompasses modules from marketing automation to project execution, and contract management.

(CRM RFP Template: Business-to-Business (B2B) CRM contains 347 criteria)


Marketing Automation

Marketing automation creates a beneficial bind between service and sales organizations. The CRM software solution should be able to deliver on a range of goals in multiple environments (such as business-to-business and business-to-consumer).

Often, the CRM software solution is expected to be able to identify market segments and target them in as many ways as possible. CRM Marketing automation software solution should be able to identify customer prospects by name, location, and buying habits.

In addition, it must have appropriate analytical components to support reporting and prediction of customer behavior so that it can improve future campaigns.


Sales Force Automation (SFA)

Sales Force Automation (SFA) is the automation of the sales cycle by linking your outside sales, inside sales, technical support, management, and service and customer care. The goal is to increase communication and hence efficiency between sales and support teams.


Customer Service and Support

Customer Service and Support helps better understand one's customers and anticipate their interest in an enterprise's products and/or services through processes occurring throughout the marketing, sales, and service stages.

Customer relationship management (CRM) applications are front-end tools designed to facilitate the capture, consolidation, analysis, and enterprise-wide dissemination of data from existing and potential customers.

Multi-channel interaction management is the ability to prioritize, route, track, manage and report on all interactions regardless of media type, and provide real-time and historical reporting on each of those interactions. These capabilities help companies understand their customers and business practices, and allow them to adjust accordingly. A multi-channel interaction management solution helps companies derive value from each and every interaction.


Partner Management

Partner management supports, usually through a web portal dedicated to partners, basic functionality for partner management, such as partner information management (create, search, update, and delete), opportunity and lead source tracking and automatic notification, opportunity and lead assignment and automatic notification, all of these based on user-definable rules and workflow.

The CRM software solution should provide a variety of pre-designed partner management reports, partners sales and performance reports, and tools to help implement best practices regarding different partner management activities.


Contract Management and Creation

The Contract Management and Creation section enables organizations to manage, whether electronically or in a more conventional manner, contract lifecycle from contract creation and modification, to contract expiration and renewal, while supporting for multiple currencies; all of these based on user-definable rules and workflow.

The CRM software solution should provide a contract data record management process, a user-maintainable library of pre-designed contract templates for clauses and layouts, tools to help implement best practices regarding contract management activities, and pre-designed contract-related analytics (charts and graphs) available for display on dashboards and reports.


Project and Team Management

Project and Team Management enables organizations to manage project lifecycle and project team, from project kickoff and role definition to personnel assignment, project execution and completion; all of these based on user-definable rules and workflow.

The CRM software solution should provide a project and personnel data record management process, a user-maintainable library of pre-designed project templates, tools to help implement best practices regarding project and team management activities, and pre-designed project-related analytics (charts and graphs) available for display on dashboards and reports.

In addition, the CRM software solution may be requested to support third-party client-based project management applications, like Microsoft (MS) Project for instance.


2. CRM: Business-to-Consumer (B2C) CRM

FREE CRM RFP Template SampleBusiness-to-Consumer (B2C) CRM enables organizations to manage the whole consumer lifecycle, interact properly and successfully with their customers, and rapidly establish a selling channel.

The CRM software solution should provide all the applications necessary for consumers to complete actions online (request, submission, product catalog, secure payment, and purchase tracking), and for you to better understand them (customer profiling, customer behavior analysis, and behavioral pattern recognition [BPR]) in order to better serve them (automatic response and notification, personalization, product recommendation, forecasting of demand for product, delivery of near real-time operational data store).

(CRM RFP Template: Business-to-Consumer (B2C) CRM contains 93 criteria)


Internet Sales

Internet sales enables visitors to look for and select products of their interest, and complete their purchase online. To do so, the CRM software solution should provide an on-line product catalog with real-time price and availability information, shopping basket management with secure payment transaction processing, and profile information management (registration, subscription, shipping and billing addresses, purchase history).

The CRM software solution may provide additional features like personalization, product recommendation (up-sell and cross-sell), and order acceptance, rejection, execution, and tracking.


Email Response Management

Email Response Management ensures management of incoming emails from customers with automatic guided-through questionnaires and outbound emails combined with customer's data. It includes rule-based routing with reporting capabilities.


B2C Analytics and Business Intelligence

B2C Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) are analytical applications using complex rules-based techniques, neural networks, pattern recognition and other profile settings within peer groups to identify certain transactions and set thresholds for what is considered "normal" shopping behavior.


3. CRM: Other CRM-Related Application Areas

FREE CRM RFP Template SampleThroughout the customer lifecycle (suspect, prospect, visitor, user, lead, client), the latest CRM software solutions allow you to gather, compute, analyze, report, and extract all kinds of information related to your customers and their behavior.

Other CRM-Related Application Areas encompass a group of applications to help you determine, from the information thus gathered, who to target, which action you want to call your customers for, and when and how to enter into action.

(CRM RFP Template: Other CRM-Related Application Areas contains 13 criteria)


Email Marketing

Email marketing is the electronic form of direct marketing. It may be seen as the most efficient way of communicating to your potential or most valuable customers in order to call them for pre-determined actions. Indeed, by enhancing the relationship with your customers, email marketing encourages them to do business repeatedly with you, thus building, if well done, brand recognition, credibility, and loyalty.

The CRM software solution should provide the 5 most important modules:

  • mailing list management (recipients), including tools to manage list brokers, list hosts, list managers, list rental, and recipient-related information usage (demographics, psychographics, segmentation or targeting, privacy with express or tacit consent like opt-in/opt-out, double opt-in/double opt-out, subscribe/unsubscribe management).
  • mailing campaign management (messages sent), including tools to manage (sending pace, trigger-based messaging, bulk sending).
  • mailing content management (message content), including tools to manage message format (subject line creator, conditional subject line and content, call to action, multi-level message personalization, advertisement), to enable tracking (message opening, click-tracking features), and to optimize message deliverability (Bayesian spam filter testing, recommendations related to sender policy framework [SPF] and Microsoft's Sender ID).
  • mailing bounce management (messages received), including tools to manage auto-response (out-of-office notification, white list inclusion request and confirmation, confirmed opt-in and double opt-in), bounce back management (hard bounce, soft bounce, false positives), and replies to alleged spam complaints.
  • mailing tracking and report management (campaign efficiency), including tools to enable computation of bounce rate, open rate, unique clicks, click-through rate (CTR), click-through rate by position; while allowing you to share this information whether internally with your management or project owners, or externally with your partners or advertisers through the generation of user-definable and cross-campaign enabled activity reports.

The CRM software solution should provide a variety of message templates for variety of content (newsletter, commercial email, lead generation, etc.) and graphical layouts, pre-designed management reports, and tools to help implement best practices and compliance to Internet standards (unsolicited commercial email [UCE]), and governmental regulations (CAN-SPAM Act of 2003) related to different email marketing activities.


Relationship Capital Management (RCM)

Relationship capital management (RCM) empowers sales organizations to drastically accelerate their sales cycle by rapidly inventorying and charting their social and personal relationships, whether internal (local relationship) or external (global relationship), in order to target, reach, and influence key decision makers and influencers more efficiently thanks to the so-built trusted introduction.

Although you may find a huge literature amalgamating the two concepts, RCM is not per se equivalent to CRM. Nonetheless, a CRM software solution may be considered as one of the tools available to support relational capital management, particularly in both information gathering and dispatching phases.

Also would-be-called Corporate social networking management (CSNM), relationship capital management is, in fact, the formalization of intuitively-developed best practices that are observed at the most effective sales professionals.


Survey Software

Survey software are business intelligence tools aiming at increasing product acceptance, and customer loyalty by ensuring that customer needs are better understood and addressed.

The survey software solution should provide the following standard capabilities:

  • survey design (survey content)
  • survey administration (deployment and management)
  • survey analysis (reports)


Sales Proposal Automation Software

Sales proposal automation software streamline the process of responding to a request for proposals (RFP) by automating the proposal production, making it easier, faster, and more efficient.

Sales proposal automation software should also provide tools to determine whether submitting a proposal is worth the time and effort spent.

Sales proposal software should support the following features:

  • Proposal submission decision analysis (bid/no-bid analysis based on requirements and evaluation criteria)
  • Content management
    • easy import of initial RFP
    • definition of strategies and supporting winning themes
    • content reusability (search, copy/paste from previous projects or templates)
    • content import from Microsoft (MS) Excel spreadsheets and XML files
    • file attachments
    • fully internationalization (Unicode support)
    • customized look & feel
  • Compliance matrix (requirements matrix)
    • identification of required information set forth in the RFP and respective proposed solutions
    • automatic references (RFP requirements vs. proposal solutions)
    • compliance matrix validation against RFP (compliance matrix alignment)
    • proposal validation against compliance matrix (proposal alignment)
  • Collaborative project management
    • concurrent document authoring
    • proposal creation progress tracking
    • question assignment to specific collaborators and experts
    • user-definable due dates and approval workflow
    • email-based tracking of team members' actions

The CRM software solution should provide a general proposal outline, with a variety of templates for the most important proposal sections:

  • Cover letter (transmittal letter)
  • Compliance matrix
  • Executive summary
  • Understanding of needs
  • Proposed solution (objectives, scope, method, schedule)
  • Facilities
  • Budget
  • Staff
  • Conclusion
  • References and credentials
  • Appendices


Product and Price Configuration


Web Conferencing


Mobile Computing


Channel Management


Retail Solutions


Customer Reference


Commission Management


Field Service



4. CRM: Technical Functionality and Support

FREE CRM RFP Template SampleTechnical Functionality and Support module encompasses a group of functionalities supporting important business and technical prerequisites.

To do so, the CRM software solution should provide functionalities like reporting, CRM analytics and dashboards, workflow automation, document management, internationalization, and industry vertical module availability (for the business side); and technical fit, administration and security, customization, integration, mobile options, and synchronization and replication (for the technical side).

CRM software solution vendors should natively provide an ongoing support, particularly implementation support, training, and ongoing technical support.

(CRM RFP Template: Technical Functionality and Support contains 687 criteria)


Business Functionality

Business Functionality provides the comprehensive Business Process Management (BPM) capabilities needed to automate the long-lived, multi-step business processes common to all modern companies and their value chains.


Technical Functionality

Technical Functionality defines the technical architecture of the CRM software solution, and the technological environment in which the CRM software solution can run successfully. Sub-criteria include CRM software solution architecture, software usability and administration, platform and database support, application standards support, communications and protocol support and integration capabilities. Relative to the other evaluation criteria, best practice selections place a lower relative importance, on the CRM software solution technology criterion.

However, this apparently lower importance is deceptive, because the CRM software solution technology criterion usually houses the majority of the selecting organization's mandatory criteria, which usually include server, client, protocol, and database support, application scalability and other architectural capabilities. The definition of mandatory criteria within this set often allows the client to quickly narrow the long list of potential vendors to a short list of applicable solutions that pass muster relative to the most basic mandatory selection criteria.

During the process of CRM software solution selection a great deal of attention is given to the functional capabilities of the CRM software solution being evaluated. While this aspect is obviously important, ignoring the technical mechanisms by which the CRM software solution actually operates can be fatal to the CRM software solution selection project.


Ongoing CRM Solution Support

Ongoing CRM Solution Support encompasses implementation support, training for users, developers, and administrators, and ongoing technical support.

FREE CRM RFP Template SampleThe aforementioned criteria are the first 2 levels of the RFP Template for CRM available online that will help you select the CRM system that best fits your needs. The full template is a Microsoft (MS) Excel spreadsheet featuring the 5 levels of decision criteria for a total of 1,140 criteria. Only 28 are presented above as the first 2 levels.

Involved in an CRM system selection? Get your FREE CRM Request for Proposals (RFP) template sample.


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POGO Urges OSTP to Ensure that Agency Scientific Integrity Plans Include Contractors and Grantees

POGO is pleased to see that most federal departments and agencies have finally made public their draft or final scientific integrity plans in response to President Obama's March 2009 Memorandum on Scientific Integrity. However, POGO is concerned that several agencies have not included contractors or grantees in their plans. The failure to ensure the integrity of science performed outside the government but funded with taxpayer dollars is particularly troubling given that some of these departments or agencies—such as the Department of Energy (DOE)—rely heavily or nearly entirely on contractors and grantees for scientific research. .

14 Federal Agencies Fail to Fulfill the President's Directive: Billions in Taxpayer-Funded Science Not Included in Integrity Plans and Policies

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Food and Drug Administration were two of 14 federal agencies that failed to set proper scientific standards for contract and grantee researchers, despite the fact that tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer money funds this science each year, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) said in a letter sent today to the Obama administration..

POGO Supports DoD Effort to Redefine Commercial Items

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) urges you to support the Department of Defense's (DoD) legislative proposal for the National Defense Authorization Act that will result in improved oversight of billions of dollars' worth of so-called "commercial" goods and services..

POGO Supports Proposed Defense Contractor Crime Reporting Rule

The Department of Defense (DoD) seeks input on a proposal to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to expand coverage on contractor requirements and responsibilities with regard to the reporting of crimes committed by or against contractor personnel. .

POGO's Response to Professional Services Council Letter Regarding Reducing Civilian Workforce

Senators and Representatives recently received a letter from the Professional Services Council (PSC) responding to their letters to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, in they criticized the Department of Defense's (DoD) efficiency initiative, which aims to reduce costs by scaling back the civilian workforce to 2010 levels rather than compliance with mandates to reduce reliance upon contractors. We would like to offer some perspective on a number of points raised in the PSC letter..

POGO and Partners Strongly Support Passage of the DATA Act

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing in strong support of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act), H.R. 2146, which is planned for a floor vote this Wednesday. The DATA Act is an important step towards improving federal financial transparency and would empower the public to better understand how their federal dollars are being spent. .

A Test Case on Sanctions?

If there's one thing most Americans support in foreign policy, it's sanctions against Iran to halt its alleged drive for nuclear weapons. From President Obama to Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich, leading candidates all want to put the economic squeeze on Tehran and to signal their support for Israel. President Obama recently announced he will ratchet up sanctions on the country's oil exports and declared a "national emergency" to deal with the Islamic Republic. The Senate will try to iron out its differences over anti-Iran measures in coming weeks, as bus stations around Washington, DC, are studded with advertisements questioning the President's resolve on the issue..

U.S. Wasting Billions on Over-Priced Service Contracts; Government Lacks Data to Make Informed Contracting Decisions, POGO Tells Congressional Subcommittee

The federal government more than doubled its spending on service contracts over the last decade, despite having inaccurate data on the "true" cost of those contracts—largely because of the misguided notion that outsourcing is more cost effective than using federal workers, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) told a Senate subcommittee today..

POGO's Scott Amey testimony on "Contractors: How Much Are They Costing the Government?"

I want to thank Chairman McCaskill, Ranking Member Portman, and the Subcommittee for asking the Project On Government Oversight (POGO to submit written testimony about the important, but often ignored, issue of service contracting costs. Although there are many initiatives in place to cut federal agency spending and reduce the costs associated with the federal workforce, the cost of contractor services has escaped scrutiny. Such avoidance is extremely disturbing because the government annually spends more taxpayer dollars on contractor services than it spends on goods, over $320 billion and $210 billion in FY 2011, respectively. To put that level of spending in perspective, total contract spending was $205 billion in FY 2000, of which services accounted for $128 billion of the total..

Last Modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 9:25:11 PM

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