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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.
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
The 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
criteria. Only 28 are presented below as the first 2 levels.
1. CRM: Business-to-Business (B2B) CRM
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
2. CRM: Business-to-Consumer (B2C) CRM
(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 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,
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"
3. CRM: Other CRM-Related Application Areas
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
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 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
- 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
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
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 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)
- References and credentials
Product and Price Configuration
4. CRM: Technical Functionality and Support
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
(CRM RFP Template: Technical Functionality and Support contains 687 criteria)
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 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.
The 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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Last Modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 9:25:11 PM