‘Making the right CRM choice is key to your organisations strategy’

Jenny Parsons, ProTech COO gave a ‘TED style talk’ at TechSmart to help delegates ‘make the right CRM choice’ by highlighting the key issues around Best of Breed -v- One-Size Fits-all CRM solutions. Jenny highlighted the considerations that should be made by NFPs when identifying a CRM solution that will enable the organisation to deliver its strategy. Jenny provided an in-depth analysis of One-Size-Fits-All CRM solution providers MS Dynamics and Salesforce and described how ProTech’s Lean3S (Lean for the 3rd Sector) techniques can be implemented to enable NFPs to take an ‘outside in’ view of their organisation. Lean3S is designed to engage people at all levels of the organisation by providing a simple yet highly effective methodology for managing change.

Jenny’s TED-style Talk covered the following:

Replacing technology solutions – Start ‘Top down’

Replacing your current technology solution and ensuring it is fit for purpose, is undoubtedly of paramount importance. It is important to start ‘top down’ by identifying how technology can act as enabler to the delivery of your organisation’s overall strategy. Think about how your technology will need to evolve over the long term to help you to achieve your vision.

Will a standard CRM solution be sufficient to deliver your organisations strategy?

The two high profile, well established and proven One-Size-Fits-All CRM solutions are arguably Microsoft Dynamics and Sales Force. These solutions both offer a rich blend of CRM based functionality and support users in a host of different ways – they are seen as the market leaders in the CRM world.

Before investing in a ‘vanilla’ CRM solution it is imperative to identify whether this type of CRM solution will be sufficient for your organisation to deliver its strategy.

NFPs are encouraged to consider:

  • What are the key back office business processes I need to run to deliver the ‘business as usual’ activities that generate income for my organisation?
  • How can I be sure that the data held in my chosen CRM will be leveraged through my digital platform to achieve the levels of personalisation modern member’s demand?
  • How will I integrate the activities performed by external stakeholders such as local branches, accredited training providers, and special interest groups into my CRM ‘single customer view’?
  • How will I ensure a joined-up customer experience when I need to support multiple personas for the same customer via the web? A person who could be a member, a learner, a student, a branch supporter and a volunteer, all at the same time.

The elusive ‘3 Wins’. How to generate value for your organisation, your customers and your staff

Despite high levels of investment in technology and the surge towards digital transformation projects, most NFPs are struggling to rise to the unprecedented challenge of meeting modern member and learner demands. Technology alone cannot solve these complex challenges.

ProTech worked with a leading UK professional body to apply its Lean3S (Lean for the 3rd Sector) techniques which enabled it to develop its understanding of the ‘outside world’ view of the organisation – from the member/customer perspective.

What matters to your customers?

ProTech reached out to a selection of people who worked within the profession represented by this leading UK professional body and asked them three questions:

  1. Did they know of any professional bodies already established to support the profession? Who are they?
  2. What would they value from such a professional body?
  3. If they already belonged to a professional body – what did they most value about this relationship?

These 3 simple questions resulted in some interesting findings:

  • 60% of the people who were engaged with via telephone, e-mail and social media had never heard of this professional body – specifically established to support the people working within their profession.
  • Respondents they said they would value networking opportunities, high quality training – both specific and complimentary, accreditation pathways, live coaching via webchat, high quality work templates, practical, contextual support and advice, community based peer support and CPD. These services did not form part of the organisation’s strategy which focused around developing a broader range of qualifications. Respondents particularly wanted the opportunity to participate in virtual coaching and conversations with experienced practitioners yet there was no facility for members to identify other members, nor to engage with their peers, other than via the annual conference which would not be an appropriate venue to seek solutions to real time problems.
  • 46% of the respondents already belonged to a competitive professional body indicating that there was a strong market demand for the types of products and services offered by professional bodies

ProTech went on to examine a representative sample of customer (in this case member) demand by listening into telephone calls and reviewing inbound e-mails. This revealed a lot of variety within of customer demand including:

  • You are chasing for my renewal but my company has already paid.
  • Can you re-send my renewal invoice to this person?
  • How much does it cost to join?
  • I’ve passed the qualification am I now entitled to membership?
  • How do I update my details?
  • My membership has lapsed, here’s my application to be reinstated.
  • I have not received… (Lots of these).
  • Various issues completing online user journeys such as event booking and subscription renewals.
  • An e-mail stating: I can’t logon to the website and you don’t take calls anymore, can you help me to pay for my membership!

An analysis of this demand revealed that 70% of all customer requests were not of value to the customer or to the organisation, i.e. they were ‘waste work’. A further analysis revealed that 100% of this customer demand could have been prevented by doing something better or differently.

The efficiency gains that could be achieved from removing this work is remarkable. In this case there were 10 full time staff processing these requests who were fully aware that the customer demand was often produced as a result of something that had been caused by the organisation itself. This was costing the business in excess of £0.25 million per annum.

Measure the right things!

An analysis was carried out to understand how many people starting the online membership joining process for the professional body actually went on to complete it. This was not measured by the professional body. Instead, the number of completed applications that were subsequently being approved by the membership committeewere being analysed with a positive outcome of 98%.

The data in the table below compares how many people starting applications actually completed the process within 1 month and also within 12 months of starting. Of those that started the full membership joining process only 16% completed the process. The conversion rate did increase within the 12 month timeframe, however only by 8%.

Membership Joining User Journey

The Opportunity cost of increasing the conversion rate

The information in the table above shows the opportunity cost of increasing the conversion rate.

Although it’s unrealistic to think an 100% conversion rate can be achieved, but if it was, it would equate to an annual increase in revenue – in this case of £1.7m. A realistic conversion rate of 50% would still equate to an additional £1m every year!

‘One Size Never Fits All!’

Andy Williams global CIO for Save the Children was recently quoted as saying in Computer Weekly: “We use a phrase here, which is that ‘one size never fits all.”

Jenny explained to TechSmart delegates that in order to make a one-size-fits-all CRM solution actually fit your specific business requirements it will need to be ‘tweaked’. Some of these tweaks will be big and crucially important tweaks.

One-size-fits all CRM solutions will need to be ‘tweaked’ for each sector and the core product often cannot deliver the same level of features and functionality as a ‘best of breed’ solution developed for a specific sector, leaving clients to procure 3rd party products and attempt integration with the one-size fits all solution. Leading to yet more cost and complexity.

By comparison, a domain specific (best of breed) CRM will have easily configurable specifically designed NFP modules that have workflow, process automation and reporting at their core, developed from a deep knowledge and understanding of the NFP sector. Comparatively, platform based solutions such as MS Dynamics and Salesforce are relatively new entrants into the NFP sector and hence the solutions and experience of resellers reflects this.

A ‘best of breed’ solution is likely to include modules for Membership & Subscriptions, Learning & Education Management, Qualifications Management, CPD, Event Management, Marketing & Campaigns and Fundraising. It should be expected that a domain specific CRM offers at least an 85%+ fit ‘out of the box’ for all core business requirements, without the need for any technical configuration. This should be based on the reality – not what the sales person tells you. So, ask them to prove it: show you, talk to end users, and see the solution in action.

The Key Benefits of the ProTech integrated Web and CRM Platform

  • Domain specific: 21+ years of software development supporting the specialist and unique requirements of the NFP sector.
  • Longevity: ProTech has 21+ years of experience of Technology onboarding and change management expertise.
  • Highly secure government security accredited platform: independently assured by Government appointed expert security testers on a yearly basis.
  • End to end specialist solution: leveraging our 20+ modules and combining this with our digital platform and value added integration, with specialist complimentary tools.
  • High Engagement Levels: combining the data from the web and the CRM to predictably and reliably deliver highly personalised content and services including data from e-learning and e-assessments.
  • Cost Effective platform: average implementation costs of our integrated web and CRM platform are less than 100k.
  • Faster to deploy than a one size fits all solution: typical projects start with an 85% ‘out of the box’ fit with the core application meaning deployment time is dramatically reduced compared with one size fits all solutions.
  • Solves the web integration challenge: our single integrated platform removes the challenging, complex and time consuming process of integrating vanilla CRM solutions with your website or Content Management System (CMS).
For more information as to how your NFP/membership organisation can take advantage of the benefits delivered by ProTech’s integrated Web and CRM platform combined with implementation of our Lean3S techniques, please contact kim.smith@protech.co.uk