[Workshop] Building a Software Solution to SoCon’s Operation Needs

William Lee
William Lee | 6 months ago | in Knowledge Base

Objective: to create and implement a functioning customer relationship management system that can deal with issues surrounding sales, payment tracking and customer service.

Why: as we scale, we need to have a software-based solution that automates the standardised processes surrounding sales, payment tracking and customer service.

What This Isn’t: this isn’t about designing the processes involved with sales, payment tracking or customer service.

What This Is: this is about figuring out how we can automate the processes so that it can be done with little involvement.

Note: attached are some of the key questions to answer when designing a CRM system


How to Figure Out What You Need

Step 1: Identify all the use cases that we need this software-based solution to fulfil.

We can helpfully break this down into each of the functions, and figure out what pieces of information that we want the software to be able to manage.

By the end of this exercise, you should have a big list of things you want the CRM to be able to do.

Note: organise these ‘features’ based on the particular function and process we want to carry out. This will be useful when we begin to actually implement and create the CRM in logical order.


Step 2: Research different softwares that are available that helps manage sales, payments/accounting, customer service issues.

There will be many in the market. In order to narrow it down, list out 3-7 criteria which are important to your software solution. These criteria should be informed by the use cases you have figured out in step 1. These criteria could be things like: can integrate with other softwares, free/expensive, easy to use, customisable, records payments, provides customer service management, etc. Rank the importance of each criteria.

Research about 15-20 potential solutions (number may vary - this is just a guess). Score each potential software solution on a scale of 1-5 on each criteria. Calculate an overall score for each solution by calculating the SUMPRODUCT of the weighting (i.e. importance of each criteria) and the score against each criteria. These scores should help inform which are the top 5 solutions you want to test.


Step 3: Assign teams to play around with each of the recommended solutions. See what works, what the limitations of each system is, and dig deeper into how it can provide the optimal solution to our needs.

Figure out whether one system can provide all the requirements we set out in Step 1, or whether multiple (hopefully no more than 2) can combine to fulfil our use case needs.


Step 4: pilot the chosen system(s) with real customers. Gain feedback along the way and tweak the system as needed.


Step 5: assuming step 4 turns out well, integrate all previous customer data into the new system.


Step 6: write an SOP for how to use each part of the software-based solution so that anyone can pick it up (imagine that we gave this role to someone outside the organisation. What would we need to tell them so it would still run smoothly?)


Melissa Lee 6 months ago

Hi Will,

I really love the concept of this workshop.
I think the biggest block I have faced for optimising a CRM is the cost as well as the time. Considering what SoCon aims to achieve, the process of automation and integration could be very costly. But having specific criteria measurement would definitely help to narrow down the search.

Just one question,
What's the timeframe for the workshop? It does sound quite time consuming from the looks of the outline.

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