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CRM RFP Instructions

CRM SOFTWARE COST PROPOSAL
The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) vendor must list and describe any and all applicable web-based CRM software solution costs which may include the following:

  • All CRM software related costs that affect Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
  • CRM software customization, configuration or parameterization required or proposed in order to address specifications
  • Additional CRM software modules required or proposed in order to address specification
  • 3rd party software, if any, required to support the proposed solution
  • Technical (if necessary) and end-user documentation
  • CRM software installation, including hosting or related software as a service fees
  • Data conversion
  • CRM system integration; please specify whether you propose API (application programming interface), XML web services or another method for integrating Customer Relationship Management software to legacy and third party applications
  • Formal CRM software training classes including training materials
  • Revisions to documentation
  • Utilities
  • Type, scope and levels of technical support, end user support and help desk or call center services available for the proposed solution during Implementation and Operation and Maintenance
  • Other costs (describe)
  • Any consulting and other value added service hourly rates or costs shall be listed separately by type of service
Advice:

In all likelihood, the biggest cost surprises you may incur are not the cost overruns of previously quoted items but the discovery of additional items that were previously not quoted on at all. Moreso with the software as a service (SaaS) CRM solutions than with the prior era client/server systems, the recognition of previously missed cost items occurs primarily in two areas - third party products and software version upgrades. As an example, Salesforce.com makes extensive use of third party product offerings - many would say over-extended use whereby many of these third party products are used to fill voids in salesforce.com's software which salesforce.com should have filled. In any event, many CRM software buyers have been rudely awakened after procuring a third party product to discover that the price of the third party solution pales in comparison to the needed salesforce.com upgrade version which is required to use the third party product. Similarly, many buyers who entered the SaaS CRM market with an entry level version have been taken aback when viewing the significant price increase to get to the next version. Whether a SaaS CRM vendor's offering of multiple versions is a client service which permits procurement flexibility or a bait-and-switch practice is a matter of opinion, but in either case, a prudent buyer must understand the future pricing ramifications involved with adding third party products and/or needing to upgrade to a higher software version in order to achieve the necessary feature sets.

PROPOSAL FORMAT
So that we can perform a meaningful analysis of your solution, your CRM software proposal must be prepared in strict accordance with the format and instructional requirements of this CRM RFP. Your proposal should provide a concise delineation of your firm's capabilities to satisfy the requirements of this RFP, with emphasis on completeness and clarity of content. Elaborate bindings, displays, and promotional material are neither required nor desired unless they add substance to your firm's proposal. PROPOSALS THAT ARE NOT PREPARED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS RFP WILL BE ELIMINATED FROM THE EVALUATION PROCESS. All firms are required to present proposals using the same headings and categories as outlined in the CRM RFP to ensure a fair, equitable, and timely evaluation. To ensure a fair comparison model, please quote exactly as requested, though recommendations may be made if Bidder(s) note any missing options or possible solutions. The foregoing notwithstanding, you are encouraged to offer alternative pricing options.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION
Unless supplemental oral commentary is specifically requested, oral communications outside the scope of the procedures detailed in this CRM RFP will not be considered in connection with any Bidder's proposal. Should we elect to award a contract to your firm, your proposal and any supplemental information and responses will be incorporated into and made a part of any final agreement between our firm and your firm. No such information or other material should be submitted that cannot be incorporated into the agreement.

Advice:

Experienced project leaders and negotiators always incorporate the CRM RFP response and all other vendor supplied documentation which was relied upon to choose the selected vendor to the vendor's licensing or subscription agreement. However, it is important to alert the CRM vendor in advance of this requirement so that you don't get push-back at the point of contract. As a pleasant by-product of this advance notification, you will also likely get a more accurate RFP response.

CONTRACTS
This CRM software RFP does not constitute an offer to contract, but rather represents a definition of specific requirements and an invitation to Bidders to submit a proposal addressing these requirements. Only upon the execution of a written contract shall there be an obligation in any way to the Supplier. The contents of any submitted proposals, and any subsequent material submitted in response to requests for additional information, will be considered offers to contract by each Bidder unless otherwise agreed to in writing. In order to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the response process, we will immediately reject any bids that are conditional upon any form of approval or review. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to contract with a single Bidder or multiple Bidders based on the overall impact of the Bidders' proposals or on any other evaluation criterion. Only the execution of a definite, binding agreement(s) will obligate our organization in accordance with the terms and conditions contained in such agreement(s).