In this post, I’ll provide you with five tips to help your community college get the best outcome from your CRM RFP. I’ll also share with you a master list of CRM requirements from which you can simply pick and choose what makes sense for your admissions office.

My hope is that, with this resource at your fingertips, you’ll be able to identify about 80 percent of your CRM requirements, which will save you MONTHS of time and headaches!

Now, on to the six tips!

1. Limit the number of vendors to whom you send an RFP.

I encourage you to use the RFI process to narrow down your list of prospective vendors to no more than four. As you’ll learn, not every CRM was built with community colleges in mind. To save time and money, you’ll only want to invite those vendors whose products are most closely aligned with your priorities and budget to participate in the RFP process.

2. Set reasonable deadlines.

When you ask for a proposal on a complex system, such as a CRM, you need to give vendors adequate time to respond (a month is reasonable). If you give them less time, the vendor(s) you’re most interested in may not be able to prepare a response at all, leaving you with the least desirable CRMs to choose from.

3. Focus on what’s most important.

Zero in on the specific core requirements that you need to get your job done and meet your enrollment goals. The good news? We’ve done the heavy lifting for you: Check out our List of Community College CRM Requirements, from which you can choose the requirements that are top priorities for your school.

Remember, a common IT adage is that 80% of all software users generally use just 20% of a software product’s features and functionality.

4. Carefully consider weighting and scoring.

Give more weight to admissions requirements than IT requirements. (Often, RFPs get this backwards.) Sure, you should consider the needs of the IT department, but be certain to place the most importance on YOUR office’s needs. You’re the ones who will have to “live” with the CRM every day … and you’re the ones responsible for enrolling the class!

5. Be clear about what you really need to see in a demo.

Demos should put the software through the paces of performing scenarios that are directly relevant to your requirements. For the best results, let each vendor know your top priorities. Be sure to give the vendors a few days of advance notice so they have adequate time to prepare.


I hope this blog and the resources have equipped you with the knowledge and tools you need to choose a CRM with confidence in less time. Most importantly, I hope this leads your community college to the right recruitment CRM.