Date: 20th November 2017
It’s quite typical for us to hear “CRM hasn’t worked for us” when speaking with a prospect or customer. When embarking on your CRM journey it is important to remember that it is a project. If you do not treat it as such, it is quite likely that your implementation efforts will fail. Many of the projects we have been brought into are in a critical state because: –
- The project has been run in house by staff who are not trained to run a project.
- The technical team hasn’t customised the system in a supportable or extendible manner, it may be overcomplicated or unusable.
- The senior management team are not behind the project and no one wants to use the system.
Here are 5 great tips that will help you avoid some of the CRM project pitfalls: –
Get buy in from senior management
The project buy in needs to start at the top. Form a steering committee of senior people and decide as a group what you want to achieve. If the system isn’t going to solve a problem for the organisation, it may be that you don’t need a system. Perhaps you’ll discover that the current systems are just fine and it’s the people who need to adapt. Try to get the steering committee to meet at least once per month, even if it’s by Skype. The steering committee will make the decisions about the direction of the project, the roadmap content, the connections between departments, the naming of areas within the system and set the deadlines.
Dedicate the required time
A CRM project should not be underestimated. You’ll need to nominate a project manager and if the project is larger, consider a programme manager to oversee more than one project manager and maintain the relationships. You may also consider project co-ordinators to assist the project manager. If you have a smaller project, you may wish to use the services of a CRM consultancy to provide your project management and guidance. Ensure that enough time is allocated for anyone who will be responsible for giving requirements, user acceptance testing, training and assisting with user adoption.
Involve Key People
The best way to ensure the system is used after going live is to involve some champions from within your organisation. It also builds excitement, allows key staff members to have input into requirements and give feedback to your Microsoft Partner about functionality and how to improve the system to ensure go live goes without a hitch.
Keep it simple!
It goes without saying but if you create something complicated, all your efforts to support, maintain and upgrade become complex too. If your product comes with functionality out of the box and tools to customise it, use those first before considering anything completely custom. It will ensure that if your provider changes the way the underlying system works, they will change the tools to match and everything you’ve built with those tools should work fine.
From the outset when considering an implementation, communicate to the wider organisation about it. You may even get some volunteers to help you implement it. Consider giving your project a name, create a brand for it and get everyone on side with it. When you engage your supplier, bring them into that project and have them deliver within it. Each time there is something new being built, let everyone know, build the excitement and then go live with it. Effective communication can make or break your project and go a long way towards user buy in when the system does go live.
If you’d like some help with your CRM project, new or old, give us a call on 0113 415 1615 and speak to one of our team about what you’re trying to achieve. If you have a specific issue or want some advice from a CRM specialist, click here to book your 15-minute slot: – https://www.ixrm.co.uk/crm-guru/.