“Plan the work and work the plan.” That’s what my grandfather always used to tell me. Implementing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) boils down to these same basic principles.
With so many CRM product choices in the marketplace, it’s easy to be overwhelmed with choosing the right one. After all, they make it sound so easy; just sign up! Just subscribe! Just install! Of course, there’s a lot more to it than just that. To successfully implement CRM in any organization, many steps need to be closely executed. But first, those steps need to be accurately defined.
What is the desired end result? What are the key metrics of success when implementing CRM in your organization? Believe it or not, I find these to be the two most commonly overlooked questions organizations forget to ask themselves before implementing CRM. And, they are probably the most important. “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra. In other words, you can’t claim it was a success if you didn’t first define what success means to your organization.
While it is vital to have a CRM vision, it is important to set the proper expectations for the project, while not losing sight of the long-term vision of organizational CRM. And the expectations should always be in proper alignment with the defined success metrics.
Often times, the lines between organizational requirements and niceties get blurred, especially when our imaginations are fueled by all the new possibilities. This can lead us down a path of misaligned expectations, thus creating a false sense that CRM will solve everything as soon as we ‘go live’. If for no other reason than to mitigate this risk, organizations must define what is and what is not going to be solved when CRM is implemented.
Some examples of CRM success metrics that could be defined prior to implementing CRM are:
- Reduction in time spent entering data in multiple disparate systems
- Increase in sales forecasting accuracy
- Higher customer satisfaction and loyalty
- Increase in lead generation
- Stronger lead follow up
- Better communication tracking
- Electronic distribution of reports (sales, marketing, service)
- Exposure to cross-selling opportunities
Another pitfall common to CRM implementations is the false sense that all of the desired metrics of success need to be implemented in one fell swoop. It is much better to prioritize each metric into individual projects, set a proper timetable for implementation and sequentially work through the metrics over a period of time.
If you are looking to implement CRM into your business, we are happy to help you define your goals and take you through the steps of the implementation process. BPW provides a full range of implementation and support services for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics GP software.
If you have any questions, please contact me at (805) 963-7811 or firstname.lastname@example.org.