Setting the table for CRM Success

Like most endeavors that have complexity beyond choosing a candy bar, having a plan in advance of acting is crucial for a successful CRM implementation. It is also important that this plan be aligned with your organizational needs and objectives, and not those of external support partners.

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Originally appeared in http://winnersfdd.com/

It is critical to assemble a team of stakeholders, as well as a sponsor and project manager, to initiate and develop the expected benefits/results from undertaking the CRM project (integration with e-commerce, improved sales cycle times…) and to identify risks involved with both implementing and also not implementing the system.

This should be done prior to any potential CRM vendors or partners being engaged, including technology consultants, who may not be as agnostic as they would like to believe. If parties outside the organization are consulted, it should be for very specific asks around the feasibility of achieving the intended results: Potential integration pain points, current industry practices and trends in CRM information cataloging, collection and integration with other systems might be on the table, but specific solutioning should be avoided in conjunction with suppliers of those solutions.

The next phase would be to establish organizational priorities related to the implementation, and build a timeline with specific defined segments as to achieving these priorities. One of theseĀ prioritiesĀ needs to be a consideration of user adoption, and how that can best be achieved. These segments can later be modified based upon the extent of integration needed, solutions chosen, and further understanding of the needs of the organization. Now that a clear path has been defined, it is now time to build RFPs and call in the potential partners.

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