14 Tips for Successful CRM

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The very mention of a CRM project gives some organizational leadership heartburn, or at the very least, a great deal of angst. CRM project success has been well documented in blogs and consulting company write-ups for years. Fifty percent failure rates are quite the blemish on the resumé of software vendors and implementation partners alike, yet these projects continue to be explored or attempted every year.

One of my favorite proverbs is the saying that there are 3 legs to a stool; take out a single leg and you have kindling. A CRM initiative has 3 legs as well.

  • The customer.
  • A software platform. There are hundreds in the marketplace, but I am candidly biased to either Salesforce or Dynamics.
  • The implementation partner – whose job is to help make the software match/add value to each client.

Without all three legs working in concert, the project is going to fail, mark my words. I have been doing this a long, long time, to which I know no one cares about, so let’s move on.

So what can an organization team do to help make a CRM project a success?

These are not absolutes, nor are all required, but at the very least, a useful start.

8 Tips for Customers Preparing for a CRM Project

  1. Have a project executive sponsor. Organizational employees need to know that this is an important initiative supported by company leadership and participation is not a choice.
  2. Make sure there is a diverse group of organizational participants involved in the project to ensure success and buy in.
  3. Give the customer project manager access to and the ability to help all parties and the project stay on track.
  4. Document all project goals (even if it’s just a list of bullet points) as it will help any consulting organization help configure the platform to match organizational needs.
  5. Document/empower all key internal SMEs and any sales or process automations that should be enabled in the new platform.
  6. Represent all potential users of the platform. This effort should not just be driven by corporate leadership. The keys users in the system should have a key role in the project. This will also help drive adoption if their voices are heard and the platform is seen as a useful and valuable tool to help them do their jobs more effectively
  7. Don’t have IT drive the project. The business needs to own it to achieve success.
  8. Make sure that SMEs are available when needed and realize that no project will be effective without their participation. Ensure they are adequately prepared to participate and have the support they need to do their regular work while participating.

4 Tips for Choosing a CRM Platform

  1. Select the best platform to match the need of the business, not just one that a leader likes or has used in the past. This selection is a big part of project success.
  2. Know what the project goal and success looks like related to the initiative. This should help drive all project activities and ensure that the project stays on track related to that goal.
  3. Make sure the toolset has quality end-user value and isn’t just a data entry burden for users or only a reporting tool for executives.
  4. Make sure the organization can support the implementation process.

3 Tips for Selecting a CRM Implementation Partner

  1. Document all project goals (even if it’s just a list of bullet points) as it will help any consulting organization help configure the platform to match organizational needs.
  2. Don’t sacrifice the good in striving for the ideal. These projects are often multi-phased projects, and the ideal scenario can be accomplished in future phases.
  3. Try to limit the overall project into multiple useful phases to ensure project ROI and platform value.

Read to get your own CRM project on the road to success? We’re an experienced CRM implementation partner with both Dynamics 365 and Salesforce with a high project success rate. Please contact us at any time to learn how we can help your project as well!

This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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