» 973.876.3729

DB Pros database and business consulting

» How Long Does a CRM Implementation Take?

July 20th, 2012

Many people ask me, “How long will a typical CRM implementation take?”, and it’s a very important question to have the answer to before you go diving into a project like implementing a new CRM system for your company.

The answer will certainly vary for each implementation, but there are a few factors that can determine the approximate length, which we will cover in this article.  One of the factors is company size.  For this article, we will be focusing on companies with 10-50 employees.  A smooth implementation with a company this size can take anywhere from 3-9 months.



  1. Size of Company – Companies from solo entrepreneurs/business owners up to Fortune 10 companies can use a CRM system.   The bigger the company, the longer the implementation typically takes, as there are more users, more departments, more meetings to make decisions, more data, etc.
  2. Quality of Data – If your data is in multiple files/spreadsheets/filing cabinets all over the company, the likelihood is that you are going to need some data cleanup done before you bring it into a new CRM system!  The more spread out your data, the more complex the cleanup process.  But even if your data is in one file, chances are there are some important cleanup steps needed before you can import it into the new system.
  3. Availability of Key Decision Makers – It usually takes a team of people to make all of the decisions necessary in a CRM implementation.  If that team, or the individuals needed to make each decision along the way, is not available to sit in on meetings, deliberate on decisions, follow-up with the implementation team to get answers or materials they require, etc., it can hold up the project.
  4. Number of Systems Being Evaluated – If you are looking at 2 systems versus 5 systems, there will be significant hours (or even days) added to the project to evaluate each of them; see a demo; get pricing; and make executive decisions as a team on which to purchase.
  5. Complexity of Customizations and Integrations – Some companies may only need a few fields added to the system to satisfy their needs.  Others need fields, tables, automation/workflow built in that can severely impact the time to complete the implementation.   Add to that tying in other systems to the CRM system and your timetable just expanded even more!  Some integrations are as simple as installing a plugin to the application; others require the vendor or implementation team to map fields to make the systems “talk” to one another.




So what exactly is involved in a CRM implementation?  This too might vary depending on the vendor or consultant you’re working with.  Below are steps that I take my clients through for a complete CRM implementation process.  Click here to read about this process in more detail.

Needs Assessment

  1. System Selection
  2. System Customizations
  3. Data Cleanup
  4. Data import/migration
  5. Report & Dashboard Creation
  6. Training
  7. Post-implementation support

In addition to the above eight steps is open communication with your employees on what they should expect before, during and after the implementation is complete.  This will ensure a more successful implementation with buy-in from your employees.  For more details on Building a Communication Plan for a CRM Implementation, review our article here.


If you’d like to learn more about CRM implementations for your company, contact DB Pros at info@dbprosconsulting.com or call us at (973) 607-1627.

Tags: , ,
Posted in CRM General, CRM Implementation, CRM Systems, DB Pros Blog |

blog comments powered by Disqus

Newsletter Signup