May 8th, 2012
In this fast-paced world we live in today, most people want things done “yesterday”, and for it to have everything you ever dreamed of included. This might work for some things like your favorite cup of coffee, but it does not work for implementing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system successfully.
No two CRM implementations are the same, but there are some aspects that can be consistent in order to ensure it will be a successful implementation and roll out to the users. My golden rule of CRM implementations is to adopt a phased approach. First, start out with the necessities – what will it take in order to do your day-to-day job within the system without losing something you did before. Then, work up to the first layer of “bells and whistles” – this could be adding automation, reporting, integration with other systems, and the like. But make sure you break out the bells and whistles into multiple phases too. You can’t run a marathon in an hour, so why would you expect your CRM system to be built quickly either?
Many of the software vendors claim you can be up and running in hours (or days). And you can be – but with limited customizations and functionality if you want it done correctly. You also would not have all of your data migrated over that quickly if you want it cleaned up properly before importing it.
Here’s an exercise you can follow in your organization. List out all of the things you currently do in your organization that will go into the CRM system. Then add a column that categorizes each item into one of the following:
a) Must Have
b) Nice to Have
c) Wish List
These then become your first round of Phases for your implementation. You can then break out b) and c) further to make additional phases if you need to for time or money’s sake.
Purposes to Break Out CRM Implementation Into Phases
1) Clear understanding of what will be completed when
2) Break out your costs over longer period of time
3) Allow users to get used to one phase/changes before introducing them to more changes
4) Begin working in system before it is 100% complete
• Building a Communication Plan for a CRM Implementation (http://dbprosconsulting.com/building-a-communication-plan-for-a-crm-implementation)
• User Adoption of CRM (http://dbprosconsulting.com/how-to-overcome-user-adoption-issues-for-crm-systems)
If you would like to learn more about how to make your CRM implementation successful, contact DB Pros at (973) 607-1627 and speak with one of our consultants, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can learn more about CRM implementations at www.dbprosconsulting.com.