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» Your Time Investment in a CRM Implementation

August 22nd, 2012

Last month we wrote about how long a CRM implementation takes for the overall project timeline.  This month, we’re going to dive into how a CRM implementation will affect you and your time if you are either the business owner or Project Manager overseeing the implementation.

Now, I can’t speak for every consultant that handles CRM implementations so this is more of what you get when working with DB Pros and hopefully other consultants as well!  I will walk you through a typical scenario that I take my clients through so you can get an idea of what to expect.

Phase 1: Needs Assessment/Recommendations

First, I sit down with all of the key players in the company to do a deep needs assessment.  This is not just a conversation about technology, but also an opportunity for us to understand how your business operates so we can determine what other aspects of your business need to be a part of the implementation.  This meeting typically takes 2-3 hours and can be over 1 or 2 sessions.  From there, we put together our recommendations to you that will be the boilerplate for what features and functionality your system should have, and what business processes we suggest improving (or creating) and rolling into the system.

Total Time: 2-3 hours

Phase 2: System Selection

We will make recommendations of systems that fit your needs, based on the results of Phase 1.  From there, we will narrow down the choices through conversations, followed by demos.   This is probably the most time-intensive phase of the entire project.   It will require in-person meetings along with web-based demos by the vendors of each product.  It will also require analysis to determine which system is the best fit for your business.      

Total Time: 5 hours (average)

Phase 3: System Customizations

Based on the needs assessment and review of your data (see Phase 4), we will come up with a blueprint for setting up your CRM system for you.  Once you sign off on this document and process, your role is extremely minimal.  We will devote this time to creating fields, laying out the screens the way you’ll need, developing reports and dashboards, setting up your users and securities, etc.      

Total Time:  1 hour

Phase 4: Data Collection and Cleanup

For this Phase, your role is twofold – to provide us all of your data sources and to answer any questions we have about the data as we clean it.  There may be areas where we will need someone in your company to review potential duplicate records, but other than that, we typically handle the data cleanup process with minimal participation from you.

Total Time: 1 hour

Phase 5: Data import/migration

Once again, this phase requires minimal, if any, time from you.  Once the data is clean, we will import it into your newly customized CRM system.                       

Total Time: 0

Phase 6: Report & Dashboard Creation

If we’ve done our job correctly, we have gathered all of your reporting requirements during the needs assessment in Phase 1.  So creating your reports and laying out your Dashboards should be another hands-off phase for you!  We may ask for some clarification once we see how the reports and dashboards are laying out with your real data in the system, but otherwise you can continue doing your job and let us take care of this for you.

Total Time: 1 hour

Phase 7: Training

There’s no getting around it – you need to be present and participating in the training, along with all of the users of the new CRM system.  Training time varies based on the complexity of the implementation.  Average time is 3 hours per user group.  This is also the maximum amount of time that users will focus in one sitting!  If we need to do more expansive training, we will break it up into multiple sessions, possibly weeks apart to give the users time to practice what they learned before adding more training.

Total Time: 3-4 hours

Summary

You may think that taking on implementing a new CRM system for your company is going to bury you in more work to make sure things go smoothly, we are here to correct that thought.  Yes, you will need to be involved in the process to ensure it is a successful endeavor, but at the end of the day, you are not required to put in as many hours as you probably think you do.

As you can see from above, on average, a business owner or Project Manager needs to put in approximately 13-15 hours over the course of a 3-9 month project!  That’s it!  Of course, there may be other internal functions you hold to get the CRM system implemented internally, but when working with an outside consultant to get the system implemented, this is what you can expect.

So if your barrier to getting your company up and running on a CRM system is your time, think again!  We’ve just proven that time should not be the reason to wait on implementing CRM in your company.  So what are you waiting for?

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

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