Ten CRM implementation tips

22 Sep 2009
Posted by admin

Having spent an hour on the phone to a client yesterday discussing the pitfalls of poor CRM implementation it seems pertinent to share these 10 key pointers with the wider business community. For the purposes of this brief we will assume that your business has already been through the CRM solution selection and procurement process. If not then read our other article on CRM solution selection.

1. You must, repeat must, appoint an “in-house”, preferably employed, CRM champion. This person should not to be a member of the IT Team but a core deliverer of customer service with a good understanding of the businesses processes and weaknesses. If you choose to ignore the remaining nine of our “must does” below that’s fine but do not ignore this one!

2. Whichever solution you have chosen, make sure you take advantage of any consultancy offered with that solution. It may appear initially expensive but in the long run will pay dividends.

3. Map out your business processes from enquiry to order and don’t forget to allow for post sale customer interaction. Make sure you provide this to the CRM vendor before implementation. This will help them appoint the best individual for the implementation.

4. Appoint your own champion and one or two departmental staff who believe in new systems and change. These staff will be your eye’s and ears within the business and will quickly smooth over any negative messages from other staff.

5. Remember you know your business and the CRM solution provider knows their product. It is important to understand how each field within the CRM database is utilised and reported upon. It is the champions role to fully understand how to get the best from the system and to question the vendor on the best ways of implementing any given feature

6. Make sure that data which is specific to your business has its own field or table within the database. Do not be talked into entering this data in a free text field. It will be the last time you see it! Run every standard report that comes with the system to see how your data can be viewed and interpreted.

7. Remember that many staff are resistant to change and these people quickly realise that a complicated system which they have perhaps managed for years, will become exposed and simplified thereby potentially threatening their role. Pre-handle this possibility.

8. Before embarking on a big bang switchover approach make sure that you have fully run the new system using real data from your existing system. We would even suggest running this “trial” system for two or three months so as to “iron-out” any gremlins.

9. Don’t be scared to make changes during the implementation phase. Better then than 12 months into the systems use.

10. And finally, if in doubt call in an organisation which has undertaken many of these implementations before.

These 10 “must does” are an extract from our 200 point CRM implementation checklist which we use to ensure a smooth transition from paper based to electronic systems.

If you would like to know more then call us on 01298 808182 or 07815 060868 or email us on info@etrp.co.uk



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