Planning for CRM Success: 4 Key Characteristics of a Successful Project

Planning for CRM SuccessGreat news! Your company has made the business decision to invest in a CRM solution (queue audience applause). Selecting the right CRM solution for your organization and a choosing the right partner to work with are extremely important first steps.

Implementing a new CRM, or new phases (such as sales, service marketing, etc) for your existing CRM isn’t as easy as downloading an app on your phone and getting to work. It’s a project. In some cases, it may be a fairly straightforward project, but for some companies, it can be quite complex.

This also depends if you plan to try it on your own or work with an established CRM Consulting Partner. Of course, we recommend the latter.

But don’t let this scare you. Whether you have 5 users or 500 users, planning for CRM success is essential, and here we want to share four key characteristics of a successful project.

Leadership Involvement

It all starts at the top. Company leadership needs to be the biggest advocate of this project and its loudest cheerleader. Each project should have at least one (if not more) executive sponsors, typically someone in a c-level or ownership role.

These executive sponsors will help drive the vision for CRM and articulate the business need. They may not be involved in the execution of the implementation, but will ensure the ship stays on course and arrives on time  and (hopefully) within budget.

Planning

There is a great deal of planning that needs to occur prior to launching this project. We see many companies that want to purchase CRM and be up in running in just a couple weeks. This is where working with a consulting partner will ensure that you do not miss any key areas that may cause the project to creep out of scope, miss deadlines, or (after launch) experience low user adoption rates.

There are three project stages you will want to consider in your planning. Analysis, Design, and Implementation.

The Analysis stage will include items like selecting your project team, defining your current processes and future states, establishing a roadmap and doing a technology assessment.

In the Design stage, it’s time to clearly define and document a detailed system design, decide if you need to migrate data or integrate with other key systems, and ensure these are in alignment with your roadmap and budget.

In the Implementation stage it’s all about formulating your realistic timelines and tasks, creating clearly defined roles and assignments, and developing the training for admins and users.

User Adoption

If you build it they will come. Implementing a CRM isn’t like the Field of Dreams. Both are really cool but not everyone on your team will be on board with using this new tool (even if it will help them succeed and potentially make more money).

Have a plan in place to get users excited about CRM from the start. Keep them informed along the way, and provide continuous training and request constant feedback long after the project is over.

Communication

That leads us to our last success characteristic – communication. It’s important to communicate the “big picture” and business value that CRM is going to provide but also how it will affect them in their specific role and day-to-day activities in a positive manner (creating efficiencies, winning deals faster, access to information all in one system, etc).

Consistent communication before, during and after launch will ensure a higher user adoption rate and greater ROI for the organization.


If you want to learn more about ‘Planning for CRM Success’ and dive deeper into each of these steps (and much more) check out Ledgeview’s on-demand webcast (a replay of our popular session at the 2017 CRM Conference) by completing the form below for quick and easy access.

 

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