what are your goalsBefore you jump into selecting and implementing CRM (Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sugar, Act, etc) it all starts with defining your vision.

This involves ‘setting the stage’ and ‘getting prepared’ for all other steps that are to come. Successfully implementing (and using) CRM is not easy. This is why it so important to start at step #1 and not #10.

1. Understand the “Why”

You need to have an idea of what your current state is in order to define your vision for your future state. With a good understanding of that, you will then know the WHY.

Why are we implementing CRM? — What problems are we addressing?  — What are our business drivers?

Here are a ten examples of “Why CRM”.  How many of these are a current challenge in your business?

– System Consolidation:
Is your team using multiple systems to store and retrieve information creating inefficiencies for your team and your customers?

– Data Standardization:
Is it hard to find data or “use” the data you have because of the lack of standardization?

– Data Integrity:
How accurate or up-to-date is your data? Do you have a process to clean your data?

– Analytics:
Is pulling all your data together time consuming? You collect a lot of data on your customers – are you using it to measure your business and help in your decision making processes?

– Collaboration:
Is sales aligned with marketing? How about customer service, operations or engineering? Do you actually have people doing the same job and not even knowing it?

– Productivity and Efficiency:
How much time is spent on manual processes that could be streamlined by an automated process to allow your team to focus on growing the business?

– No clear view of customer relationship or journey:
Do you really know your customers? What they are buying or more importantly what they are not buying?

– Forecast Accuracy:
Is your sales team accurately forecasting when deals will close or have triggers in place when deals get stuck?

– Lead Management Strategy:
Did you know that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost? (Forrester-Research).

– Stay Competitive:
Do you know what your competition is doing and can you report on it?  Is there Share of Wallet you can track and capture?

Now that you examined several reasons why you need/want CRM, here are two additional factors to keep in mind when defining your vision.

2. Don’t focus on technology:
A crucial point here is that you should not be focused at all on the technology but 100% focused on your business needs and problems. You may or may not know what the technology is.  If you don’t know…don’t concern yourself with it; if you do know, do this step independent of the system and any known features, etc.

If you focus on the technology and ‘what it can do for you’ you will miss out.

Ask yourself, “What is our CRM strategy?” once you start to view CRM as a strategy and not just a ‘database’ you have taken a step in the right direction

3. Stay aligned with your vision:
The importance of defining your vision is to provide a ‘north star’ to guide you in all other steps (selecting a partner, implementation, training, user adoption, etc)…we all know it can be easy to get off track.

In those moments, you can easily get back on track be re-aligning with your vision. Is what we are discussing/spending time on, etc. relate to our vision?

If you have no vision, there is nothing to align to.  All other steps should be directly related to the ‘WHY’.

Bottom line – stay aligned.

Now you have a starting point when examining CRM.  The next step is selecting your partner who can help you find the right solution that fits your vision but more on that in future posts.

Of course, if you don’t want to wait for the next blog post you can contact Ledgeview Partners and we can help you right away or you can request a copy of our 10 Steps to a Successful Implementation that was originally presented at our 2015 CRM Conference.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about Ledgeview’s Expertise

Related Articles

Read More
Director of Marketing at Ledgeview Partners