Is your CRM project headed towards success or failure?

Customer insights, CRM project

MicroPartner has gathered 7 key points that may tell you, if your CRM is headed towards success or failure.

CRM project – headed towards success or failure?

1. Get CRM version 1.0 up and running fast

Version 1.0 of your CRM system must not take more than 3 months to roll out. Period. If it takes longer, the project has become too extensive and too heavy technology-wise. You need to define your CRM project to almost nothing: What is the goal, what are the parameters for success, how long is the project to last and who needs to be involved etc.? Short, defined questions with clear answers.

2. Acknowledge that CRM is an organizational project

CRM is not about IT and software but about people and business. If the employees and the company do not embrace the solution on their terms, the CRM project will not succeed. Approach the task from a user perspective, and define and prioritize the critical business processes, you want to get a handle on. Begin with a pilot project, select one business process, and ask the involved employees what they need, if they are to succeed.

3. Turn your customer strategy into concrete success criteria

What is your customer strategy – i.e. when it needs to be turned into something concrete and operational? Do you agree on the success criteria, and how they are linked to e.g. your sales process? Do management and employees agree on how you build and strengthen customer relations, which tasks and processes you need to handle in that connection, how you set the bar for what you need in connection with CRM, and what you need it for?

4. Prioritize communication and commitment in the entire organization

CRM must be owned and embedded at management level. Even if your CRM project begins in one corner of the organization, you keep working towards the overall vision. Communication is key – up and down, from side to side in all corners of the organization. It is important that everyone knows the guiding star and can follow the project: Who owns the project, who heads it, what is the plan, how far have we come, what is your role and what is mine?

5. Put the customer at the center. In real life.

Customer data is the lifeblood in order to succeed with CRM. What does the business need operationally speaking? Prioritize and put the customer at the center in terms of the role each employee has towards the customer. What kind of information does the employee need and what is the information used for? How do we make sure, that customer information is not lost between departments in the company – and that only relevant information is shared between e.g. sales and customer service?

6. Your business is your processes. Get a handle on them

When you begin working with CRM as an IT solution, you need to be clear about your processes. You may have a handle on your data and data basis, but once the processes are created, it makes sense to bring IT in to support them. So, in that connection CRM software is a short cut that ‘forces’ you to be clear about your processes and your business.

7. Get help from someone who has done it before

Do not repeat some else’s mistakes. Instead, get professional help from someone who has done it before. Processes, management and IT caries a CRM project. The IT part is a small part of the project, but it is our experience that it is often here that most people focus. Unfortunately, the result is often a project that explodes in complexity and internal resources without the results to show for it. And that is too bad, when the odds are good for the opposite.

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