7 Steps to getting a CRM implementation right

A new piece from Smart Data Collective has explored some of the key elements that will help a company implement a new CRM system smoothly and efficiently.  As with any new system, taking the time to ensure a good transition is valuable, so the points are well worth exploring:

Prepare properly

It's important to ensure that the team integrating the new project is put together efficiently, with an equal balance developed between the various key skills that will go into ensuring the system is a success.  Don’t become reliant on a 3rd party partner for all the implementation, make sure your internal team can and has time to take ownership from the outset.

Make sure every area is covered and part of the team

The article notes that the team implementing the system should include a senior figure to help generate awareness, key executives, departmental managers from customer service, sales and marketing, IT managers, genuine subject matter experts, experts in customer resource management technology (usually an outside consultant) and a genuine project manager.

Don’t try and complete the project as one big bang, if small steps and department by department works then take this approach, at the end of the day you still have a business to run.

Have a set goal and define the process

As with absolutely every project, it's going to be impossible to measure a CRM system's success if concrete goals aren't set before the project goes ahead.  It's important to take the time to consult the key stakeholders and create a solid, common set of expectations that are listed in priority order.  Define as a process how you want to work and then sense check this approach to make sure that just because it is the “how is”, can there be, or is there a better way.

Reviewing processes and examining the way people are working can be a great drive to review efficiency and improve working practices.

Personalise the database

It's important to ensure that when the relevant data is being imported from different sources across the business, it's vital that the team takes the time to make sure everything is kept consistent.  Duplicates need to be removed and irrelevant data needs to be kept away from the new database.  If it isn't, you'll end up with the same problems that you have now!

Consistency is key to the implementation of CRM across all departments and this enable a unified way of working.

Configure and Own the System

It is likely that you will work with a partner like MyCRM to help advise and configure the software solution but remember the technology is just a tool or a means to an end for collecting the data. 

All internal stakeholders need to work together to define what data they need to see and hold, and how that data is used in the organisation and how the flow of the customer’s journey is defined.

All on the same page

This might be the obvious one but make user a full session of User Acceptance Testing is done and make sure all end users understand the process on how to use the implementation of CRM.

Go Live but Mind the Gap

Firstly make sure before you switch to production that the system has the latest dataset and all users have been set up with the correct roles and access along with suitable passwords.

In the early stages of production end users will sometimes try to find a reason not to use a new system, so try and make the process as painless as possible.

Once the implementation is in production then be ready to “mind the gap” as business process will change and so will end users. Make sure regular review of data, user acceptance and process are carried out.

To read more from the original article: Smart Data Collective

About MyCRM

MyCRM has over 20 years’ experience in understanding how CRM as a technology and CRM as a business process can work in business and has therefore we have developed a number of off the shelf extensions to enhance CRM productivity

http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/eSurvey.aspx Our Integrated Survey Solution can be used to get valid feedback from customers and prospects.

http://downloads.mycrmgroup.com/ePDF.aspx Our record to PDF solution enables increased productivity directly in CRM by allowing an end user to quickly send a Quote or Order or even an invoice by email to the end customer in just a few clicks.

We also offer from our own datacentre a fully managed version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, you can see more about using MyCRM as a managed service here: http://hosted.mycrmgroup.com/

To find out more visit http://www.mycrmgroup.com