Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. CRM projects are no different. How your organisation sets out a vision to achieve the goals of a new CRM will determine the success of the solution.
To determine these goals, you should be asking what's currently lacking across the breadth of the business that a new CRM would fix.
You might have:
- Disparate systems
- Poor or no reporting
- Messy data
- Poor interface
- Poor performance/reliability
Whatever your problems are, it's worth using some of the difficulties you face as an early starting point for setting out your CRM vision.
Consider the types of profiles in your business. This could be your directors, end-user or mid-level managers, and they will all have different functions, such as marketing or customer service. It's important that you consider each of their needs when planning a new CRM solution. Failure to do so can lead to disgruntled employees who feel the business is working for other departments or higher seniority.
An example of different needs may include:
- High-level reporting systems
- Evaluating the efficiency of processes
- Assess communications between departments
- Examine return on investment for marketing campaigns
- Ability to asses department members
- Identify the most profitable accounts for opportunities
- Able to view their performance
- Easy to use interface with fewer button clicks
- Confidence in a single truth data set
An essential component for a successful CRM implementation is scope. What budget do you have? What features are important to your business for it to succeed? Is it integration? A state of the art marketing suite?
A common cause for a failed implementation is trying to do much, too soon. We recommend a phased approach where a service is useable in a production environment for the organisation to work with, and then a plan to build on it later down the line. This helps with both time and budgetary factors.
Management must be involved in producing the business- vision, and this doesn't become an isolated project by the IT department. You also make sure that you document the vision; it is understood and communicated to everyone. A pivotal point to consider is that you may have the best CRM solution in the world on a technical level, but if the organisation doesn't 'get it' it's probably worse than the archaic, creaky one you implemented ten years ago.
So what's your CRM vision for 2020? Are you considering an evolution or revolution of your system, and how do you feel about the plan you've put in place to carry it forward?