Is CRM on the horizon for your organization? Customer relationship management (CRM) remains one of the highest-priority capabilities for organizations across nearly all industries. When embarking on a CRM journey for the first time, there are a number of critical components that help ensure the success of the program long-term if your organization is serious about getting CRM right.
If you’re new to the world of CRM or you’re looking to revamp what you currently have, increase your chances for success by addressing these five frequently downplayed needs.
1. Define Your Business Objectives
A surprisingly large percentage of organizations pursuing CRM capabilities do not give sufficient thought to defining the “why” that drives this need. If you aren’t setting business objectives, then you won’t know if you are successful or not. Furthermore, it will be difficult to justify the investment if you aren’t able to articulate the outcomes you expect to achieve for your organization and stakeholders. Typical business objectives include:
- We need to improve marketing ROI by segmenting our customers and developing more effective campaigns.
- My sales managers need better sales activity information to make informed decisions about improving sales effectiveness.
- My receptionist should not be the company rolodex.
2. Design Future State Processes
Implementing CRM tools and concepts, especially when they are new to your organization, will virtually always have implications for day-to-day processes and tasks. Organizations often fail to consider how roles and responsibilities within the company will change once new tools and concepts are in place. Beginning with the end in mind, make certain that you are mapping out the desired future state process that will be enabled by the new solution. This step is invaluable for requirements facilitation, solution design, configuration, user experience and overall adoption.
3. Fund Change Management Resources
Similar to business process design, change management is often ignored or reduced to tactical steps that aren’t sufficient for ensuring CRM adoption. As I work with clients, the regret I hear most from organizations is something like, “We should have focused more on change management. We didn’t realize how critical it would be to make this work.” Don’t fall into this trap.
Learn how Team Rubicon leveraged change management in its CRM implementation.
4. Require User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
UAT is critical for ensuring that the CRM tool is performing as expected, there are no bugs and end-users are bought in to the user experience. Being a good steward of your organization’s resources includes a rigorous focus on UAT.
5. Plan for Ongoing Maintenance and Support
Once you’ve implemented CRM tools and concepts, the work has only just begun. To ensure long-term success, organizations need to plan for required ongoing maintenance and support. Ongoing maintenance includes solution upgrades, a backlog of enhancements and integrations with other applications and processes in your marketing, sales and service ecosystem. Ongoing support often includes troubleshooting, minor configuration changes and scheduled strategic reviews of the program and outcomes achieved.
You can greatly increase your chances for success when you take these topics seriously as part of your CRM journey. Set your objectives, define your future state processes, get help with change management, test thoroughly and plan for future support. If you’ve done these things, you’ll see the results you hope to achieve. Learn more about how to achieve a successful CRM implementation — or even choose the right CRM for your organization — by contacting Wipfli.