How solid is your CRM foundation? Once you have a concrete strategy and have formed a plan, you need to build a solid CRM foundation to ensure long term success. Doing this type of ‘groundwork’ will ensure that your CRM implementation and structure will stand the test of time.
Over the years, we have all heard way too many stories of CRM systems failing to meet expectations. What we don’t typically hear is that the reason why these systems didn’t meet expectations was often that the expectations were unrealistic.
If this all sounds a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. Few people have the extensive experience to successfully deploy a CRM system by themselves. Still fewer are excited about expending the effort to get this experience. Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone.
CRM isn’t a project or an implementation. It’s a fundamental change – and improvement – in how your firm manages its most important assets – its relationships. As a result, CRM deployments shouldn’t end – they should evolve.
Once you have selected your system, you can begin planning for the CRM rollout. Don’t make the mistake of attempting a “boil the ocean” implementation, deploying too many features to too many people in too big a hurry.
Only once you have clearly articulated needs and agreed upon goals, can you begin identifying potential CRM products to address them. Properly deployed and supported, CRM systems are invaluable because they can do so many things. Even the most basic implementation can provide a centralized repository of clean and complete contacts that can be easily updated firm wide.
Yes, you read that title right. The words ‘CRM’ and ‘success’ were just used together. That’s because whether you are rolling out a new CRM system for the first time at your firm or trying to enhance adoption of an existing system,
I recently heard someone comment that CRM is a journey, not a trip. Truer words were never spoken. As many of my clients will tell you, I am fond of saying that CRM is not a project, an initiative or a rollout – it’s a fundamental change in the way that your firm manages and leverages it relationships.
A question that seems to keep coming up more frequently in discussions with firms about their CRM strategy is whether success would be easier to achieve with a CRM system that was ‘in the cloud.’ ‘The cloud’ is a fluffy euphemism for hosting the firm’s CRM software and data on a server somewhere outside the firm.
Have you ever heard the saying that you have to walk before you can run? It’s usually being spouted off by one of those really annoying self-important know-it-alls with all of their clever little sayings. You know, the ones who are usually all talk.
It’s always nice when something we say is reinforced by really smart people like the folks at McKinsey & Company. One of their articles about change management suggests that there are four basic conditions that must be met before people will change their behavior in the workplace:
A compelling story: They must see the point of change and agree with it,