CRM should be a team sport. Trying to go it alone in implementing a CRM is not only painful, it’s impossible. A number of key stakeholders should be drafted to help ensure success.
The Marketing team is critical for defining a CRM strategy and assisting in the planning, communication and training. They should work with CRM users to ensure the system provides value, helps build relationships and enhances business development efforts, rather than being perceived as a glorified Rolodex.
The support of the firm’s IT department is also essential. Because they have traveled these paths before, they can help to spot potential obstacles and create a roadmap for avoiding them. Be sure to engage them early so they can catch their breath after all the other projects and implementations they may currently be working on.
Having firm management leading the charge is also essential. Without their support, your professionals may view CRM as just another distraction that uses up valuable billable time instead of a valuable business development tool. Leadership also plays an integral role in communicating to professionals why the firm cares about CRM and why they should care too. Leaders should set the vision, providing persuasive reasons for attorneys to use the system, such as:
- Identifying and leveraging relationships
- Minimizing repetitive or redundant processes
- Increasing efficiency and reducing costs
- Improving communication, coordination and Client serviceC
- Enhancing business development
Additionally, including key end users on your team can go a long way in ensuring that you make it to the finish line. Many successful professionals care a great deal about their contacts and relationships, and developing business is a priority for many of them. Having influential attorneys in your corner can help to persuade others to cheer you on, and early adopters can provide critical feedback and suggest enhancements to improve the rollout.
Finally, a successful CRM implementation also requires the active participation of support staff including secretaries/administrative assistants. Because they are frequently the ones using the CRM for the long haul, it is important to get their buy-in early. Their feedback can also be invaluable for streamlining processes and enhancing efficiencies. Make their lives easier and they will become some of your best cheerleaders.