Once the outside structure of your CRM is solid, it’s time to think about the infrastructure within your CRM system. How will the information need to flow within the system and externally? What types of connections or integrations will need to be installed to pipe the information where it needs to be?
Once you have a solid CRM foundation to build upon, it’s time to begin building out the CRM framework for your system. Of course, the building blocks for every CRM are the contacts, including both people and companies.
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.
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,
When you first begin a CRM rollout in your firm, it’s easy to get carried away and want to really take off right out of the gate. It’s perfectly understandable that you might get excited about the potential of CRM to help the firm solve problems and automate processes.
It’s always more fun to travel with a friend, so you may want to invite some CRM users and other folks along for the ride. CRM is a team sport. Trying to go it alone is not only incredibly painful – it’s impossible.
So what should you pack for your journey to CRM success? First I would start with some patience. CRM success is rarely instantaneous, and if you are in a hurry to see immediate results, you are often going to be sadly disappointed.
So now that we’ve identified so many ways to use CRM categories, your head may be spinning as you try to figure out what to do next. On the one hand, the great thing about CRM is that it can do so many things.
The way to avoid causing a CRM ‘revolution’ at your firm and have a truly Happy CRM New Year is to forget about all of the sweeping changes you resolved to make. Instead, you need to make only one resolution this year: to be a little better each day.