As we continue our discussion of CRM, we will look into several aspects of successfully implementing a CRM system that pays off quickly.

Clients frequently ask us:


Q.  What will the process of moving to CRM look like?
Step 1 – Determine CRM is a good addition for your firm
Step 2 – Select a knowledgeable internal resource or consultant to guide you
Step 3 – Select the CRM system that is best for your firm
Step 4 – Select an integrator if needed for customization
Step 5 – Plan your system
Step 6 – Change Management
Step 7 – Implement your system
Step 8 – Measure the results and make adjustments

Q.  How will we know when the project is finished?
You will never know because CRM is not a project; it is a journey. Rare is the day when you will not have a new idea for improving or expanding your system. Most CRM systems allow the addition of custom features as well as ad-hoc reporting. Both will provide you with a seemingly endless supply of new ideas to further improve your business.

Q. How long will my CRM project take to implement?
Your timeline depends on the complexity of your business and your workflow. It will also be affected by whether you use CRM in a traditional way or if you chose to make it your major business system. There are some significant advantages to the latter but it will lengthen your planning and implementation time.

Q.  What can go wrong and why?
No project goes perfectly but most major problems can be avoided by (1) having the knowledge and experience on/with your team to ensure your decisions are carefully considered and (2) ensuring the planning process is patient and thorough enough. Typically I like to allow 40-50% of the implementation time for planning. Never has a saying been so true as “a failure to plan is a plan to fail”.

Q.  Is there a key element to the ll important planning component?
There is indeed. Go backwards! Planning a CRM system starts with the data you want to obtain from your system. These reports might be one of the last things developed but the planning process must start with the reporting to ensure all of the required elements for the reporting system are present in the database tables.

Q.  How can I determine if my new CRM system is working well?
The two best success indicators are morale and customer satisfaction. Assuming you’re already measuring both, two of the key results of a successful CRM implementation are happier employees (who have more and better information to serve and real time performance feedback) and happier customers (who see your teams are talking to each other improving their service quality).

I hope this lesson on CRM has you thinking. Best…

“When you’re green, you’re growing; when you’re ripe, you’re rotten”