Deploying CRM, One Step at a Time

February 26, 2014
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describe the imageWhen deploying a CRM system, many organisations enter into the project with unrealistic expectations. In a world of plug and play technology, businesses appear to have forgotten that CRM is simply not a system that you can just switch on. It requires planning, change management and the investment of energy, time and money.

CRM is a critical business system: it can transform performance – increasing conversions, reducing costs and enabling exceptional customer engagement. Given its strategic importance, why would any business assume CRM can be achieved without serious consideration and management?

To get the desired corporate rewards, it is essential to invest time into putting a CRM system in place, efficiently and effectively. A CRM deployment involves not just the technology, but also consideration of the business processes and  people – it is the successful management of all of these elements that is key to making a CRM system a success.

So what are the essential considerations?

Set Realistic Timescales:

Deploying a CRM system just does not happen overnight. CRM is a journey. Businesses implementing a CRM system cannot do everything at once because the project itself is too big. Trying to do too much too quickly results in the system becoming too complex for its users. There’s no point hurrying everything at the beginning, because the end result will be disappointing.

Retain Core Focus:

Businesses must concentrate on the core benefits and objectives of deploying CRM. By all means, look at other things you want to achieve such as integrating Google maps and social media channels; but decide how you are going to phase them in steadily and not rush them all at once.

Companies need to break the CRM process down to get the right foundations in place. Just like building a house – trying to build it, decorate it and put the pictures up all in one day is not realistic if you want to get the job done correctly. The same applies with CRM – you need get the essentials right first; and deploy CRM in stages.

Look for Measurable Benefits:

Organisations must determine what can be achieved effectively in the first phase to deliver not only measurable benefits to the business and directors, but also the user. Users are far more likely to embrace a system that delivers genuine value on a day to day basis than a system that provides no obvious benefit at all.

Implementing CRM effectively is a journey and having a clear understanding of what you want to achieve from the outset will determine the route. In real-life nobody jumps in the car and programs their Sat-Nav without knowing where the destination/end-point is – and the same methodology can be applied to a CRM implementation. Taking a single step at a time is essential to delivering successful CRM that works effectively and has the support and buy-in of both users and the business as a whole.