Chapter 6

How to Ensure CRM Success

To maximize the success of your CRM, keep these tips in mind:

Approach CRM with a strategy

CRM is more than a technology; it is a process and a mindset. Before diving into a CRM initiative, develop a strategy for how you will use it, including your goals for it, what data you will focus on and how you will use that data, how users will interact with the CRM, an internal communications plan, and a roadmap for the implementation. Remember, you don’t have to deploy everything all at once; it is often better to do it in phases. Only by creating an enterprise-wide CRM strategy can you position your implementation for true success.

Get everyone involved

Getting buy-in from all levels of your organization is important before launching a major CRM initiative. From top-level executives to everyday users, everyone must understand the importance of your CRM and its potential impact on your firm. The more people who buy in to the importance of CRM, the more users and champions you are likely to have as it is integrated into daily operations.

Choose the right platform

We have already noted that all CRM systems are not alike. Each offers a unique feature set and has inherent pros and cons. Consider your CRM strategy when choosing a platform and ensure whatever you select meets all your mission-critical needs. There is no cure for buyer’s remorse other than additional capital expenditures, so do not compromise on features if they will have a big impact on the overall effectiveness of the system.

Remember, you aren’t alone

A quality vendor is critical to the success of your CRM. Without this relationship, you could be left managing the complexities of your CRM system without support. This can be taxing as well as counterproductive. Partnering with  established vendors like Microsoft and HSO will help you implement your CRM correctly and keep it operating at peak performance as well as providing you with the guidance and support needed to keep it updated as new features become available or as your needs evolve.

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