Top 5 Success Factors For A CRM Implementation

1. CRM is not a just software

Since CRM plays an important role in corporate strategy, its crucial that you define what it is you hope to capture and report on within the system.  Be sure to consider the state of your customer relationship, and consider its effect on all business units and end-users from the start.

Considerations:

-How will CRM support your corporate strategy?

-Which departments or functional groups need to be involved in system design and who will use it?

-Which processes will be impacted or require change?

 

2. Making CRM work for your business

When choosing a solution, be sure it includes a flexible architecture and platform technology. This allows organizations to more cost-effectively tailor the system to their unique business process and to be adaptable and competitive as needs change. Forward-thinking organizations use select flexible CRM systems that will enhance their business agility, not confine them.

Considerations:

-Are your market conditions stable or dynamic? How will you accommodate change and growth within the system?

-What technology infrastructure is needed to support new systems, new data sources, and new users?

-Can all important and relevant customer information be collected and combined within this technology infrastructure?

3. Define the benefits

As part of the CRM implementation process, consider the anticipated ROI; by defining CRM success metrics up front, companies can help ensure the goals are realized and met. Executives, business users, IT staff, and the CRM partner must work together to define these goals and to tie the CRM technology to appropriate business processes and data requirements.

Considerations:

-Have you established key business metrics? How will you report on them?

-Have you benchmarked current conditions and metrics for future comparison?

-If you choose not to adopt CRM, what might the long-term cost be to your business?

 

4. Total cost of ownership

Total cost of ownership for a CRM system can be hard to predict, due to the uniqueness of each implementation and the differing levels of complexity among enterprise technology environments. However, analysts estimate that up to 90 percent of total CRM costs are associated with customizing, integrating, deploying, supporting, and maintaining a CRM system.

Companies selecting on premise CRM face the majority of their CRM costs up-front. In contrast, a hosted CRM delivery model typically requires a smaller up-front investment and attractive monthly cost, but over a three-year period, may actually have a higher total cost of ownership than an on-premise solution. In addition, with hosted solutions, your company does not own the software and may be limited in your ability to customize the system to your business or industry needs and unique processes.

For additional comparison please download  this white paper from the ERT Group CRM section. (left column at the bottom)

Considerations:

-Which option, on premise or hosted, make more sense for your company?

-Are you considering costs over a longer period of time?

-Does industry-specific CRM make sense for your company?

 

5. Find a partner

It’s important to assess business objectives, technology strategy, IT budgets, opportunity costs, customization requirements, and industry-sector requirements before selecting a CRM solution.  But beyond that, it’s important to ensure that you’re picking a solid partner you can work with now and in the future, such as ERT Group.  Business and implementation experience is what will ensure things go smoothly and that nothing is overlooked during the project.

Considerations:

-What kinds of implementation support can be provided? What kinds of training options are available?

-Does the partner have industry experience?

-Does the partner have strong references from reputable customer companies?

 

If you’re looking for specific CRM software information, check out the resources on the ERT Group website. You can also contact ERT Group for assistance in determining if a technology solution can help your organization better serve your business needs.

 

Article written by Stephen Schilling, Technical Consultant – ERT Group

ERT Group is a Florida Microsoft Gold Certified Partner– offering Microsoft Dynamics ERP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

3 thoughts on “Top 5 Success Factors For A CRM Implementation”

  1. I stumbled upon this article when doing a Google search for CRM implementation cost. I must say you have included the most crucial points. I am definitely going to push this information to my future clients. By the way http: //crmprogramer.com does a great job on in implementing free CRM and ERP software. You might get some information there.

    Keep up the good work,
    Cheers!

  2. Great stuffs. It's very true that CRM is not just a software and there are definitely some critical success factors that we need to consider when emabrking in a CRM project. If i can summarise everything, it would be 'planning'. Failure to plan would be like planning your own CRM failure...

  3. Intelestream Inc

    Intelestream has published a helpful white paper on the subject of CRM User Adoption Challenges, which can be read by visiting the Intelestream University.

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