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Top 5 Tips for CRM Implementation Success

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By Dan Smith, Altico Advisors

David Myron, Editorial Director of CRM Magazine, wrote a great editorial in the July issue.  He used a billiards analogy and called his piece:  “15 Years of Pocket Shots and Miscues.” 

Here’s his opening paragraph.

“To be good at Eight-Ball, you have to take a measured approach to each shot.  To be great, you have to consistently do this and set yourself up for the next shot.  Much like Eight-Ball, to be most successful with CRM strategies, you need a measured approach that also sets you up for your next move, or, in industry parlance, an approach that is scalable.” 

Myron goes on to emphasize the importance of occasionally taking a look back before looking ahead, i.e. learning from past experiences and best practices developed over time.

Here are his top 5 tips for a successful CRM strategy:

1)       Make a business case.   Don’t simply buy a CRM system because your competitor has one.  And don’t buy one because you think it will be a business panacea.  Be specific with your goals. 

2)      Get support from the top.  If management doesn’t enforce CRM usage, then you’ll be relying on luck to increase user adoption.

3)      Keep customers in mind.  If your organization doesn’t think about your customers first when implementing a new process or technology, don’t expect your customers to return favor when they’re looking to make a purchase. 

4)      Build a team.  Create a group of stakeholders with representatives from each department that will use the system.  Take notes in what their colleagues need the system to do for them.  Make sure the system and/or processes address their concerns. 

5)      Take baby steps.  Don’t try to do too much all at once.  …”Complex projects should be broken down into manageable and measurable phases,” [per Donna Fluss from another article in the July issue].

Myron’s editorial is a preview of the feature article, “CRM:  Then and Now” in the July issue.   At Altico Advisors, the above tips align with our philosophy.  The best prospects for a Microsoft Dynamics CRM system are companies that have defined their goals, have management support for the project, have a culture that already puts customers first, understand the importance of involving a team in the process, and have “put a fence around the project” so that it doesn’t reel out of control.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a comprehensive solution for Sales Force Automation, Marketing Automation, and Service Management.  But you don’t have to use all of its functionality, just what makes sense for your company.  For starters, you can take a look at a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Application Overview that runs for 20 minutes.  That will give you at least a basic framework for establishing your most important goals and defining the scope of your proposed project. 

 Submitted by Altico Advisors, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner for Massachusetts (MA)

4 Responses to “Top 5 Tips for CRM Implementation Success”

  1. Dauer Kinsley says:

    I can’t agree more on the tips you discussed, especially on the first one —Don’t simply buy a CRM system because your competitor has one. And don’t buy one because you think it will be a business panacea. Be specific with your goals. —I was once guilty of this, learning that may major competitor has recently installed a CRM (that was why his customers were so impressed that when they call, the secretary knows exactly when their pet’s last visit was), I had my staff probe what CRM they got. And before long, I have it as well! Yet I found out it was not the proper way of choosing the tool —there are a lot of features in the CRM which aren’t usable for my business. I now switched to small business crm Worketc (www.worketc.com) which offers exactly what I need. I can attach unlimited notes to my contacts (they call it tags), and I can search my database using those tags. Very easy and efficient! Needless to say, I now learned my lesson.

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