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I am going to talk about how to keep it simple.  CRM implementations don’t need to be over complicated.

The main reasons why you may hear that they are because:

  1. The stakeholders don’t know what they want
  2. No internal processes have been set up or ever implemented
  3. No business analysing process or gatherings session and middle man communication to the CRM development team
  4. No internal ownership of the CRM implementation project
  5. No subject matter expert appointed

Believe me, developers do take anything you say as a literal.  Not many would ever come up for air and see how this may affect your future business goals and strategy or your CRM road map for that matter – for example thinking about future releases of the product…

When considering how to take on your CRM project think about what you currently have, and what you want in there or improved, is there any historical data you’d like to move into the new CRM and who will champion the whole process and be realistic about the resources available to manage this.

How do you want the sales users and the key data entry users to engage and adopt your CRM?  The data quality will only be as good as that that goes in so you must think about they key things you want to be inputted.  This in turn will be your output of reports and fancy dashboards.

Keeping page layout configurations to a minimum.  Trust me, once you use Salesforce or any other CRM it’s only after having used it and coming up against lots of different use case scenarios, that you will really realise what you do and don’t use so why waste an implementation budget?

There are great little audit tricks and reports you can do to gain better insight! But, from my experience user testing periods won’t ever be long enough because you may go live at a time of a new release of a product.  In my case, Salesforce is my area of expertise and three times a year new improvements are rolled in.

So, my advice is, book in a review date with your CRM Champion or yourself, where you can analyse what was best adopted, and even better, implement a user testing focus group to begin with and get feedback.

Once you are actually using the product you will then see where some complexities like integrations may be a viable investment, then you can consider to bring in a implementation partner that is specialised in that area!

My advice, don’t complicate it, multi phasing every step of the way as your organisation grows and use the out of the box functionality – that’s what it’s there for!