Getting started with CRM

1. Pick 3 burning issues to fix / improve or new initiatives to generate value. What is important is having a clear picture of the full vision and selecting a technology stack which will support adding functionality as required.

2. Identify metrics to measure the benefits for e.g. increase conversion of website visitors by x percent, decrease admin time to process sales by x days, etc. Start with a baseline measure even if it is an estimate. Build dashboards and reports which can readily show the improvement in the metrics.

3. Identify one person or team to drive and deliver the implementation. Has the mandate to make decisions or can easily get to decision makers.

When it comes to managing the overall change:

4. Ensure that the leadership team is fully bought-in and understands the impact of the new system on the ways of working (the change will not only be a system change but will require changes to processes and how people work)

5. Make the case for change and ensure that it is commonly understood (the why, what, how, etc) across the organization. Most people would agree that emails and spreadsheets are not the most efficient way to work but changing well-established habits and getting someone to log onto a new system and do a task differently requires change effort. Must have a clear answer to the question ‘What’s in it for me?’

6. Don’t underestimate the need for training and communication. These are just as important as the technology and directly lead to better adoption of the system.  

Zaheer Ismail