I can't tell you how many articles I've read throughout the years that provide advice on how to make CRM technology implementation less painful. I've posted on this topic a few times myself, right here on this Direct Marketing Blog. It begs the question: why can't some smart firm come up with a solution here?
Regardless, since CRM implementation (and the pain associated with it) remains a 'hot' topic, I thought I would share some tips from this Inside CRM article titled: 10 Ways IT Managers Can Make CRM Implementation Painless.
I've listed each of the tips below, but you can read the full article for more detailed explanations and suggestions.
- Watch your alignment. In other words, start at the top and make sure your CRM efforts match your business goals.
- Spread the word. To hook CRM applications into a company's core products and services, IT managers will likely have to beat multiple drums in order to be heard.
- Sell it to the sales department. While end users across an organization must commit to diligently using and updating CRM systems, success may well depend on the acceptance level of the sales force.
- Root for the home team. End users are not the only ones who will likely be in need of constant CRM coaxing. To best lead a staff to CRM victory, IT managers must constantly champion attainable corporate goals.
- Stay ahead of the curve. Along with keeping the team happy, the most effective IT manager will work constantly to keep up with an industry known to change at warp speed.
- Change from the inside out. External factors are not the only change agents at work. IT leaders will also want to ponder the internal impact of a new CRM system.
- Raise the bar. Regulatory matters and other factors up the ante. Thus, IT managers must make sure that major decisions surrounding CRM initiatives are not relegated to those toiling in the trenches.
- Visualize results and use carrots instead of sticks. The most capable CRM managers are high-level leaders, who are hyper-aware of CRM’s ability to shape an organization.
- Take it on the run. In order for the sales staff or other departments to use CRM to get to know customers better, users will likely need a way to tap CRM applications remotely.
- Pick your battles. Without question, a CRM initiative is laden with snags that can challenge even the best IT manager. Hence, a significant number of organizations chose to pass the lion's share of the chore to outsourcers.