Are you Prepared for CRM?
Are you Prepared for CRM?
CRM projects are notorious for failing for a variety of reasons in mid-sized enterprises. Although there have been considerable CRM product developments, including the rapid growth of solid hosted solutions, there is still a need for a foundation built on mature processes, alignment with goals, and senior level buy-in. Use Demand Metric’s downloadable CRM Readiness Assessment to gauge how ready your organization is to tackle this initiative.
What are the Key Success Factors?
· Senior Management Commitment- your executives must understand that CRM is a complex, long-term initiative. They need to commit to providing the required resources, and potentially upgrade backend I/T systems.
· Alignment with Goals & Objectives– CRM must be on your strategic plan for organizational development priorities. Each department needs to document their requirements for the system, and indicate how the increased functionality will help them achieve current and future goals.
· Process Maturity & Documentation– defined, repeatable, and measurable processes need to be documented for Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Billing, and Order Management.
· Data Management & Accuracy– customer and product information needs to be stored safely in either a data warehouse or online storage system. A unique customer identifier should be used across all departments, and I/T needs to take responsibility for all departmental data.
· Customer-Centricity– is your business driven by customer needs? Have you profiled an ideal customer and communicated that profile across departments? Do customers typically deal with more than one representative?
· System Training & Support– appropriate resources need to be allocated for training system users and administrators. Consider creating a position for a Director of Sales Support who can manage the CRM program.
1. Conduct a Readiness Assessment
– use Demand Metric’s downloadable CRM Readiness Assessment
tool to measure your preparedness across 6 dimensions.
2. Prioritize Results
– review your ‘Scorecard’ to identify key areas that need to be addressed immediately, can be completed over time, or can be ignored.
3. Evaluate CRM Systems
- read Evaluating Hosted CRM Systems
to quickly get up to speed on vendor offerings.
4. Consider a SFA Pilot
– even if you score poorly on the readiness assessment, there may be some value in conducting a pilot project for sales-force-automation (SFA) to help you manage leads, accounts, opportunities, etc. and build momentum for CRM.
5. Make a Recommendation
– once you understand your current CRM readiness, make a recommendation to Senior Management to: get started; approach cautiously; scale back; or cut the initiative indefinitely.
CRM has the potential to have a major impact on your business. Don’t waste time and resources evaluating and implementing a solution, until your organization is in a position to really reap the benefits.