Implementing change

Change management is a vital and often overlooked aspect of implementing a CRM solution. The key elements are:

  • Communication at all levels of the organisation
  • Training
  • Up-to-date user guide / reference
  • User involvement from the beginning especially to ensure usability
  • Demonstrate value and answer the ‘What’s in it for me’ question

Business objectives

When implementing a CRM application focus of the business objectives to be achieved.

In the beginning it makes good sense and aids adoption to only focus on achieving a few key objectives.

The choice of these objectives depends on the most critical needs of the business relating to customer relationship management.

Executive oversight should provide input to set a vision for customer relationships, prioritize the right relationships and assign metrics that measure relationship activity not just sales activity.

Managing change

When embarking on a CRM programme consider the following:

  • Are the business needs driving the change or is the technology driving the change?
  • Have the people, process and cultural dimensions been accounted for?
  • Is there a change management plan in place to drive the implementation?

The change management plan should include dealing with resistance to change, executive support, messaging to end users and other interested parties, and defining metrics to measure adoption and success.

Benefits of CRM

A CRM software application helps you achieve a number of business objectives. These include:

  • Generating more leads
  • Increasing productivity
  • Closing more deals
  • Providing services and products that meet the customer needs
  • Improving customer satisfaction
  • Increasing retention rates
  • Sharing information across the organisation
  • Provide a 360 degree view of the customer

Benefits will differ based on enterprise size and sales model either B2C or B2B.

Supporting CRM users

Implementing a CRM application is half the journey. Ongoing support for end users is an important part of change management and adoption.

Consider who will be responsible for for:

  • On boarding new users and updating existing users’ details
  • Responding to end user queries and questions
  • Making and testing configuration changes
  • Producing basic reports

What is CRM?

Customer or Client Relationship Management (CRM) is about managing an organisation’s relationships with its existing and prospective customers.

It’s a strategy to develop a deep understanding of customers’ behaviours and needs to develop strong, sustainable and mutually beneficial relationships.

To achieve this the organisation must be designed around managing customer segments, maximising customer satisfaction and developing end to end customer processes.

As customer knowledge is acquired it must be incorporated into ongoing strategy adjustments and process changes to optimise customer lifetime value and satisfaction.

From a business strategy perspective CRM is concerned with identifying and attracting prospective customers, converting them to paying customers and retaining customers. This roughly corresponds to marketing, sales and service.

Most commonly though, the term CRM is associated with software and related technology to manage customer relationships.