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CRM Implementation Success

CRM implementations are unlike any other enterprise application in that once the software is implemented, it will do very little to improve a company's bottom line. And yet, listening to major ERP vendors would have you believing that the simple inclusion of a CRM system in your IT portfolio would in and of itself establish better sales or service.

While having a well-implemented CRM system plays a critical supporting role, it is the use of the system that determines its ultimate value for the business. For that reason, user-adoption is the most critical KPI when it comes to implementing a CRM system since user adoption directly impacts business results, but how can you achieve it?

How to Establish User Adoption of a CRM System

  1. Executive Sponsorship
    The deployment of any successful enterprise software package requires executive sponsorship. From the beginning phases, it is critical for senior management to communicate and illustrate executive support and buy-in. Aside from simply allocating funds and resources, management should bring a clarity of purpose and vision to the project. In addition, executive sponsorship must continue throughout the entire deployment process.
  2. Pre-defined Solution Requirements
    An easily overlooked step, it is critical to gather information from the business (Sales, Marketing, Customer Support) at an early stage. This helps accomplish the dual goals of prioritizing and comparing requirements for CRM systems as well as establishing end-user investment far in advance of the ultimate roll-out of the new CRM system.
  3. Process Enablement
    Clearly identifying and defining business processes is a best practice for the successful implementation of a CRM system. In addition to providing clarity for end-users who will be impacted by changing processes, the mapping of business processes will also put your organization in the position to choose the CRM package that is right for you--one that is flexible to your continued needs as new business goals arrive.

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