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Select and Implement a CRM Platform


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Enable marketing, sales, and customer service teams by successfully choosing and implementing a suite for Customer Relationship Management. …

Enable marketing, sales, and customer service teams by successfully choosing and implementing a suite for Customer Relationship Management.

Your Challenge

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) suites are an indispensable part of a holistic strategy for managing end-to-end customer interactions.
After defining an approach to CRM, selection and implementation of the right CRM suite is a critical step in delivering concrete business value for Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service.
Despite the importance of CRM selection and implementation, many organizations struggle to define an approach to picking the right vendor and rolling out the solution in an effective and cost-efficient manner.
IT often finds itself in the unenviable position of taking the fall for CRM platforms that don’t deliver on the promise of the CRM strategy.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

IT needs to be a trusted partner in CRM selection and implementation, but the business also needs to own the requirements and be involved from the beginning. Think of IT as a “conductor of the CRM orchestra.”
CRM requirements dictate the components of the target CRM architecture, such as deployment model, feature focus, and customization level. Savvy application directors recognize the points in the project where the CRM architecture model necessitates deviations from a “canned” rollout plan.
CRM selection is a multi-step process that involves mapping target capabilities for Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service, assigning requirements across functional categories, determining the architecture model to prioritize criteria, and developing a comprehensive RFP that can be scored in a weighted fashion.
Companies that succeed with CRM implementation create a detailed roadmap that outlines milestones for configuration, security, points of implementation, data migration, training, and ongoing application maintenance.

Impact and Result

A CRM platform that effectively meets the needs of Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service and delivers value.
Reduced costs during CRM selection.
Reduced implementation costs and time frame.
Faster time to results post-implementation.

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  • 1. Many organizations fail to do their due diligence with selecting and implementing a CRM platform, leading to a misfire in creating business value. Root causes of CRM select and implement failure include poor business-IT alignment (and business to business alignment), inadequate requirements and inexperienced internal staff. Don’t be myopic: create a cross-functional project team that can run with the ball for both selection and implementation. Organizations that succeed with CRM don’t focus on the needs of the here and now: they focus on the organization’s future-facing trajectory and collect their CRM requirements accordingly. Not having a plan for vendor selection is planning to fail. Organizations that succeed with CRM vendor selection take a rigorous, RFP-driven approach that balances departmental needs across marketing, sales and customer service, and uses the CRM architecture model as a driving framework for shortlisting and selection. Many companies pick a solid CRM suite, only to fail to implement it correctly. Remember that IT should continue to “conduct” the CRM orchestra with the involvement of marketing, sales and service during implementation. CRM isn’t a “deploy and forget project”: you need an ongoing plan for maintenance that takes place after enterprise deployment – this plan isn’t just about maintenance, it must also be about governance.