The Importance of Senior Executive Sponsorship
our last newsletter, we continued the series on Addressing the Realities
of (Sales) CRM Implementations. Prior articles covered the following
This article covers the importance of Senior Executive Sponsorship of your
We have worked with firms whose CRM initiatives were a "do-it-yourself"
project as well as those who invested in the premier systems integrator
and the premier CRM solution. Regardless of the approach, we have observed
that a key success factor is Senior Executive Sponsorship – from the
business. Executive Sponsorship requires, at a minimum, 1-2 senior
executives who have a key stake in the overall business results and the
most to gain (or lose) based upon the outcome of the CRM initiative.
Said another way, the CRM initiative is not an IS/IT project. While
IS/IT is a key enabler, the project is not owned by IS/IT. The
business areas (Sales, Marketing and Service) are responsible for
justifying the project based upon the anticipated ROI. Once the project is
underway, the business (senior management down to individual contributors)
must remain fully engaged.
So, what is involved in Executive Sponsorship?
Being the overall corporate champion and cheerleader
for the initiative.
Working with the team to help put things into
perspective vs. joining in on the "feeding frenzies" when (not
if) issues arise.
Acting as overall corporate messenger, continuously
espousing the value of the project to the organization, especially to
those directly impacted (see prior article on "CRM
Consistently participating in project steering
committee meetings, demonstrating commitment to the team and providing
ongoing guidance and timely input to project challenges and
Consistently participating in executive briefings (in
the boardroom) when project updates are provided. This is crucial
because there will be a period of "buyer's remorse" when the
investments have been underway for some time and the anticipated ROI has
not yet materialized. It is the Executive Sponsor who needs to answer
the CEO's question: "Why are we doing this?" If there isn't anyone from
the business standing up or pounding a fist on the table in response to
this question (reiterating the why), then the project is destined to
summary, investing in the premier CRM solution and the premier systems
integrator does NOT guarantee success. Without the level of Executive
Sponsorship outlined above, you are throwing your money away on CRM. If
your CRM initiative is valuable enough to receive funding, then it is
certainly a worthwhile measure to secure ongoing Executive Sponsorship to
ensure program success!
In future editions we will cover the remaining topics of this series
Proven Technology – Really?
Key (Controllable) Items Impacting Adoption
Proficiency After 2 days of Training?
closing, if you are embarking on a CRM initiative, or are in the middle of
a CRM program that doesn't seem to have the traction you'd like to see,
give us a call. We'd be happy to assist you in framing up your initial
project for success as well as provide objective insight on your existing
initiative to ensure that you achieve the anticipated ROI.
As a reminder, our whitepaper
Avoiding The Common Pitfalls of CRM is available for download from our
website. Finally, if you are looking for a CRM implementation primer,
consider the following book:
CRM Automation by Barton J. Goldenberg.
Implementations: The Importance of Executive Sponsorship
+ Recommended Reading
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Recognizing the importance of learning from the past, Ziff Davis'
Baseline reviewed 230 of its case studies to compile
Top 10 Lessons for I.T. Project Success. As an extra bonus, follow the
10 Project Pitfalls You Can Avoid.
Happy New Year!
Centricity wishes everyone a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2007!
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