Avoid Overly Aggressive Timelines
our last newsletter, we continued the series on Addressing the Realities
of (Sales) CRM Implementations. Prior articles covered the following
This article covers the topic of "Avoiding Overly Aggressive Timelines."
As with any project, there is always pressure to get it done as quickly as
possible. For a CRM project, there are two common challenges related to
Trying to do too much at once
Determining if a system integrator can ensure project
timelines are met
Trying to Do Too Much
CRM is a big initiative. And, there is a strong desire to specify an
aggressive timeline to "do it all." A key element underlying all CRM
initiatives is the need to integrate access to all customer information.
This includes, but is not limited to:
Business planning, forecasting and opportunity
Shipment and billing history
Customer service / Technical Support
Many implementations have failed simply because the project was too
aggressive. To mitigate this risk, identify the few highest priority areas
to target and implement them. Once implemented, let them "burn-in" to the
environment, allowing you to achieve a measure of adoption. In parallel
with the burn-in period, begin work on the next few highest priority
areas. Continue this cycle until you have achieved your major CRM
Can a System Integrator Ensure Project Timelines are Met?
What a systems integrator can provide is highly skilled and 100% dedicated
resources to do most of the "heavy lifting" associated with your CRM
initiative. However, the key question that you need to ask is: "Can I keep
up with them?" In order for your CRM initiative to be a success, a
significant commitment of time must be provided from key business areas
that are within the scope of the project. To be more specific, you will
need to identify "A players" from the business who will be 100% dedicated
to the CRM initiative for an extended period of time. Attempting to do
this without 100% dedicated resources or with "B players" will only result
In summary, investing in the premier systems integrator relieves some
resource burden, but it does not guarantee that timelines will be met. A
well-balanced plan with dedicated resources from the business is an
In future editions we will cover the remaining topics of this series
Proficiency After 2 Days of Training?
Your Sales CRM is Live: What's Next?
In 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: Avoid Overly Aggressive Timelines
+ Recommended Reading
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For additional considerations for CRM implementation, read NewsFactor's
CRM Daily article
Planning for Growth with Scalable CRM by Elizabeth Millard. Ms.
Millard stresses the need to think ahead and map out growth plans for your
company, from the top down (or bottom up), to be able to implement a
flexible CRM system that can grow with you.
About Customer Centricity, Inc.
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