To win the CRM marathon, you have to take things at a slow, methodical pace. I often work with Clients who are so eager to roll out their CRM systems that they just can't wait. They want to implement all the bells and whistles, integrate with all of the firm’s other technology, automate Client intake, replace the conflicts system. While we're at it, we might as well solve world hunger.
While I applaud the enthusiasm, my counsel to them is often one word: why. This isn't meant to be a sarcastic or snarky question they need to answer for me. Rather it’s the question they need to ask themselves before they embark upon that ‘boil the ocean’ CRM project. There needs to be a really good answer to the why question before moving forward with any CRM initiative. If that answer is not particularly compelling, it can wait until phase 2… or phase 22. By compelling, I usually mean that it will help the firm or attorneys save a lot of time, fix a challenging problem or get closer to their business development goals.
Because CRM isn't a project or an initiative, but rather a fundamental change in the way the firm manages relationships, there will always be time to tackle that complex problem, to implement that new, cool feature or to integrate with that software or system. Some of these projects can be incredibly complex and expensive and often they take time – time that could be spent on implementing the core functionality that the attorneys and marketers need to develop business and grow the firm.
A better goal for CRM success is this:just try to be a little better each day. Put one foot in front of the other, start with baby steps. Walk before you can run... repeat.