Thursday, March 31, 2016

Choosing Your CRM Builder

Selecting the right team to build your house is essential. We’ve all heard horror stories about dealing with bad contractors. Without the right building partner, you are likely to get a house that takes longer and costs more than you imagined. You can even end up with a house that doesn't “meet code,” forcing you to redo some of the work or, even worse, find another contractor and rebuild from the ground up.

With CRM, this is even more important because you don't often get a “do-over.” Once users are frustrated with system functionality or data, you often lose credibility – and adoption. For firms that fail to find the right provider, it’s not uncommon to see multiple attempts to rollout the same CRM. Some firms have even found that their implementation doesn't “pass inspection” and they end up abandoning their CRM building projects or are forced to begin the entire process over again with another system provider. Don't let this happen to you.

Purchasing a CRM system involves a significant investment of time, money and effort, so you need to make sure that you find the right provider to build out and configure your system. You want someone with expertise and a company with a reputation for ongoing service and support. Such requirements will ensure that you build on a solid foundation, which will support you and your firm for years to come.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Blueprint for CRM Success

CRM success starts with a plan. Once you have invested the time to articulate the initial ideas for your new CRM home and have shared your thoughts with your CRM architect and key stakeholders in the organization, it’s essential to put your plans on paper.

Your CRM consultant or architect can assist you in formulating a strategy and drawing up comprehensive CRM “blueprints” to help capture all the essential elements of the project. This “blueprint” for CRM success should address all of the details to successfully execute your building plan and should assist you in understanding the scope of your project.

Your CRM blueprint can really help to visualize, and ultimately achieve, project success. At its most basic, the blueprint can be a list of CRM requirements that should be regularly reviewed during the CRM project to ensure that no step is missed.

For more extensive projects, some organizations will want to draft a formal RFP document which can then be submitted to a number of skilled builders who can respond with ideas and quotes for the project.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The CRM Architect

Because building a home - and configuring a new CRM system - are complex projects, for both, it typically makes sense to bring in an expert to help plan the project. Just as it makes sense to hire a skilled architect to create the blueprint for your new home, for a CRM project, it can be helpful to enlist the services of an experienced CRM consultant.

The ideal CRM “architect” should have significant expertise, of course, and will likely be able to share references from other happy clients whose perfect CRM homes he or she has helped design. Most importantly, though, you should feel that this person is invested in your CRM success. Before beginning to draw up any plans, the CRM architect should spend plenty of time getting to know you. Interviews should be conducted with key firm stakeholders in order to help define project success.

Once your CRM architect understands your needs and requirements, he or she should be able to talk through the options. The architect should also help you to understand both the costs and benefits associated with the options, as well as features and functions in order to help you choose the functionality that will address your needs effectively and efficiently. Finally, your CRM architect should be able to introduce you to a variety of potential system “builders” and help you evaluate them so that you can find the right provider to construct the perfect CRM home for your firm.