Elements of a Successful CRM Software Implementation

1. Readiness
CRM success does not just happen. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software creates a central repository for all customer-facing activities, from marketing to sales to customer service/support. The benefits of having this single view of the customer are many, yet certainly different from one company to the next. Company A may benefit from having its sales force know about a pending support issue or shipment delay. Company B may benefit from being able to drive sales from consistent marketing activities to target prospects. Company C may benefit from establishing a consistent and reliable forecasting system. Companies that have never had an enterprise-wide system for managing prospect and customer information will need to focus on several issues prior to software selection and implementation. Some of these “readiness” issues include: • Measurements of success o An investment in CRM is made to achieve specific goals that are both measurable and attainable. Some of these goals may be revenue related, but many could be unit-based, or related to customer satisfaction. Some examples include: ! ! ! • Increase average deal size to over $100,000 Maintain a close ratio of 60% Resolve 90% of customer service issues on the first call

Executive Sponsorship o CRM applications, even more than Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP: accounting, distribution, manufacturing) applications, affect multiple and sometimes distant departments across the entire company. For this reason, and because selecting, implementing, and maintaining a CRM application is a lot of work, there needs to be clear leadership from an executive sponsor, preferably the President or CEO.

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o Organizational commitment is also needed from the executive level through mid-level management to front-line staff. for example. or perhaps the process that the eagle rep performs is different? With a CRM system. Key players in each department need to be leaders for their peers. because they will be built into the CRM system. There are “eagle” sales reps who consistently outperform their peers. Some examples of processes to be examined would include: ! Marketing • • • • ! Sales • • • • • ! • • Sales process Sales methodology Territories Forecast process Forecast methodology Service process Escalation procedures Campaign management Lead qualification Lead distribution Channel (third party distributor/sales) issues Service • Organizational o All departments that are part of the CRM effort should be involved in the buying process. Is the reason luck. where processes such as Accounts Payable. Order Entry. Page 2 of 9 Copyright 2003 Lee Adler/Adler PPT . • Process o Unlike ERP implementations. from requirements definition through to selection and implementation. and Manufacturing are well defined. sales and marketing processes are sometimes ad hoc. processes will need to be consistent.

Making a Plan The ultimate goal of the software selection process is to make an appropriate software selection. and other factors. o Identifying potential areas of process improvement as a result of removing constraints imposed by current systems o Writing the requirements definition document o Reviewing the document with process owners and executives • Produce a final requirements definition document for prospective software vendors in order to minimize duplicate and repetitive work on the part of the client as well as software vendors Define goals and measurement criteria to assess project success Vendor Selection and Evaluation • • • • • • • • Develop list of potential vendors Narrow to “short list” Distribute requirements document for comment/response by potential vendors Evaluate vendor responses Select vendors for solution presentation Work with “short list” vendors to confirm their understanding of requirements Develop demo “script” based on requirements document • • Phase 2: Software Selection Vendor Requirement Definition/Solution Presentation Page 3 of 9 Copyright 2003 Lee Adler/Adler PPT . functionality. complexity. manageability. balancing cost. scalability. mid-management. technology. The software selection process has two phases. An example is below: Phase 1: Requirements Definition • Develop a requirements definition document by o Interviewing/meeting with business process owners and current software users including staff.2. and executives.

contract terms and conditions. schedule. non-hosted alternatives. if appropriate • Proposal Review/Contract • • • • Work with vendors to resolve any issues remaining from solution presentation Review proposals Plan. including project scope. schedule. and “run” the Solution Presentation (demo) process Explore hosted (ASP) vs. software license and professional services pricing. hosting Service Level Agreement (SLA) if applicable. and run proposal review sessions Negotiate contract.• • Plan. and other matters Page 4 of 9 Copyright 2003 Lee Adler/Adler PPT .

Page 5 of 9 Copyright 2003 Lee Adler/Adler PPT . and custom integration Internal Technology Support: Internal company application support resources Access: How centralized or decentralized a company is for software access: Will all users access the system from a single location. implementation strategy and assistance. decentralized environments. There are 8 key issues to be considered: • • • • • • • • Functionality: Software features to automate business processes in marketing. all of which are driven by a company’s unique needs. Evaluating the Alternatives Adler PPT has developed a software selection methodology that can be applied to any type of business management software. Some companies.3. tailoring. It has particular relevance to CRM and the unique issues that are a consequence of diverse. Currently. maintenance. Adler PPT has compiled a database of over 275 considerations for CRM. support. for example. and implementation. and customer service/support Usability: User experience in both learning and using the software Solution Realization: Cost of software license. evaluating the software vendor Integration: “Out-of-the-box” integrations included with the application or available from the software vendor Technology: Software architecture tools for customization. or is their a mixture of in-house and remote users? International: Software features for international use Each spoke of the model contains additional levels of complexity. sales.

the graphic representation would be as illustrated below: Business Processes Sales Force Automation Mark eting ppo rt e/Su ervic er S tom Cus Cu r en c y uage Lang Functionality Business Rules Int Perso na Produc l tivity ic s ly t na /A ng rti po Re ple m en tat ion U Help and Tutorials ern ati on al y ilit ab s Support Cen taliz ed Access liz t ra en ec D ed Internal Resources Web ern In t Technology al ch Te yS l og no po up rt BUSINESS MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE NEEDS Solution Realization Im Project Cost ar e ftw er So elop v De Int eg rat i on Pr od Exte rn al uc Res ou rc es Ar ch ite ct ur e Back Office tiv ity Page 6 of 9 Copyright 2003 Lee Adler/Adler PPT Customization Tools t en t pm n lo me ve on De nvir E . For other companies. At the next level of the model.” and ultimately to narrow the potential software solutions to only those that meet the business process needs (functionality) as well as the other requirements in the model.may have no current or future international business considerations. Adler PPT focuses on each company’s unique requirements to drive the creation of the “short list. only solutions with an international scope may be considered.

form. some of this content could be included in the Project Plan) Customer Responsibilities o Items that the customer is responsible for. implementation is also a key element in CRM success. Implementation Finally. After all.4. • Project Deliverables o This section should state the result of the work performed. if any (Depending on style. and content • Project Plan o This could vary in form depending on whether the implementation is simple or complex. a business may implement a CRM or ERP software package once every 7-10 years where consulting firms will perform dozens of implementation every year. An implementation plan should contain a Statement of Work containing at least the following elements: • Project Approach o General information about how the consulting firm will accomplish the work. such as providing a Customer Project Manager and his/her responsibilities. Often a timeline is included with the start date of the project as well as the expected Go Live date. Even the most modest of CRM software initiatives can and should benefit from focused. • Consultant Responsibilities o General information about the implementer’s responsibilities for the project • Project Assumptions Page 7 of 9 Copyright 2003 Lee Adler/Adler PPT . including project status reporting frequency. Some examples could include: ! ! ! ! ! ! • Installation of database and software on server and (x number of) workstations Any data conversion to be performed Any custom or modified reports Any training Customizations. professional consulting assistance. but generally should consist of the major tasks in the project.

etc. The contract should be signed and dated by both parties. and technology must be unified to achieve success. Together. In addition. the contract with the implementer should contain specific information on: o Billing rates and billing frequency o Payment terms for services. and maintenance. billing rates. organizational involvement. what was discussed. and process definition and improvement prior to examining specific software features. at a minimum. software. a successful CRM software selection and implementation bring together elements of business goals. etc. what hardware and software is to be provided by customer. people. Page 8 of 9 Copyright 2003 Lee Adler/Adler PPT . such as definition of “out of scope” work. services. process.o Contains assumptions that the implementer made in preparing the statement of work. o Timeline for starting the project as well as estimated date of completion The contract should refer to statement of work as well as the proposal so that there is no doubt as to what is included vs. In conclusion. as applicable o Terminology regarding notification if project will exceed estimate o An itemized listing of software.

software. About Lee Adler: Lee Adler founded Adler PPT in 2002 after 20 years of sales.adlerppt. and providing project management services. distribution. and education. Adler PPT 70 Walnut Street Wellesley.About Adler PPT: Adler PPT helps mid-market businesses grow by selecting appropriate and practical business management software.com Page 9 of 9 Copyright 2003 Lee Adler/Adler PPT . and general management experience with packaged business management software applications in the area of accounting. manufacturing. He has worked with a wide variety of technology and non-technology companies in manufacturing. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. sales management. professional and business services. financial. MA 02481 781-444-4602 www. not for profit. and customer relationship management (CRM).