Nearly every business or organization needs some form of CRM—whether the “C” stands for Customer, Client or Contact, relationship management is a must.
CRM software implementations can be likened to the sport of mountain climbing. A novice climber wouldn’t dare attempt to tackle Mount Everest from the start. Such a demanding physical activity requires good fitness and endurance skills, which can only be achieved with intense training, planning and time.
Likewise, the introduction of a new CRM system to your team should be viewed as a continuous improvement project.
Do your Research
Experienced mountain climbers can attest to the importance of understanding the mental effort needed to climb: knowledge of how to use equipment properly, learning the best times to climb in different regions, studying weather conditions, etc. With a CRM roll-out, data discovery is a prerequisite process as well. This uncovers the current status and structure of your data so a game plan can be developed on how best to go forward given the data circumstances. Determine what information, when shared, will empower your organization to work more efficiently and effectively.
Evaluate your Mental Power
The mental challenge is part of the attraction for many climbers — because they are taken outside typical daily routine. CRM implementations also require some self-assessment. Create a summary list to identify implementation topics – how the CRM and the Client Management functions fit inside your current business practices and how they need to relate and support those functions.
Plan your First Climb
Set realistic and attainable goals to see one or two successful steps accomplished. Then everything else along the journey up the mountain becomes another phase toward optimized business effectiveness and efficiency. It’s always a good idea to have a pilot launch, even if it’s just a few individuals. These folks can jump in and try out your system to see if you missed anything obvious.
Take your time climbing the CRM mountain, take breaks, have a snack…then regroup with your team and continue on up, one footing at a time.
Even if you have small setbacks or stalls, don’t give up. Keep working your CRM system to maintain your competitive business edge through efficiency gains and business intelligence.