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What you need for a successful CM/CRM implementation - part 1

This is the first in a series of articles that focus on a successful Contact Management or CRM implementation.

Unfortunate that such a boring headline should be ascribed to such a terribly important aspect of a modern American business. I need to locate a top marketing copy writer to make this headline sexier or much intriguing. So many companies with really good products and services falter in business because such an important aspect of business is being neglected – or at least mismanaged – and it’s impacting that firm’s ongoing business relationships. It’s also killing potential sales.

The first and probably most important aspect of a successful Contact Management or CRM (I’m not using these 2 terms interchangeably – it’s just that these rules apply to both types of software) is that top management MUST be signed on not only to the concept of using CM/CRM. Sign on is not that a check was cut for the software or the consulting. It’s got to be the manifestation of a mindset of the entire company. This is especially critical in so many small firms where the corporate mission and message is not shared with the employee base.

You need sign-on between top management, sales, marketing, customer service and any other department that “touches” the customer.

It can’t be a case where:

  • the sales manager sees CM/CRM as vital, but the president does not

  • the president sees it as vital, and so does the head of sales – but the sales reps see it as another drag on their time

  • top management sees it as important for sales but neglects to see how it can impact shipping, accounting and customer service

Let me compare it this way (and I saw this recently at a client of ours); top management recently mandated that everyone will get logo’d clothing. And said clothing must be worn by every employee. The clothing will be supplied; no out of pocket expenses for the employee. No exceptions.

That’s the type of sign-on that will insure a successful implementation of CM/CRM. It’s going to be an integral part of what we do.


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