It’s not you. It’s me. I’ve changed. I’ve grown – my needs aren’t the same as when we got together 10 years ago. I’m sorry, but you don’t fit the bill any more. And so might go a “break up” conversation with your old CRM system. It might be that it’s no longer fit for purpose, or it might be a new-ish system that was so badly implemented, it’s impossible to use. Or it might be too sophisticated for the size of your business, with unnecessary bells and whistles that put your team off using it.
Whatever the reason, you’ve made the call and now’s the time to end it. And move on with a new system – something that does not cause you headaches and generally makes your life easier and your sales and marketing more effective. Here’s a check list for changing CRM:
- The right leadership: a common problem is to leave the CRM decision making process to the IT team. Their involvement is invaluable, but as CRM is a business solution and you need to think about it from a strategic business perspective, you need the right level of involvement from your executive team. If it’s left to the tech team alone, they might get side tracked by the wizardry. It needs to be a collaborative approach, with involvement from sales, marketing and IT, as well as having sponsorship from the senior team.
- The business case: this is such an important stage – you need to clearly understand your objectives at the start of the CRM project, or how will you measure how successful it’s been? Figuring out your requirements, the budget, ROI, the resource you have to deliver the project, any potential risks and documenting this in one place is essential. This can then be referred to for the duration of the project.
- The best solution: the next step is working out the system that will be the best fit. ‘Must haves’ are the cost and the ability to make it customisable – you need to be able to configure the tool to your needs. Factor in ease of maintenance and the support you will receive. Don’t get distracted by gimmicks – you need the functionality to deliver your business objectives and the applications your company will actually use.
- The right partner: you can’t do this alone – you need the right partner to hold your hand. A CRM implementation is something you do together. There are questions you need to ask potential suitors – do you have clients like me? What’s your track record? Do you have recommendations from clients past and present? Once you have chosen your partner, you are going to have to see the implementation and beyond through with them – so it’s vital to get it right.
- Data migration: this is a headache for every IT implementation ever. It’s the prospect of what can go wrong. A good starting point is to identify any aged data and make sure your pipeline is as clean as can be – start as you mean to go on. You will also be running systems simultaneously at some stage, so a mechanism to synch data between the two is important.
- Getting internal buy in: you can have the best system in the world but if your folks aren’t using it, it’s a fail. Training needs to be tip top, as is identifying solution champions who can sell the benefits of the system to colleagues. Workshops to identify detractors and a smart solution for winning them around is crucial.
Saying adios to your old system isn’t easy. But if it’s the right time, it’s the right time. You don’t want to make the same mistakes with your new solution, so following our check list and putting in steps to smooth the transition is important – and what opens up is a whole new CRM world.
For more information on switching CRM, call our people on 0118 3030 100 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about switching CRM read our full whitepaper “6 Steps to Switching CRM”