CustomerTrax CustomerTrax Magazine | Page 12

PITFALLS OF CRM IMPLEMENTATIONS PITFALLS OF CRM IMPLEMENTATION THE PROBLEM with most customer relationship management (CRM) implementations stems not from the software itself but from the process through which it is adopted by the company. Most people, unfortunately, don’t know what they don’t know. A lot of companies spend a whole lot of time planning everything out to the most minute detail well ahead of the actual implementation, then spin their wheels when it comes time to take action— or worse yet, stay the course without redirecting the ship when things aren’t going exactly how they wanted. That’s a problem. The ability to run ideas past people to get feedback and pivot (i.e., testing) is an essential part of CRM adoption. Each iteration and change ultimately saves time and money because you are learning what might go wrong ahead of time and taking care of it before widespread adoption takes place. Back-and-forth is an essential part of the process, and pilot studies are the best way to get that information. Take a small team and have them try the system out and help figure out the issues before the critical point of launch. The best way to obtain true adoption is through a series of steps and discussions, not a single, all-day, face-to-face meeting. It’s a large project and asking people to do so much at once is not efficient. We recommend a series of one-hour online sessions to go through, piece by piece, one at a time. Management and leadership also need to fully understand what people are being asked to do and what they need to be able to do themselves. Think of them as the first pilot. So what does the process look like? Setup > Configuration > Management > Team Pilot Studies > Launch This adoption technique is specifically designed to work out kinks and test what 12 is being misunderstood ahead of time without causing a huge problem during the official launch. The problem is that the plan you came up with before starting implementation could be wrong. You just don’t know it yet. You won’t know it until you start the studies with management and running pilot studies. Sticking to the plan after that, rather than pivoting, is a huge mistake. The companies that attempt it often take 3.5 times the estimated amount of time and money. The very best launches are those that the organization launches themselves and are simple enough to explain to everyone. Chop it down to the minimal amount of things to get value out of the application. Set up and configure the system, train management, run pilot studies, pivot, then launch. Simple but effective. What does your plan look like? Are you willing to pivot if things don’t go the way you think they will?