Finding the pot of gold at the end of your CRM project! – seven simple steps
Organisations that embark on a CRM usually do so with the expectation of increased profit and revenue, lower customer churn and / or more profitable marketing. The positive return on investment (ROI) is the ‘pot of gold’ that justifies the project’s cost and effort and these benefits are are eagerly anticipated.
While these benefits are undoubtedly achievable, the failure rate of many projects demonstrates that for many they are about as elusive as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!
Finding the pot of gold at the end of your CRM project requires that the project stays on time and on budget as well as delivering the expected results. These goals are usually easier said than done.
Finding the pot of gold might be the definition of a successful CRM project!
However, following these seven simple steps fully will show you your pot of gold.
Seven steps to finding the pot of gold at the end of your CRM project
The seven simple steps to finding the gold are:
- Scoping - what this project should include, and perhaps more importantly what it should exclude
- Design – and selecting the best design for each requirement of your project
- Implementation – this is only one of seven key steps and yet it is sometimes the only one considered
- Bringing in legacy data
- Testing – different sorts of testing
- End user training
- Post go live support
When scopimg your project, focus on the outputs and your processes – let the inputs come from the required outputs. Not the other way around. I see projects struggle because they have focussed on making the new CRM simply reflect their current inputs, and hence they often end up with the same challenges as before the CRM project.
Any business requirement can be implemented in many different ways - and of these different ways some will be better than others. A key part of the design is selecting the best of these, and the best not just for now, but into the future. Selecting a design without considering the effect of it from all the relevant perspectives can cause huge issues later on.
This is a massive step, and will often form the majority of the project. However, although this is the largest part of almost every project, it should never be the only part.
Ensuring that users have all the data that they had in their pre-project working environment is an essential step for user adoption of the new solution. Getting all the necessary data into the new system, correctly can be more complex than initially imagined. This step may form a project in and of itself. Without their data, even well intentioned and competent users will revert to their previous ways of working so they have their valuable data.
There are several different types of testing that should be done as part of a successful project - so far more than user acceptance testing (UAT). The testing will often come directly from the scoping, as this is what you agreed to deliver and so what should be tested. The testing should have scripts for the users to follow, a method for recording the results and reporting issues.
End user training
Getting end-user training right is mission critical for user adoption. If users see the value in the solution both for the organiostion and for them as individuals, and the solution does make their job easier - or at least no harder!, they will embrace it.
Post go live support
Ensuring that users are supported as they commence using your new CRM is another essential part of user adoption. However, your post go live support will also allow users to gradually grow into the solution, rather than feeling that they have been pushed into the deep end without a life belt.
If you ensure that your project includes all of the above seven steps - from project inception to completion - you will find that elusive pot of gold in the form of business results.
There is more information about and some free resources to help you with these seven essential steps on our website.
If I can help you with your Microsoft Dynamics 365 project, or your CRM strategy, I would love to hear from you. I especially like helping you realise value from what you already have through empowerment, education and enlightenment around Microsoft Dynamics 365, Power Platform and CRM.
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