Successful CRM Implementation Best Practices: Step 2 – Planning for People and Teams

In Saberpoint’s ongoing series about successful CRM implementation best practices, in this article we will explore our second topic, planning for people and teams: 

  1. Data migration
  2. Planning for people and teams 
  3. Your process defining the application, not the application defining your process
  4. One bite at a time
  5. Reporting 

It is important to remember that new or existing CRM systems only work via the people who utilize them.  This sounds obvious but this is the single biggest driving factor in a successful CRM implementation and execution. Not the technology, not the gains from the technology, not the savings from the technology, but the success is driven by the people using the technology.

Therefore, to have a successful CRM you need to plan for the people, but how do you plan for the human asset factor?  Taking this from the perspective of a new implementation, here are the people management tasks to consider:

  1. Define your personas: In many implementations, this is not done or is done in very general ways.  You need to define the people and groups who will be using the CRM and are the participants/recipients of the input/output of the CRM.   This can include but is not limited to:
  • Sales
    1. By Vertical
    2. By Region
    3. By Product
  • Service
    1. Field
    2. In-House
    3. Outsourced
    4. Contractors
  • Management
    1. Departmental
    2. Regional
    3. Executive
  • Vendors
    1. Providers
    2. Sellers
    3. Contractors
  • Supporting Services
    1. Administrative
    2. IT
    3. Finance
    4. HR
  1. Involvement from the Start:  Too often the assets are recipients of the CRM rather than being a part of the solution.  In many cases those who are not a part of the solution, even from a communications standpoint, have little to no interest in the application because they think that it is only serving management, is a “Big Brother” tool, or there is nothing wrong with the way they are doing things right now.  Ways to get personas involved from the start include:
  • Frequent communication about the project
  • Workshops that get their input and provide status
  • Assigning “champions” who represent the personas and motivate the team, train the team, and act as the first level of CRM support
  • Getting upper and middle management in the game from the start to ensure the team knows the management “buys into” the new solution 
  1.  Make the CRM a Part of the Day:  Too often CRM is not implemented for the users, but for the management or for the executives and is implemented based on an idea but not the actual needs of the users or the organizational goals.  In order to turn this around, we need to get the users of the CRM involved early in the implementation process.  This is accomplished by:
  • Configuring the system for the Users(s): When configuring the CRM, there should be different configurations, views, and reports created for each persona, group/s/departments, and for the organization.
  • Having Governance and Accountability: As the saying goes, “If it was not entered into the CRM it didn’t happen” Make sure that the users have to use the system and not get to their end goal by utilizing other means.  This means managers, not the end-users need to ensure this happens. 
  • Ensuring WIFM, “What’s in it for me”: Remember if there is nothing in it for the users and it is more work for the end-users and it appears to be meant for the management.  The end-users will not adopt the CRM,

So, remember your people.  That is the simple takeaway. If people are the forgotten asset in a CRM implementation, then you’ve just spent money on an unused system. 

If you are considering or undertaking a CRM implementation for your company, we would love to hear from you to discuss how Salesforce could be a great fit for your needs.  Please contact the Saberpoint team for a complimentary consultation to discuss your plan, review the options available to you, and show what it takes to make a successful CRM implementation a reality.