Successful CRM Implementation Best Practices: Step 3 – Process

Successful CRM Implementation Best Practices: Step 3 – Process

In this third installment of Saberpoint’s ongoing series about successful CRM implementation best practices, we will take a deeper dive into defining your process for success.

  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 

One of the common asks Saberpoint hears from customers when talking about their CRM plans falls into two groups: 

New Customers to CRM: “We need to get the information from it which we don’t have right now”

Existing Customers to CRM: “The product does not do what we need it to do.”  

Both customers have the exact same problem.  The CRM or the thought of utilizing a CRM is driving their business process and their business rather than their business process and business actually driving the CRM.

Many times, the reason that both new and existing customers are saying this is that they are driven by a paradigm from the past.  Specifically, being governed by the rules, flexibility, and interoperability of legacy software.  

Most of us have experienced this through purchasing and usage of legacy products that were installed on workstations by IT, were rarely, if ever, updated, were severely out of date, and was just too complex to administer and update on our own.  Thus, we carry these fears with us when considering or updating our current situation. We do not realize that we can utilize our own process and integrate this process into the CRM solution.  Rather we hang out to the thinking of days gone by. 

So, in a nutshell, we need to think to ourselves, “Our process drives the CRM; rather than the CRM driving our process.”  When we think about the process, we think about this when implementing CRM:

  1. You have control: It is rare that you are stuck doing a process, procedure, or task because the software or CRM makes you.  20 years ago, sure, but now no.  Remember it’s your processes that drive the application so make sure to integrate these into the CRM.
  2. Out of the box processes: If you do not have processes in place but need somewhere to start many of the out of the box processes included in CRM are the way to go, well at least a starting point.  The CRM packages of today are not just software, they are well thought out business-oriented tools.  So, use the knowledge that is built in as a guide as many of these processes are proven throughout many verticals of business and organizations.
  3. Workshops: Define your process in workshops.  Sit down with each group, or personas (discussed in the second blog of this series), and work out your process, irrespective, of the technology.  This is important, “irrespective of any and all technologies.”  You see in the workshops you will quickly discover how technologies like spreadsheets, email, and legacy systems are driving the way you are doing business without you even realizing it.  But caution yourself in this process, many times, organizations try to recreate what they already have which leads to nearly the same problem as before but now in a new system.  Take the information gleaned from the workshops, record this information, and give it to the team which is implementing your solution.  You’ll see a big difference in your end product when you see your process and nomenclature in the CRM. 

The process is the forgotten aspect of any CRM implementation.  Unfortunately, many of us have forgotten the process paradigm that once the CRM is implemented an “auto-magic” event will happen to make the CRM work.  It will not.  If anything, if you do not add your process, terminology, and goals into the application, the CRM will most likely fail in time.

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.