You didn’t implement your current CRM by saying, “today, I am going to totally screw up our company.” It wasn’t your goal to add more work for your sales team. You didn’t decide to implement a software system that was not in alignment with your company goals and vision. You didn’t say to yourself that culture and process have nothing to do with CRM. No. You implemented with visions of CRM success. So what happened?

CRM Success PlanningWhat happened is that you were not really focused on CRM success. You were focused on implementing software. What happened is you were not paying attention. You weren’t focused on what you really wanted so you made a bunch of small decisions that led you to where you are now. These decisions were not made based on a grand master plan, rather they were based on fear and panic: The need to do something rather than nothing. Implementing software was that something.

The next thing you know, you show up at the office one day and ask yourself, “how did we get here? The CRM we implemented hasn’t made any significant changes to our organization.”

This time around, begin your CRM project with a solid plan. Follow the plan. Implement to the plan. Don’t let nice-to-haves muddle up the process. If a feature or integration isn’t in the plan (and if it’s in the plan it’s tied to a corporate goal or vision) don’t do it.

Follow the plan for integration into the culture of your organization. This is critical. If you haven’t mapped out how CRM will fit into every process and meld with your culture, you will end up right back where you started; with another task for your users, bad data, and insufficient reporting. Not to mention, everyone will be doing their own thing, using CRM as they see fit.

So take a step back. Breath. Make a plan. Invest time and money into the success of your CRM implementation prior to implementing, rather than scratching your head wondering how you can fix it after it is implemented. Think about it: What’s the difference if a CRM implementation is delayed for 5 or 6 months while you plan?

I know. The difference is huge! The difference is a successful CRM implementation in line with your corporate goals and vision. A CRM that blends perfectly into your process and culture.

Want to learn more about CRM Success?  Check out our webinar “Choosing the right CRM for your organization.”

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