How to best approach a CRM project
A few years ago I saw a statistic that might surprise many people in the IT sector: Over 65% of IT projects fail. A CRM project is no exception.
Does that strike you as a high fail rate? Let’s firstly look at the critical points that can define a failure:
- The software development isn’t finished.
- The development has no purpose.
- Users don’t take to it.
- It doesn’t meet the project deliverables.
Of course various reasons might be pertinent at the same time, but what matters is that we are talking about a large percentage of cases.
At S4G the hit rate of our projects, all in Salesforce, are remarkable for the industry. We do much, much better, being the largest and most highly ranked Gold Partner in Spain and the fourth in the world in customer ratings. No wonder we feel that are criteria are fairly solid in this sense.
In S4G’s experience as a Salesforce partner, and mine personally, these are the key factors to the success of a CRM project:
Well-defined and represented customer roles:
- The sponsor: Able to motivate the team and take strategic decisions.
- The CRM manager. Point of contact and manager of agendas, planning and internal tasks. Also takes decisions on matters of milestones and methodology.
- The functional manager (of CRM): Able to analyse requirements with the implementation team, validate developments and prioritise tasks.
- Department stakeholders: Know their processes and procedures and are able to analyse them with the implementation team. Responsible for running tests.
Users need to clear their diaries and work volume to be able to dedicate the time needed for CRM implementation.
Internal change management.
An internal communication plan to keep future users involved, motivated and informed.
Training in line with project needs.
Do our stakeholders know the tool? If they don’t, you need to run an initial training course and another for each release for UAT (User Acceptance Testing) and another for the other users after the UAT and before the go-live (never long before starting to use the system).
Applicable both in training and change management.
With other systems to prevent doubling work and to have 360º reportable information.
Avoid the maximum number of manual tasks or user errors due to a poor interface for enhanced adoption.
Correct planning and communication.
Of project milestones, phases and efforts to align everyone involved in the project.
Alignment of CRM project deliverables.
Sponsors, stakeholders and technical team as well as commitment from all roles.
The role of business analyst:
Executed normally by our team of consultants, this is vital in CRM projects. Somebody with a technical vision who understands business needs and can define how they would be executed in CRM.
Well-defined and agreed on for UAT.
Prior experience in product implementations.
Yes it might seem like an endless loop (how can I implement if I have no experience?) but it is very important.
Match the capacities of the tool to implement.
With the functional requirements and minimum development needed. In the case of Salesforce even more than with other tools, given that Salesforce offers us functionality improvements in each release. It could happen that they don’t work for us because of some development we have already made.
It’s a good idea to monitor the Salesforce roadmap to avoid these sorts of problems.
In short, chooseS4G for your Salesforce implementation in Spain and make sure your team puts its all into ensuring that everything works well.