You’ve made the leap and decided to purchase customer relationship management (CRM) software for your business. But, before you embark on your initiative, you will need to bring together a dedicated project team to help you develop and execute your CRM strategy.
Whether it’s a small project panel organizing a departmental CRM implementation, or a large steering committee managing a company-wide CRM software deployment, this group will be responsible for overseeing needs assessment, vendor selection, implementation, roll out, and performance measurement.
Assembling a group that includes all the right people can be mean the difference between a smooth, successful CRM software project, and one that delivers less-than-impressive results. So, who belongs on your CRM software team?
In order to rally company-wide support, your CRM software project will need to be endorsed all the way up at the top. Executive approval will lend much-needed credibility to your venture, and make it easier to implement any major organizational and procedural changes that may be required to your ensure success with CRM.
Additionally, sanctioning by top-level management will give your project a greater sense of importance, which will help encourage end users to cooperate when needed during the planning process, and use the CRM software once it has been installed.
Your CRM software project may be a company-wide initiative, or a smaller, more tactical deployment. Either way, multiple departments are likely to be impacted, and therefore will need to participate in the project from start to finish.
Involve managers and team leaders from all areas and functions that may be affected – sales, marketing, customer service, and field support – so you can ensure that their needs, opinions, and preferences are heard and taken into consideration.
The expertise and unbiased perspective a third-party consultant can bring to the table can be quite valuable. However, the role of any independent contractor should be limited an advisory one, and they should not be allowed to serve in any type of project management capacity. Your CRM software initiative is more likely to succeed if leadership remains in the hands of an internal stakeholder.
Of course, your IT staff can predict – better than anyone else – how a new CRM software application can impact the rest of your technology environment. But, it is also important to keep in mind that the members of your IT department have been involved in numerous other projects throughout your company, and therefore have a broader understanding about how the entire business runs. Therefore, their input is vital to your CRM software strategy.
In order for any CRM software endeavor to deliver rapid return on investment, you need the support of those employees who will be responsible for day-to-day execution of your strategy.
By inviting team leads, customer service managers, and other super users to participate in project planning, you can gain valuable insight into existing business processes, and get some much-needed perspective as to how a CRM software solution can help transform and enhance those processes for the benefit of customers, as well as the employees who service them.