3 Keys to Preparing for CRM Success: Avoid the Pitfalls and Follow Best Practices

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1 CRM Expert Advisor White Paper 3 Keys to Preparing for CRM Success: Avoid the Pitfalls and Follow Best Practices Ten years ago, when CRM was nascent in the market, companies believed the technology alone would transport them to new levels of profitability by improving their customer relationships. Some organisations spent huge budgets trying to implement CRM solutions and then pulled the plug when results failed to materialise. There are many reasons for a technology implementation to fail. Looking back, analysts and industry agree that a primary cause for CRM failure was that many organizations simply did not understand the full impact of the changes that CRM would make to the business. Nor did they know how to involve people to make lasting, positive change. In many cases, success was pinned on technology selection alone, with little attention paid to leadership, reviewing business processes or change management. Since then, the industry has matured. Our knowledge of how best to implement CRM has come a long way. Based on experience with hundreds of implementations, this white paper guides you through the best practices learned from working with companies in a range of sizes, in a variety of industries. It introduces the common factors in successful implementations: the three keys to CRM planning and describes how each contributes to CRM success. Today, most people responsible for CRM projects understand that they need to obtain leadership buy-in, re-engineer business processes and manage change. The three key areas for CRM preparation focus on: 1. Establishing CRM Project Leadership 2. Analysing Business Processes 3. Managing Change Pay attention to these three keys to position your company to experience success with your CRM technology implementation. Ignore them at your peril. 1: Establish CRM Leadership Implementing CRM processes and technologies that support them represents a consequential undertaking for a company of any size and results in many fundamental changes to the way business gets done. As a result, it is imperative that one or more top executives support and champion the initiative. Otherwise, your CRM program can run into major roadblocks, including lack of financial support, poor interdepartmental coordination and political infighting. Without senior management support for your CRM project, driving necessary changes throughout the organisation will prove very difficult, if not impossible. Strong executive sponsorship will help to make your project a success CRM champions including the vicepresidents of sales, marketing and service present the business case to other senior staff, secure sufficient funding and arbitrate change. Because CRM impacts processes and people in many different parts of an organisation, including sales, marketing, customer service, operations, and IT, you need executives who can see the forest for the trees who understand what makes sense for the organisation as a whole, not for just one department. Gain broad support The next step is to identify a crossfunctional team of people to guide both planning and implementation on a CRM Leadership Team. The most successful CRM implementations include multiple

2 The software just makes it easy in a fast moving environment for everyone in the organisation to know what is going on and who is doing it Graham Inskip, Managing Director, Graham Lloyd Ltc senior sponsors and are effective because they provide a more complete understanding of current processes and can set better overall objectives. Collectively they carry the political influence required to drive change throughout the organisation. The CRM Leadership Team should include senior representative sponsors from every department impacted by the new system, including: Sales Marketing Customer service Customer support Operations Information Technology Finance In addition, unless someone inside your organisation is an expert at project management for CRM, you should consider hiring an outside consultant experienced in planning and implementing CRM solutions as a key member of this team. The right consultant will bring a wealth of CRM implementation experience and be in a position to provide specific CRM expertise and best practices. In addition to this expertise, an outside consultant will bring a valuable outside perspective, without the bias or history that internal staff may bring. Team responsibilities The team needs to be committed to making the vision of a successful CRM implementation a reality. A good team will grasp the political and human impacts of process changes the project will bring, as well as the logistics involved. Together the CRM Leadership Team should create and document realistic and measurable project goals and objectives. A CRM implementation will affect individual tasks and behaviors and will change the way that the organisation interacts with customers. An initial task of this team is to market the CRM implementation project internally. They must give the project credibility and validate its importance to the business by providing information about its goals and objectives and the benefits to the entire organisation. The leadership role Successful sponsors Mandate project requirements and objectives The team must set CRM business objectives. The team should consist of people who understand the company s mandate and who are accountable for the company s profitability. These objectives must be signed off by the executive prior to further planning. Manage executive expectations Together the Project Manager and CRM Champions will update the executive and manage their expectations regarding project schedules, budgets and metrics. Remove organisational barriers When questions of ownership, disagreements or political agendas become a barrier to moving forward, the team is responsible for eliminating them or understanding how project objectives will be impacted. Define success metrics When the team designs project objectives, each objective must have measurable outcomes and thresholds that define success. Building key performance indicators into each objective, helps the team prioritize implementation tactics down the road. It also allows the team to demonstrate progress towards goals. Actions to take to establish a solid CRM Leadership Team Make a list of the departments or groups within your organisation that your CRM implementation will impact. Make an initial list of individuals in these groups that you feel may be in a position to contribute positively to a CRM Leadership Team. Discuss the CRM project with these individuals to gauge their interest and commitment. If you are not an executive sponsor of a CRM implementation project, ensure that you discuss this committee with the executive sponsor and seek buy-in. Speak with Maximizer s Professional Services team about your project, and enlist their expert CRM consulting skills when planning your CRM implementation.

3 2: Analyse Business Processes The next step in successfully planning a CRM implementation is to evaluate existing business processes and identify opportunities for improvement that increase staff efficiencies and performance, or provide a better customer experience. Performing a thorough business process review before you design new systems is essential to successful CRM. How do processes work now? To begin with, document existing customer-facing business processes. The list of processes can be extensive and might include marketing campaigns, lead processing, sales pipeline management, account creation, invoicing, customer service issue tracking, time billing, and return processing. To document these processes, a business analyst and members of the CRM Leadership Team should interview the key stakeholders across all departments directly involved. The team should also consider interviewing people from groups that may not interact with customers directly for example, shipping and logistics, production, engineering, or manufacturing. These groups may benefit from access to the CRM system, or may contribute ideas about how the system might help sales, marketing and service representatives perform their jobs more effectively. For example, if sales people could gain access to engineering drawings, they could more quickly and easily fulfill customer requests without contacting engineering. Engineering could scan or link drawings into the client record in the CRM system for sales people to retrieve themselves in order to improve service and reduce engineering workload. It is also useful to survey potential users to gain an understanding of how they feel about existing processes and systems. Are they efficient? How can they be improved? Can we identify any steps to eliminate? This will identify weaknesses in current processes for improvement in the planned solution. How can we improve? As you document existing processes, assign each a value. This will guide your ability to either jettison some processes, or keep them and refine them when you build the new system. Determine whether each business process is: Necessary Relevant and useful Based on a documented best practice? Or is it just done that way because no one wants to change? Once you have defined and categorized each business process, you can begin to model how you would like the new system to work. Learn about the specific CRM system s functionality Today s CRM solutions come loaded with functionality. Prior to your CRM implementation, spend time learning about the selected CRM technology solution. Map features and functionality in the software to current and planned business processes. As you tour the software in depth, you will be better equipped to understand how to adapt it to meet your needs. Note in particular places where the software does not support your current processes. Should the software change? Or should the process? If the software requires customisation, a list of changes will emerge from this process. If a process requires change, a similar list of changes will emerge. Take a phased approach to your implementation by identifying which features and functionality should come first. Base priority decisions on the objectives set by the CRM Leadership Team. A phased approach allows you to experience results quickly and helps users to gain immediate, positive results. Identify reporting requirements If you know what you need out of the system, it is easier for the programming and/or customisation team to determine the fields you require and how to structure the data. We recommend that you assess the reports you currently use and think about what you will need to support future business processes. Identify in each area sales, marketing, support, service which reports you would like to generate to measure specific business performance indicators. List them in their order of importance. There

4 It is difficult to imagine how we would function without this invaluable tool to our business. Peter Hunt, Director, Multipix Imaging may be reports that cross departmental boundaries. List those as well and assess their level of importance. If you follow these simple yet critical steps, your new CRM will reflect better business processes, align processes with business metrics, and employees will understand what the system can achieve. Actions to take to align your business processes with CRM Document existing processes Survey users to gain an understanding of whether or not existing processes are effective Review existing processes: are they relevant? Are they best practices or do they just exist because no one wants change? Learn about the CRM solution and map features and functionality to current business processes Determine which reports are required Prioritise which features and functionality should be deployed first based on business objectives. 3: Manage Change Change management is the process of influencing people s feelings, attitudes, and behaviors to achieve widespread organizational support for change. It is fundamentally about understanding how change will affect individual and organisational behavior and designing systems that help people to adapt to new business processes and to eventually excel at using them. Change management can define the success or failure of a CRM project. Change management is also important because CRM impacts every single employee that works with customers. Industry analysts at Gartner estimate that 75% of the challenge of building better relationships with customers depends on change management* -- not on technology. For change to succeed, people first must understand the need for change. Without active buy-in from employees, no CRM solution will achieve its objectives. CRM implementations require staff buy-in, relevant training, and performance assessment. In some cases, it may require organizational restructuring. To manage change related to CRM technology: Start the process at the very top first gain executive buy in, then have these executives work with their teams. Create a formal case for change document the benefits of change for those affected. Pay systematic attention to people issues many people are resistant to change, even afraid of it, so it is important to identify these issues and work with the people to address them Involve every level of the organisation in the change initiative Develop an effective communication strategy, paying attention to organisational culture. Organisational culture dictates how people in an organisation interact with each other, how they learn and how they communicate. Ask yourselves whether it would be best to communicate information about the CRM by sending out updates or by holding meetings or by another method. In your company, should managers communicate with their own team, or should the president communicate with the entire company? An effective communication strategy will take into account how the organisation expects to receive information. Communicating change Top management and especially your CRM champions must drive the change management initiative and be absolutely committed to the process and stand 100% behind communications with staff. Individuals affected by the initiative need to understand how their work will change, what is expected of them during the various phases of the project, how their performance will be measured, and, most importantly, what success and failure of the CRM implementation would mean for them and those around them. It is critical to communicate to employees what the company is trying to achieve and why. Involve employees Ask for employee input in the planning stages to strengthen their participation in and commitment to the success of the CRM project. Developing a CRM Leadership Team that seeks feedback from all levels of the organisation will help sell the program internally. Set up townhall style meetings with potential CRM users to ask them what they expect from a CRM * Pitfalls in CRM Professional Service Resource Selection, Gartner, May 24, 2002.

5 solution. Are they looking forward to using an automated CRM system, or do they have concerns? By understanding any apprehensions, you will be able to address them directly through system design and ongoing project communications. In addition, the CRM Team will be able to set and manage user expectations realistically throughout the project and beyond. Create a communications plan The energy that drives customer-centric firms is the loyalty, commitment and enthusiasm of the workforce. By making it clear to employees how the new CRM technology will help them to be more effective in serving customers in the long run, and efficient in their jobs in the short term, an organisation can enhance the willingness of its workforce to adapt to the change. To transfer ownership of CRM to every level within the organisation, employees need to appreciate how their individual actions result in making CRM work. A well thought out communications plan starts with getting staff excited about the business objectives for example, better servicing customers to create a competitive differentiator. Then, clearly demonstrate how those business objectives can be achieved with the help of CRM technology. When employees understand how the new CRM system is going to help the organisation and the team alike, it will help them to understand the reason behind the new CRM initiative and encourage adoption. The benefits of CRM need to be spelled out, in both rational, as well as emotional terms. Many people would rather identify with the man on the street or the typical customer than they would with an abstract financial ratio. Let people know when changes will occur and keep them up to date regarding changes to business processes, the technology implementation schedule, when they can expect training and any other logistics that might impact their day-to-day jobs. Train people No amount of money invested in CRM architecture and software will result in project success. Without adequate training, it is hard for those responsible to take real ownership. CRM training should not be a one-off exercise. Ongoing training conducted at every level ensures that the organisational change that is so essential to a successful CRM implementation is accomplished. For the CRM project to be a success, training should begin well in advance of launch and then delivered on an on-going basis after initial roll-out. Good CRM training should root business processes in the context of the system training so that people using the new system know not only how to use it but also why. Investing appropriately in relevant, ongoing training will help to prevent failure. Getting this part of the CRM equation wrong will guarantee that the CRM implementation effort will yield less than desired results. Assess performance How will you know if your CRM implementation has been a success, unless you establish and monitor measurable performance indicators? Identify the metrics that define success for your company and monitor progress made toward them continuously. You should devise different metrics depending on whether or not you are measuring hard business performance targets or seeking insight into less quantifiable results, such as how the solution will enhance the relationship between your company and your customers. Some typical quantifiable business performance metrics include: Greater percentage of deals won Reduced sales cycle length Increased deal size Reduced cost of marketing Decreased customer complaints Number of support calls / visits per day Reduced transaction times Increased number of transactions processed per day More employee CRM system usage per week. Other less quantifiable measures may include: Increased employee satisfaction Increased customer satisfaction Soft metrics may best be derived by before and after experience comparisons using spot surveys.

6 Maximizer does not have the limitations I know other software packages have. The program is also very flexible because you can add and change parts... We cannot live without this anymore Gerwin Eersen, Managing Director, Gflex over time with customers, employees and other users of the CRM system. Develop a list of metrics by looking at the original objectives for the project and determining how best to show progress toward them. Use these measures as focal points throughout the implementation process, by periodically sampling them and comparing them against the benchmark prior to your CRM implementation. This will provide you with concrete statistics to measure return on your CRM investment and with a progress report so you can see how far you have to go to meet performance targets. Actions you can take to manage change Ensure all members of the CRM Leadership Team understand the importance of change management and commit to factoring it into your plans at each stage of the project Identify key individuals throughout the organisation who will be able to assist with change management Find out what expectations users have of a CRM solution. For example, are they looking forward to using an automated CRM system, or do they have concerns? Summary After ten years of CRM implementation experience, the industry and companies have learned to prevent CRM failure and drive success by taking advantage of three key planning and management practices: 1. Establish CRM Project Leadership By enlisting the commitment of senior managers, your project will stand a much better chance of success. Barriers to change will come down far more easily and resources will be easier to secure when senior people champion your CRM project. 2. Analyse Business Processes Take the time to document existing processes. Evaluate them for their efficacy and efficiency and then either keep them or design new processes that reflect business objectives. This step dictates how the system will be configured and assures that it will reflect the goals of the organisation, not just functionality in the software. 3. Manage Change Communicate to staff the reasons for the CRM implementation and invite them to participate in its design. Let them know at every step what will impact them, how and when. Ensure staff will receive training and support so they can master processes and excel at using the new system. When you follow these three planning practices, you place your company in a far better position to experience success with you CRM technology implementation. While you may be able to identify a great leadership team, your company may not have the requisite expertise to perform a solid business process analysis or to implement change management. For this reason, Maximizer Software recommends companies investigating CRM work with a professional services consultant to help them with the three key planning steps that form the foundation for CRM success.

7 About Maximizer Software Maximizer Software delivers Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and professional services to meet the needs, budgets and access requirements of entrepreneurs, small and medium businesses and divisions of large enterprises. Simple, easy to use and affordable, Maximizer CRM enables companies to mobilise their workforces through all-access web, smart phone, tablet and desktop delivery methods. Easily configurable for organisations in any industry, Maximizer CRM optimises sales processes, enhances marketing initiatives and improves customer service to ultimately boost productivity and revenue. With headquarters in Canada and offices and business partners worldwide, Maximizer Software has sold over one million licenses to more than 120,000 customers since Technology Partners Maximizer CRM Why Maximizer CRM? Visit for: Maximizer CRM helps small and medium-sized businesses maximize their marketing, sales, customer satisfaction capabilities and enhance their productivity and efficiency through the optimisation of what resources they have. Simple & quick to deploy, use and maintain Flexible access options through web, desktop and mobile devices Value for money with low total cost of ownership and monthly subscription models Expertise as a leader in pioneering CRM development, with more than 20 years experience. A test drive of the latest release Information on how CRM can support your role Tools and ebooks Resources and information on Cloud based CRM An overview of technology and features Online demos and features White papers and webinars on CRM best practices. UK & Eire Europe, Middle East, India South Africa Social T: +44 (0) F: +44 (0) E: W: T: +44 (0) F: +44 (0) E: W: T: +27 (0) F: +44 (0) E: W: facebook.com/maximizercrm youtube.com/maximizer linkedin.com/maximizer Rest of the world Americas Australia, New Zealand Asia T: E: T: +61 (0) E: T: +(852) E:

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