CRM implementation - how to get projects off to a successful start
To ensure that CRM quickly bears fruit in when being implemented in any company, we recommend that you take systematic approach from the very begining. Following the proven CAS Method you can safely achieve success via clearly defined steps.
From the introduction of the CRM solution to its operational deployment there are several factors that positively influence success. The classic project requirement steps of introduction and further development often forget another key factor: People! These people are the users who will work with the CRM solution in your company; and the customers who are the focus of all your company processes, which will be subsequently mapped in the CRM solution.
The CAS Method
A tried-and-tested guarantee for success
The introduction of new software often presents companies with a challenge. The scope of services, the costs, the increase in productivity and the implementation and training effort must be kept in mind as well as the interaction with existing systems.
Our methodical approach, which has already been successfully implemented in hundreds of customer projects, provides support here. The tried-and-tested CAS method is divided into the major phases of selection, introduction and further development. These phases, are in turn, divided into smaller process steps. The systematic and structured approach creates security and efficiency and, above all, involves people in the process as a decisive factor for success.
The most important steps of a successful CRM implementation
- 1. Your CRM implementation phase starts with the kick-off meetingDefine the roles for each individual in the project team together. Who is the CRM manager, project leader, key user, administrator or project commissioner? In this way, you create clarity and place responsibility in the hands of the participants as well. Clear communication rules within the project ensure trust and acceptance.
- 2. Determine your requirements together and focus on your target visionWhat do I need? What is important to me? And how can I best map my needs with standard software? Once you are clear about your own goals, you should get to know your software provider and check whether the chemistry is right. Mutual trust in the respective "sparring partner" and consultation on an equal footing are more important at this point than sifting through lists of functions.
- 3. Training of key users and the project team in the practice phaseTo get to know the basic philosophy of the CRM software, the next logical step is to train the key users and the entire project team on the basis of the standard product. In this training phase, the key users apply what they have learned and replicate the processes from day-to-day business - any questions that arise are clarified directly within the team. Get support if needed: Coaching sessions are offered at any time by the implementation partner.
- 4. Requirements gathering an analysis and discussion of the processes as well as final approvalWe recommend prioritizing the gathered requirements afterwards and defining essential basic requirements and quick wins. To bring the implementation phase to a conclusion, it is crucial to focus on the prioritized requirements and to initially hide other requests so that you can quickly achieve initial project success. Additional requirements can always be implemented at a later date. A steering committee gives the go-ahead for implementation or can decide in advance on any outstanding issues that have arisen during requirements gathering. The result is recorded in your requirements documentation together with a solution outline - for example, a description of how a process can be mapped with the software.
- 5. Implementation and testing for long-term use of the CRM solutionWith a view to the long-term use of the CRM solution and upcoming software updates, we recommend that you ensure the project is realized using the standard software functionality and associated customization options instead of having functions programmed individually. This should be done in phase 2 of the CRM implementation. Ideally, you should already be in a position to perform customizations yourself. Your implementation partner can work with you to develop a first draft. The project team is actively involved in this phase, checking the mapping of your processes and configurations in CRM regarding their suitability for everyday use and providing feedback.
- 6. User training Training ideally takes place through the key users (according to the train-the-trainer concept). The partner trains the key users, who then train the remaining users. In this way, CRM knowledge is firmly anchored in your company.
- 7. Going live ends the CRM implementation phase of the project Now is the time for a little breather and time to celebrate the successes of the initial implementation. After this, the project moves to the next stage of further development and optimization. Training additional employees and integrating new areas are also part of the third phase of a CRM project.
Best practice and practical insights
Learn more about the benefits and how to work with CRM software. Our webinars give you the perfect first insight into CRM.
In exciting expert and praxis talks, our CRM customers and partners present best practices to consider for the introduction and use of CRM.
Top 10 success factors for CRM implementation
Out of the Box Tips
by our CRM expert Martin Kestner
Our Head of XRM-Project Solutions is an expert in the CAS Method and has already used it to great success in the implementation and deployment of hundreds of thriving CRM projects. Martin’s advice: