6 Secrets to Finishing an Implementation

Setting up a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system isn’t easy; many never get off the ground. CRM systems work. The challenges an implementer faces are numerous: dirty data, complex design, resistant users, and, in some especially difficult situations, unenthusiastic leadership. No matter the challenge, the leader of an implementation has to keep the project moving. These tips should help you keep your project on the rails and moving forward:

This should go without saying, but having a clear plan for implementation is priceless. If you started without one, it’s never too late to hit the pause button and work one up. A good implementation plan has tasks that are specific and manageable. If the task is unclear to you, it will be unclear to your team.

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Start with a clear plan

This should go without saying, but having a clear plan for implementation is priceless. If you started without one, it’s never too late to hit the pause button and work one up. A good implementation plan has tasks that are specific and manageable. If the task is unclear to you, it will be unclear to your team.

Don't rush the data

Haste makes waste is cliche. But cliches work sometimes. Take the time to clean your data as best you can before importing it into your new system. Combing through spreadsheets is a bore and a chore, but the time spent now reaps rewards down the road.​

Enlist help

Whether you’re a team leader or an army of one, you’ll need help from above you and around you. Push on leadership to help you move your tasks forward and work with fellow leaders to communicate the importance of your initiative.

Help others work, don't do others' work

Many steps in a CRM implementation involve manual reviews of data. Your sellers and marketers will benefit directly from your efforts. Work with their leaders to engage them in the work. Beyond the future rewards, these folks have some of the best knowledge about your customers.​

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Pick a few modules first

There’s a lot a CRM system can do: contact management, account management, deal tracking, marketing integration, financial system integration, and much more. Pick the minimum to get it launched. What’s the minimum? That depends on your situation. In general, find a balance between functionality and usability: what is the minimum you can take on to make a usable system in your selling context?

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Get it going before you get it perfect

CRM implementations that focus on making the perfect system are doomed to failure. We can always make something better, so when the condition for go-live is perfection, we’ll never cross that finish line. Develop agreements that allow for a good-start solution as a first launch. Use the feedback to make corrections as you go.

Implementing a CRM system can be complex and overwhelming. Use these six tips to keep your project on track. If you need more help, don’t worry, we’re here to help.

Got a question?

Reach out. We’re always excited to talk about CRM adoption, process creation, and working through challenges leaders face. If you need us in a hurry, call 216.236.3836.

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