Before starting a CRM implementation or re-invigoration project an area that is often overlooked is Executive Support.
It will be hard to get the project off the ground if you don’t have executive support from your CEO, Sales Director (or for our American friends VP of Sales) or any C-level executive for that matter. These people don’t have to be involved the day-to-day running of the project but will need to support the project and be strong advocates of the CRM project.
This does not mean that Executive Sponsorship is the magic bullet. Recently I was engaged with a company where the CEO had decided to replace their current CRM system and implement a new system. Although the users were not happy with the current system they were not willing to learn a new system without a big pay-off as they had seen a number of failed system implementations due to poor planning in the past. The fact that the CEO was the worst offender of not using the CRM system obviously didn’t help either.
Generally executives get excited about the high-level reporting that they can get out of a system to make tactical or strategic decisions. For this they will require the underlying data which will be populated by the end users. So if the executive want to get this data in the system they will need to be able to transfer this excitement onto the end users so they can get what they want.
No excitement, no pay-off
So if there is no excitement from the executives, the project team will try to get the end users to use the system, but user adoption will suffer and the users will fall back onto the ways they’ve always done their work – because in fact this is the exactly what the executives expect. If the Sales Director is still asking the sales reps for weekly updates of Excel spread sheets to track opportunities, why would these same sales reps put the opportunity information into the CRM system? Entering data in the CRM system is then extra work for no benefit, and no end user and especially sales reps will tolerate that for long.
Therefore it is important to make sure that Executive Sponsorship includes clearly articulating the benefits of implementing the CRM solution for both the organisation and the end users. If the Executive sponsors the project and makes it clear why you have embarked on this journey and what’s in it for everybody the user adoption will increase dramatically.
An executive who takes a leading role in using the CRM system and run the business and meeting based on CRM data will create a culture that encourages people to use the CRM system.
Implementing CRM is not just about implementing a system it is even more about change. And as everybody knows change is hard. Without executive support change will be even harder.
To learn more about Organon Consulting’s expertise in the implementing and re-invigorating CRM and how Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 can help your organisation to improve sales, marketing, membership management and grow revenue, please visit http://www.organonconsulting.com.au/crm .
If you want to get more out of your Dynamics CRM system contact us for a free Dynamics CRM system review on:
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