CRM Critical Success Factor 2: Implementation Approach

Find out how to improve your CRM implementation plans and approach in this article.

Why is a good CRM Implementation Approach required?

A great CRM implementation approach is essential for businesses looking to take advantage of customer relationship management software. It is more than just project management, as it takes you from initial ideas all the way through to the delivery of the project and ongoing support. It is vital to avoid the big bang approach that many companies use and instead focus on a scalable implementation methodology that can handle small phases and larger, more complex ones.

What Makes a Good CRM Implementation Methodology?


The CRM implementation approach needs to be scalable enough to cope with small phases and larger more complex ones:

  • Take the very simple start point ideas
  • Formulate and prioritise these ideas
  • Involve the user so that they feel that they’re part of the project
  • Qualify the solution
  • Roll out of phases

Manage Expectations

What are everybody’s expectations? Are they in line with what you plan to deliver?

It is important to understand everyone’s expectations and ensure that they are in line with what you plan to deliver. You should agree on the scope for each phase and share mutual goals and a clear view of the system. During the project, there will be many discussions and consultations, and it is vital to record all requirements, suggestions, needs, and priorities. For each phase, it should be clear which proposed areas and requirements are to be delivered, and the users should be aware of the deliverables.

Clear Documentation and Terminology

Clear documentation and terminology are also essential for a successful CRM implementation. You should have appropriate levels of documentation that are regularly maintained and adhered to, using inclusive, commonly used terminology to allow it to be clearly understood and accepted by all parties. Common templates, checklist formats, and bulleted lists are preferable to long, drawn-out text. Visual aids, such as diagrams or infographics, can also be useful.


Finally, resources are critical. It is important to allow for optimal (cost-effective) use of all resources available to both the customer and partner. User adoption is often quoted as a critical success factor in CRM implementation. By having the right approach within the methodology, you can include the users in the project and build up their adoption even before the system is rolled out. If you go about this correctly, you will have a far greater level of user adoption as a result.

Next steps

Click here to read Critical Success Factor 3: The Data Approach

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