CRM Critical Success Factor 2: CRM Implementation Approach

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

Why is a good CRM Implementation Approach required?

Isn’t that just project management? No, what we are talking about here is a CRM implementation approach that takes you from your initial ideas, helps you prioritise those ideas, qualifies a solution, all the way through to phase the project, training and delivery, and on-going support. 

And then coming back through that cycle to do the next phase – avoiding, wherever possible, the big bang approach which most companies do these days anyway.

What Makes a Good CRM Implementation Methodology?

CRM Implementation Approach


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? If you have agreed on the scope for each phase and share mutual goals and an ultimate view of the system, you should be able to answer these questions.

The next step is to then manage the expectation. During the discussions, presentations and consultations that will be part of the process, many requirements, suggestions, needs and priorities will be covered.  It is imperative that these are not lost, but are recorded.  However, it is also vital that for each phase it is clear which of the proposed areas and requirements are to be delivered.  The users are aware of the deliverables and there are no surprise omissions or additions.

Clear Documentation and Terminology

To help manage expectations and communicate the goals and deliverables for each phase of the CRM project, it is essential to have appropriate levels of documentation that are regularly maintained and adhered to.  Don’t use technical jargon.  Use inclusive, commonly used terminology to allow it to be clearly understood and accepted by all parties.

Make use of common templates, checklist formats, and bulleted lists rather than long drawn out text.  And a picture paints a thousand words!


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 itself.  We actually see user adoption as a measure of success. By having the right approach within the methodology you can include the users in the project and therefore build up their adoption even before you’ve rolled the system out.
If you go about this correctly then you really 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

Find out more about the QGate CRM Roadmap– our project framework to guide you and your business successfully through your CRM project.

Take our CRM Readiness Assessment and find out how ready you and your company are to begin your CRM project.

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