Why are there five CRM Critical Success Factors?
“Without having these other four factors in place to provide a foundation, the best technology in the world is not going to guarantee you a successful CRM implementation.”
Rowland Dexter, Managing Director, QGate
To help you with your CRM project, we have created a series of videos which summarise what we at QGate believe are the Five CRM Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for a successful CRM project. There are five accompanying articles that expand further on the video content which will be featured on my blog in conjunction with this introduction.
In summary, the five CRM Critical Success Factors are:
CRM is a serious investment, it should be made to support the company’s goals and objectives. This starts to pose the question: why are you implementing CRM in the first place? You must know WHY. This reasoning has to be communicated to everyone involved from the top down. The rest of the organisation must have a clear understanding of the WHY and know that the project has the full backing and support of the executive team.
Avoid the Big Bang approach by prioritising and planning phases. Be sure to consider the complete life cycle, from inception through to on-going support and evolution of the system and remember that user involvement throughout is important.
The Data Factor
Data. Everyone knows that CRM has to have it, but very often it is seriously underestimated in terms of the work required to get it right and realise its true value. If you consider data as if it were a machine, you would then consider its selection, installation, on-going maintenance, etc. more carefully. It will then become a real asset to the organisation.
The Right Partner
Find the person or partner that matches your ideals and personality – can you work with them? This should be someone that will bring value to your project – do they have industry or process knowledge related to your needs? This person or partner should be willing to share skills and tasks in order to help manage time and costs.
The Right Technology
I purposely placed this last. – The “best” technology alone will not guarantee a successful CRM project. The above foundation items need to be in place. When it comes time for you to invest in CRM technology, consider the three prime options first:
- General CRM platform and customise
- Industry specific CRM
- Build it yourself
Make sure that you also consider the 3 “Cs” when planning to modify a solution to your needs:
- Configuration – maximise the use of simple configuration options
- Customisation – use customisation when needing to perhaps add tables, fields, forms
- Coding – keep this to a minimum and prevent headaches when upgrading etc.
If I were to put a figure on the split I would suggest that Configuration and Customisation should cover 80% of the requirements with a max of 20% requiring coding. Each of the above topics is linked to a more detailed article. I hope you find these useful, it is by working with these five CRM Critical Success Factors that we can stand by our statement – We make CRM work.