So, you decided to implement Dynamic CRM for your business. Congratulations! But what comes next? Sometimes it’s helpful to look at a CRM implementation process as a trip. When planning a trip, choosing a destination is usually the first major decision. Likewise, the decision to implement CRM is the important first step. As with any trip, there are many decisions and preparations to be made that affect its overall success. The logistics involved in planning a trip may seem tedious and overwhelming, but the more prepared you are, the greater your chances of having a successful trip become. The same is true for planning and preparing for a CRM implementation. The following “travel tips” will help you successfully prepare for your CRM implementation. So let’s get started!
What Will You Spend? – Budget
When traveling, it’s important to establish a budget as early as possible, even if you don’t know your destination, travel dates, or itinerary yet. Likewise, there are many things to consider when determining a budget for your CRM implementation. Set your estimated budget early and you’ll avoid the unpleasant surprise of discovering your CRM implementation is more than what you can afford. The following need to be considered when planning the budget:
- Licensing Costs
- CRM Implementation
- Data Cleansing, Migrations and Integration
- Third-party Integrations
When Will You Go? – Timeline
Choosing a timeline for when you would like to travel depends on a wide variety of factors. In order to establish a CRM implementation timeline, considerations must include how long the implementation will take. Implementations typically require weeks, months or more depending on the complexity, customizations, resource availability, budgets, infrastructure, and other dependencies. In addition, the trip may require multiple stops or phases to best accomplish what is needed due to business, technical, or other needs.
What Should You Pack? – Requirements and Data Migration
Packing for a trip involves determining what items you need to have as well as ensuring that those items are ready for use as needed. With regards to CRM, you must determine what is required and then gather any needed items and then review the requirements:
- Statement of Work
- User Requirements
- Technical Requirements
- Functional Test Plan
- Cleansed Data
- Identify Stakeholders
Before traveling, it is important to have a valid roadmap to help guide you from point A to point B. When planning a trip, the traveler must decide if they want to travel by plane, train, car, or boat to get to their destination. When implementing CRM, you must also decide “how you want to get there”.
The implementation options include:
- Do it yourself using in-house or internally contracted/hired resources
- Engaging/hiring a consulting company or integrator to perform the implementation
- Leveraging a hybrid or mixture of both internal and consultative resources
If your company has resources capable of configuration, data migration, customizations training, etc. then you may be able to perform a DIY implementation. If not, or if these abilities are unclear, then it is most likely that you will need an experienced CRM consulting company (like PowerObjects) to help get you to your destination. Many companies opt for a hybrid approach when they have internal skills and resources, but not specific subject matter expertise or experience. Selecting the right partner should be based on the expertise of the partner and the references that can be provided. The more complexities involved, the more you will need to consider the expertise of the CRM partner you choose.
Where Will You Stay? – Online / On Premises
Part of having an enjoyable trip is selecting an affordable and safe place to stay. Choosing where to host your CRM organization is just as important. Will you host it yourself on premises, or leverage the cloud to host your CRM online? The decision to use on premises or online include considerations about efficiencies and the cost of infrastructure. Choosing to host your CRM on premises may be the best solution if HIPAA compliancy is needed or if as a company you have an IT department that has the capability to perform needed support and if you have the necessary infrastructure with enough space and capabilities. If not, then online cloud hosting may be the best choice for you.
What Will You Do? – Project Plan
Creating a trip itinerary ensures that you have planned the activities you need to accomplish during your trip, as well as the specifics of how long the activities will take and who may be involved in them. Similarly, a CRM Project plan will help guide the project and will include the following items:
- Task Owner/Assigned Resource
- Due Date
- ETC/EAC or % Complete
- Scope Additions
Trips provide opportunities to learn, share, and experience new things. Using the information in the blog today, you too can begin planning your successful CRM implementation trip. Enjoy the ride!