Customer Engagement & Dynamics CRM Forum

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CRM Strategies

  • 1.  CRM Strategies

    Posted Jan 09, 2019 07:08 PM
    We are looking for some insight from others when they implemented their CRM and the strategies, standards, or SOP they utilized to help support thier staff as they started using the application.

    Ginger Ausloos
    Director, Data Services
    AACSB International
    Tampa FL
    CRMUG Summit - Post

  • 2.  RE: CRM Strategies

    Posted Jan 10, 2019 09:14 AM
    I wasn't involved with the original implementation which was around 8 years ago.

    We started small as we realized it would be a big change. We continue to make changes and are still implementing new entities as our users determine new needs. We just started using Competitors and are discussing adding SRM (supplier) entities.

    Start with a plan. This should include goals and objectives with ways to measure progress.
    Items to really consider:
    What are the existing problems?
    What do we do now with the information and how do we share information?
    Where is the data (emails, ERP, etc.)? What needs to be cleaned up. Put the focus on accounts (companies), contacts (people) and activities (interactions).
    Who do we include in the implementation? Make sure this includes people from multiple functions.
    Definitely maintain three environments: Dev, QA and Production.
    Where is the "point of truth"? We connected CRM to our ERP system. All account (company) updates are made in the ERP system which then updates our CRM.

    We should have thought more about the business units, security roles and company hierarchy. This has required some major rework as new divisions began using the system. (We were bought out and are now bringing other divisions onto CRM.)

    We should have also put a better plan in place for customizations. We pretty much allowed a business unit or division to make any modifications. We should have put best practices in place earlier to make sure it was best for the company, not just the business unit. Some customizations required different forms just because they wanted fields on different sections. We are now maintaining multiple forms.

    Holly Olson
    Magnetek, Inc.
    Menomonee Falls WI

    CRMUG Summit - Post

  • 3.  RE: CRM Strategies

    Posted Jan 10, 2019 12:37 PM
    Hi Ginger,

    I definitely agree with Holly on all those points.

    Something else I would recommend: engage both your sales AND your marketing teams for what they need to get out of your CRM. I've been on the marketing side of CRM for 7+ years, and CRM is one of the most critical tools I use. I can't do my job as a data-driven marketing without it.

    As you're thinking through CRM strategy, it helps to have marketers at the table to discuss what sorts of data (and how it needs to be structured) they'll need to power their marketing automation platform goals and their overall marketing plan. I use ours, for example, to power everything from sales-oriented lead nurture campaigns to customer experience campaigns to account-based marketing campaigns.

    I'm obviously a little biased, but far too often, marketers get left out of the CRM conversation :). Please don't forget we use it just as much as the sales team!

    Good luck to you!

    Natalie Jackson
    Marketing Director
    emfluence Marketing Platform
    Kansas City MO

    CRMUG Summit - Post

  • 4.  RE: CRM Strategies

    Posted Jan 12, 2019 12:54 AM
    Hello Ginger,
    I will agree with Natalie and Holly . All of the points mentioned by them are crucial for planning the adoption to CRM.

    As we have been involved in revamping our CRM system recently , I thought i will just chip in with ideas we used to set up a new System.

    Background - We have been using CRM from times of CRM 2011 , we used lot of code customisation to handle our business processes ,however this has been on of the Pain points for us whenever an update was released which would cause our code to break. Thus we made a decision to revamp the CRM system with the sheer motive to utilise the CRM out of box functionalities at the most.
    Planning -
    1)Know what is Needed - We asked our sales team to take feedback from our existing users , why the adoption was so low , what are their concerns , are they in need of some other functionality that would empower them to do better. -- We need to just have a concrete requirements outlined by our end users.
    2)Know what is available -Once requirements were outlined
    We undertook a deep dive under version 9 and Microsoft's new capabilty of handling CRM as an app based system wherein we can simply create apps and assign to users. We did lot of Proof of Concepts around the requirements outlined.

    3)Security Consideration - We made a note of various user roles inthe CRM system , the business units etc and defined our Security structure.

    4)Managing environments - Its ideal to always have three environments - We ended up creating a fourth environment as UAT. So we did development work in Dev - moved to QA for testing - Moved to UAT environment for feedback from users and then did a release to PROD.

    5)Solutions Migrations - How we deploy/manage  code/customizations from one environment to another is very important we made have built Devops pipelines to release code from one environment to another . We still are looking forward to manage the system in the same manner. Hope this would help you setup a free functioning CRM system for you.

    Bhartendu Pandey
    Willis Towers Watson

    CRMUG Summit - Post

  • 5.  RE: CRM Strategies

    Posted Jan 15, 2019 10:49 AM

    Thank you for reaching out to the community.

    Holly, Natalie, and Bhartendu mention excellent things for consideration. I've been involved with large implementations and CRM projects. I wanted to add a few more.

    • Working with a partner has been a lifesaver on many fronts.
    • Structure in place to support CRM post-launch. 
    • Training, training, and training.
    • Communication on how this will impact each users role once CRM is implemented.
    • Buy-in and support from the stakeholders of each department and executive leadership. This is critical and will help with pushback.
    • Identify individuals that will be part of work groups from each department that will assist in requirements gathering, testing, and support. Some of them will turn into strong advocates and possibly power users, which will assist with implementation.
    • Candid conversations about what's achievable on implementation and what's slated for a future release.
    • Surveys to help with user feedback and prioritization of features.
    • Benchmarking CRM.

    Aaron Howell
    Manager, CRM & Advanced Technology
    American University

    CRMUG Summit - Post

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