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Data is everywhere these days. We keep hearing that humanity has created more data in the past few years than in all of history. Suffice to say, there is an unimaginably large amount of data in existence. It’s growing every day and its growth is accelerating.
From this vast mountain of data, businesses are interested in the slice that relates to Customers, Contacts and Sales Opportunities. And in particular, how they can unlock the insights contained in this data to help make key decisions – both operational and strategic.
CRM systems grew out of the need to manage this data, track the relationships between them and log business activity. Then give users an easy way to produce reports and dashboards to help them see the wood for the trees and make better decisions.
Every business has a CRM, however basic. It could be a list of Contacts in Outlook, an Excel spreadsheet, an Access database or a bang up to date Cloud based solution.
But every business has a CRM. The question is, how do you ensure your CRM is a success?
Before we examine each step in detail, let’s take a moment to consider what project success actually means.
Type “CRM Failure Statistics” into Google and within a couple of clicks, you will find statistics telling you that between 18% and 69% of CRM implementations fail.
I don’t think these statistics are helpful. For a start, what does success or failure even mean in the context of a CRM? When were these statistics gathered? The day the CRM was switched on – a month later – a year later?
Return on Investment is often cited as the ultimate way of determining whether a CRM implementation has succeeded. I think this is one dimensional and akin to judging the health of a company based on turnover alone. Measuring success against other performance indicators such as revenue generation, customer satisfaction, cost efficiencies and time savings is equally flimsy.
I would like to propose a different way to define and measure CRM success. Bearing in mind that a CRM is simply a tool that is provided for users to facilitate their day to day activity, my definition of success revolves around them – the users. I define success as follows:
“Success equals users willingly logging into the CRM on a regular basis and using it to accomplish their work”.
Referred to as User Adoption, it is measured by monitoring how often users log into the system, seeing how often they create and edit records and simply asking them if they are happy with the CRM.
It’s that simple. This article examines 7 key elements that play an important role in implementing a CRM system that will support your users in their day to day work.
The next blog in this series looks at the first 3 keys to project success: