You Must Have a Solid Strategy for Implementation Before You Settle on a CRM Product

Originally written for CRM Community; By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

It does not matter how big a user base or how many features your CRM product has. Sure, it is nice to buy from a stable company who will be around years to come, however, make sure the product works with your business process. I go into more detail on this important point in my special report 14 Ways to Increase Your CRM Return on Investment available at (#CJ45)

However, if you do not read the report, here are some key things to keep in mind when selecting a CRM solution (no matter how small or large your company is.):

  1. Document your processes before selecting a tool to measure.

    It does not take anything but a pad of paper and a pencil. Just note out where your company interacts with its customers. You will want to make sure your CRM system can be available at those places in the most cost effective ways.

  2. Identify your sources of data before selecting a product.

    What exactly do you want to track in your CRM product and why? Just bringing all your customer information together does not do much for your organization -- you need to have a reason and know what you are going to do once you have the data.

  3. Improve your service to the customer because of the product you select.

    Perhaps you do a lot of business on-line, or your customers hold odd hours, maybe only call you on the phone. Your CRM system must support improving the customers? experience.

  4. Get your employees involved early on defining requirements.

    The immediately thereafter get your management standing behind those requirements. Without management buy in, your CRM efforts will fail! Without employee requirements, no one will use your system!

Of course, there are more things to consider before you implement CRM, but consider these before you go any further. My special report goes into more details -- just do not buy any CRM product unless you have a plan!

© 2002 Justin Hitt, All rights reserved.
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Justin Hitt is a strategic relations consultant and the author of "27 Ways to CRM Return on Investment" (Tool Kit) available on-line. For more information, visit

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