5 Phase Implementation Process Overview
CRM software systems are a journey, not a destination, and successful CRM application programs leverage a continuous process improvement cycle to constantly refine and optimize the business software system.
Your CRM business software application should evolve as your company evolves. Once into a production environment, it's advisable to perform periodic post-implementation reviews and system utilization checks at least twice per year in order to evaluate how the CRM application has accommodated specific business processes and project objectives as well as to analyze the technical and functional use of the application. An unbiased measurement can also be used to further tailor the business system for greater effectiveness and user satisfaction. Key metrics to be reviewed and periodically measured during post-implementation analysis include the following:
- Compare, measure and verify planned and achieved stakeholder group objectives
- Compare and verify the most critical success factors
- Be sure to trend user-based utilization metrics
- Analyze proposed software benefits from new software version upgrades
- Verify Second Wave benefits (e.g. those proposed implementation activities that didn't make the cut in the original implementation)
- Assemble an internal or external advisory group and participate in the vendor's user group(s)
Most companies face similar challenges when moving to a customer-oriented model in order to more effectively compete in the new millennium. Traditional and on demand CRM systems are outstanding instruments to promote this necessary change. However, CRM is more than a business software application or business software system. It is a business strategy designed to promote more efficient and effective customer relationships through the integration of multiple channels and cross line of business activities. When performed effectively, CRM strategy and the supporting CRM software maximize the customer value and the relationship value to the company. In order to successful, it is imperative to recognize the total CRM equation and then design, implement and refine the solution over time while constantly re-aligning people, processes and technology to the new customer-driven paradigm.