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Many companies mistakenly treat CRM as just a piece of software. In this blog post, Daryn Smith, Chief Sales & Innovation Officer at Huble Digital, discusses the key stakeholders required to successfully roll-out a CRM implementation project.

There are a tonne of CRM implementation projects that have failed and as a result the reputation of CRM project management is tarnished and fraught with stories of CRM projects that ran over budget, were delivered late and/or did not meet user requirements and simply never got used.

To make the CRM implementation process much more successful, one of the key things to get right is to include the correct CRM stakeholders. We developed a detailed eBook on the roles of the different CRM stakeholders here.

CRM is not only a system, it a process and methodology

Many companies mistakenly treat CRM as a piece of software, however, the CRM software is only the part that automates and scales the CRM programme that a company wants to implement. 

The management of customer relationships touch many departments within an organisation and as such CRM stakeholder management is critical and surfacing requirements from each department is critical to the success of the CRM implementation project. 

The first step in any enterprise CRM implementation should be to identify the stakeholders and then conduct an extensive process blueprinting exercise, this will result in a list of requirements.

CRM stakeholders are from every department within a company

At the very least, the following departments should be involved in the CRM implementation process for the following reasons:

Marketing - this department will want to have the ability to segment the CRM database in many different ways and design and manage communications campaigns to the various segments, and then report on their attribution.

Sales - this department is concerned with making sales and forecasting sales, one of the biggest mistakes companies make is to think that CRM is only about pipeline management and the sales team. 

Account Management - managing customer relationships and the use of your products and services falls into the account management department. When organisations have many customers, recording information directly related to specific customers' health so that they can be served best can be achieved in a CRM project.

Customer Success & Service - this department has to deal with customer onboarding, as well as customer challenges that are often managed through customer tickets. If they do not have a single view of the customer, they would be unaware of a big new deal the sales team is trying to close when dealing with an annoyed customer.

Finance - this department often uses CRM as the source of the most up-to-date customer information for invoicing purposes, and often invoicing is automatically triggered from the CRM system. The finance department also needs to ensure that those in other departments know whether there is any bad debt associated with a customer as this may affect how they deal with them.

Operations - the Ops department often has requirements to automate and scale business processes within an organisation. For example, as a new customer is won by sales, a new customer account is automatically created in a provisioning system, or a courier is dispatched with the product that was ordered.

Information Technology - as CRM is always linked to a piece of CRM software, such as  the HubSpot CRM, the IT team needs to be involved. The most important thing to remember is that CRM software selection should only happen after the requirements have all been surfaced and that IT departments should not dictate vendors due to their personal preferences. Technology should be an enabler of a strategy, and companies should not be held back by an IT team who wants to implement a single vendor strategy.

There are 4 pillars to a successful enterprise CRM implementation

A CRM roll-out should follow the following stages:

  • CRM Strategy - the first step to architect your desired CRM program, and should include all the CRM stakeholders mentioned above.

  • Customer Data - what is the data you currently have that you want to be used to manage customer relationships, what new data will be collected and how will it be collected.

  • CRM Technology - only once you know your strategy and your data requirements can you start evaluating CRM software.

  • CRM implementation - this is the roll out of the CRM technology and associated business processes as blueprinted in the CRM strategy phase.

  • CRM Analytics - the strategy you developed needs to be tested for correctness, and checked to see if improvements can be made to it, this is a continuous process as customers' behaviors evolve.

Huble Digital specialises in HubSpot Enterprise CRM rollouts from a technology standpoint, we only recommend HubSpot if after we have gone through the strategy and data phase, we find that it is the correct CRM technology to meet the requirements.

From all our years of experience in CRM implementation projects, we developed an eBook on the inclusive nature of CRM programs, you can get it here

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