I've written about what CRM is, about how you can adopt CRM and jotted down some ideas of processes that can be incorporated in CRM. However, these articles do not really give you a picture of exact stages of the CRM process.
This article will start off a series containing examples of different CRM implementations. I will aim to guide you through the lifecycle of a CRM implementation at various levels, based on my experience at various organisations.
I will try to cover as much as possible, but there are some parts of the implementation that will be specific to the business and will change from project-to-project. No two implementations are ever the same, despite what anyone says, and no two implementations should be the same either. Why? Because no two people are the same, which means no two customers and no two employees are the same. Businesses must take this into account, making no two businesses the same. If no two businesses are the same, then CRM implementations must also be different.
Please note that this is just an introduction. The main articles will be posted up to the articles page as and when they are ready.
Example 1 - A Company-Wide Implementation in a Call Centre
A company-wide implementation is probably the hardest CRM implementation that you can approach. This is an approach to apply CRM to all parts of the business and, while it will be the most effective implementation to help the business move forward, it is also the most difficult.
In almost all circumstances, a company-wide implementation project will be broken down into individual departments, which then becomes multiple simultaneous department-wide implementation projects. The key differences are that each of the departments must cooperate efficiently with each other department and, at the end of the project or as an on-going exercise, there must be a predefined plan of how to pull all of the department implementations together. Cooperation throughout the project is absolutely key.
My fictitious company, Zapplex, is a Call Centre who provide outbound and inbound services to many different clients. They have a sales team, an IT department, a small marketing department, a small HR department, a small Finance department and a large call centre, broken up into smaller teams.
Example 2 - A Department-Wide Implementation in an Automotive Company
Department-wide implementations are probably the easiest implementations that can be done. They're not big enough to be too complicated, yet they are big enough to have a bit of influence and enough data to make a difference. Still, it is no easy ride and involving more people can sometimes mean more battles to be won.
If you can make CRM work in a department, you are in a great position to push it out to the rest of the company. If you've done it right, the results will speak for themselves and the rest of the company should find it very difficult to reject.
My fictitious company, Inity, is an Automotive manufacturer who are trying to apply CRM principles to its Fleet (company car) department. They require input from all areas of the business, but rarely get the involvement needed. They have a sales team, business support team, small call centre and multiple garages around the country, with input into the company marketing and customer relations departments.
Example 3 - A Team-Wide Implementation in an IT Company
While less complicated than company-wide and department-wide implementations, team implementations can be quite difficult. The main difficulty comes from not having as much influence within the organisation to make any real changes. Of course, you can change how the team works (assuming your hands aren't tied in that respect), but it's much more difficult to get anyone else to devote time to your "cause".
For example, if you need some data from a different department, do you have enough clout to get what you need on a regular basis? Do you have enough influence to purchase new software just for your team or to make changes to existing software? On top of that, at the end of the day, teams need to follow the department and company ethics, which may contradict what you're trying to do.
My fictitious company, Bigtech, is an IT software solutions company. The developers want a more streamlined approach to their development process, with the customer as the main priority. Well, if that isn't a CRM approach, I don't know what is! Bigtech have a CRM system, but don't and won't use it effectively due to senior managers refusing to invest time in using it properly.
Keep an eye out for the upcoming articles (click here for Part 2). I will post them up as and when they are finished. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In to be kept up to date with the latest articles.