Implementing a new CRM solution can be a daunting decision that is not taken lightly by an organisation. Fortunately, the right technology partners and consultants are there to guide you through your entire CRM journey. When introducing a new solution, it is important to ask the key question: what do you want your CRM to achieve?
A common challenge for membership organisations is that the current systems they are using are not working efficiently. When investing in new technology, it is tempting to try to realise all the benefits at once to help multiple elements of your organisation. However, this plan quickly becomes highly complex and can be almost impossible to implement.
When implementing a CRM solution, it’s best practice to create a detailed roadmap to help effectively plan your implementation journey. The inputs to your roadmap can be broken down into the following related elements: Start with the organisation’s strategic aims, these lead into CRM themes or categories, which in turn can have associated short, medium and long term functionality or capability goals. For example, a strategic aim may be to ‘connect with members’. The theme or category for this could be ‘channel alignment’.
The goals then work towards a larger impact across the organisation:
· Short term, the CRM could be used to integrate a live chat element of the website. Members would get a much faster response to their enquiries and therefore feel more satisfied by the service they are receiving.
· The medium-term goal may then include the CRM tracking an email marketing campaign, including readership rates and click-throughs.
· Finally, the long term goal may be to have a tracking system across all campaigns- email, social media and sales
Here is an example of how to plan out your roadmap when considering your aims, themes and how your CRM requirements should fit into your roadmap.
The Benefits of Roadmapping
Having a framework helps plan for a smoother implementation process. Having clear steps and actions to take along the way makes the implementation seem more manageable. Creating goals should cover all teams and elements of the organisation. Employees should be heavily involved in the implementation process for their department and be able to offer feedback to make the necessary improvements. In addition, a clear strategy makes it easier to communicate the changes in your processes with your members. With the roadmap in mind, the correct training and demonstrations can be put in place. User adoption is a crucial element of CRM implementation journey and the overarching aim for your strategy and roadmap should be to improve the experience for all users.
A new CRM solution is there to benefit your organisation and help progress your mission. The solution does not have to do everything at once. The most valuable thing when starting your implementation journey is to prioritise and the roadmap provides the perfect tool to define and articulate this prioritisation. As such, you can implement the most crucial element that needs to be improved first, with your organisation’s strategic aims driving the CRM solution and ways of working. This way, your CRM solution should work around your needs, not the other way round.
Content developed in partnership with Emprisia, a leading London-based implementation partner specialising in membership organisations