Building your ideal home with all the extravagant features your heart desires is a dream everyone has. While the concept of your dream home sounds lovely, many people dont consider, like with any project, the amount of work that comes with this undertaking.
Similarly, planning for and selecting a CRM system can be like building that house. It involves looking at multiple models, selecting their functionality and any additional integrations you’d like made. You can evaluate your options and experiment with different features and functions to see what works for you. Sounds like a blast!
But, people who have built their dream home will tell you to be prepared. Building a house is like having a second job because there are so many decisions that need to be made, some with diligent care; the layout, floor coverings, paint colors, cabinets, light fixtures, hardware and much, much more. As part of this decision-making process, it is important to consider the needs of all the occupants involved: adults, kids, guests… maybe even pets. Furthermore, you’ll have to consider many other things such as outdoor spaces, sports and leisure activities, hobbies and even health-related concerns.
If you feel like your head is already spinning, do not worry. For almost 20 years, we have helped hundreds of professional service firms achieve CRM success, so we understand how difficult it can be to plan for and execute a successful CRM project. Here are three key building blocks to a successful CRM project we have developed along the way so you can set your firm up for CRM success:
1. Involve Key Stakeholders
A house is not a home, it is the people who live in the house that make it a home. As with CRM systems, the technology means nothing without the right people involved and the necessary processes put in place. Your stakeholders are those who will be using the system every day like attorneys, assistants, the marketing department and other firm leadership.
When planning your CRM project, involve your CRM stakeholders as early and as often as possible so you can understand their daily challenges and discuss their expectations for the CRM system. Not only will their input help you narrow down what features and functions should be included with the system, but it can help tremendously with gaining attorney buy-in and, eventually, adoption.
2. CRM System Blueprint
As the blueprint for a house has all the floor plans and keeps everything on schedule, a similar “CRM blueprint” will be necessary to keep your technology project organized on on track. When creating your blueprint, it is important to make decisions using the input from your CRM stakeholders that will not just satisfy their basic requirements, but that will simplify their day-to-day, improve organizational productivity, and most importantly, enhance client journeys with your organization.
The blueprint will help satisfy your stakeholders by outlining the CRM’s specific requirements for each user and how it will look and function. This blueprint can then be used to guide system demonstrations with various vendors so you can skip all the bells and whistles and get straight to what will work for your firm and your users.
3. Don’t Do It Alone
Unless you are a masterfully skilled carpenter, you probably won’t be building your home by yourself. Few people have the extensive experience to successfully deploy a CRM system by themselves. So, selecting an experienced CRM “architect” to help you from the planning stage to the roll-out stage can put you on the right path to CRM success.