Implementing CRM? Hire an Internal Expert!
By Anthony Castillo
But don’t wait until AFTER the implementation! Hire the expert BEFORE the project begins, even if you are planning to utilize a consulting firm for the initial setup and configuration. Waiting until after the project wraps up is one of the most common mistakes I see companies make when deciding on a new Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. I get it… there is money to be saved! Why pay out the extra salary up front? You won’t need someone to manage the system or report on the data until the consulting company is gone and the business users are using the heck out your new, shiny CRM.
Let’s cut the fluff… Most consulting firms won’t help you think strategically or realistically about your CRM implementation. You have requirements and desired functionality? Done. You want to see reports and fancy dashboards? No problem. They will give you exactly what you want, exactly how you want to see it. The issue is, you don’t know what they had to do behind the scenes to provide each piece of functionality. Did they create a custom component that isn’t easily managed? Did they architecturally cross wires just to allow you to report on a specific data point? Your CRM expert coming in after the fact is going to have a devil of a time putting those pieces together.
Having an in-house CRM resource in place before your implementation will help set expectations appropriately, even if they are not directly configuring the system. They will define your requirements in a way that ensures best practices and sustainable growth by helping the business understand systematic limitations and the repercussions for going beyond or around those limitations. They help keep the consulting firm honest, on track and productive by minimizing scope creep and accurately translating “business speak” into “techie talk”. They should also be able to manage the project and its trajectory in a way that frees up other business stakeholders to perform their own job functions.
And hey, even if you as the business decide best practices and systematic limitations aren’t for you… at least your CRM guru has been along for the ride! They will know every trick the consulting company had to put in place, which makes them all the more efficient in maintaining the system moving forward.
So please, be kind to your internal CRM expert by giving them a sense of ownership over the system from the get-go! We wouldn’t want them spending the next four years trying to fix a mess they inherited.
Talk to us today so we can show you how we ensure the right questions are asked and answered so your CRM solution is setup correctly the first time. Our strategic, consultative approach to every project ensures a successful implementation that delivers tangible benefits from the start.