What to expect when you’re starting a new CRM implementation project

HomeWhat to expect when you’re starting a new CRM implementation project

written by our Product Manager, Ben

Picture the scene: you’ve spent months doing your due diligence on each software; analysing their respective strengths and weaknesses, before signing on the dotted line for a new CRM. What comes next?

At some point through the process we will be introduced, and we get some time in the diary to come together and learn more about you and your business. Ideally, this is done face-to-face as it creates the best collaborative working environment but lately, we’ve settled for Zoom.

Alas, Zoom deprives everybody of the first “ooh!” moment that comes when the static whiteboard sheets come out of the bag and get stuck up on the nearest flat surface. It’s a simple thing, but near-enough always breaks the ice if it hasn’t been already.

Pre-meeting planning

The better-armed you are, the more efficient the session will be. A blue riband approach will see that you’ve already drawn up your existing data structure and include the responsible parties for this. For example, your Leads: do they stay contained within your CMS and the web team until they’re qualified, or would they be under the domain of the Marketing team to warm them up?

crm implementation

Likewise, post-sale, what happens to your personal data and upon whose shoulders does it fall to ensure the integrity of it? It’s also good to have someone in the room that’s got a grasp of the overall flow in terms of your business process.

A lot of the first session will focus on mapping out the process from end to end: when you become aware of somebody that has a passing interest in your offering, all the way through to aftercare. In truth, this bit never really follows a trodden path because everyone is different. It takes a lot of introspection on your part and often leads to some interesting conversations “oh, I never knew we did it that way!” and “are you sure we don’t do that later on?” – you get the picture.

Who should be in the room?

The best-case scenario is that you’re able to assemble a cross-section of the business. I would expect there to be some of the senior management team there as they have a vested interest in the project being a success, but it’s also incredibly helpful to have some of the end-users to be there having an input, too – the ones that’ll be using the system every day. A CRM implementation will live and die by its User Adoption, so we need to make sure that it’s as intuitive as possible, and where better to get that feedback than straight from the horse’s mouth?

By the time we’ve finished, we’ll all have a clear idea of the structure of how SugarCRM will be assembled, plus any logic hooks our developers can build to enhance the core functionality.

If you’re looking to begin a new CRM implementation project, but aren’t sure where to start, we’re here to help.