How to build a case for CRM

If you are a manager who has benefited from CRM in a previous role but now find yourself using an inadequate CRM solution we understand your pain.

We often speak to managers who have tried and failed to gain buy-in from colleagues to implement CRM and are attempting to build a compelling business case for new investment.

What compounds their frustration is the knowledge that without an effective CRM solution their ability to raise performance standards is restricted.

To create awareness, gain buy-in and navigate the often political issue of getting sanction for a CRM project, here are some tips to help you cultivate support from the top.

1. PUT DECISION MAKERS IN CUSTOMERS SHOES

Seniors managers can be detached from customer touch points and may lack awareness of the actual pain points in customer service delivery, especially if current reporting is poor.

If you can get decision makers to experience and recognise issues they’ll be able to translate them into problems that every manager wants to solve – high customer churn, poor lead conversion and rising service costs.

2. PUSH THE METRICS

If senior managers and directors are already switched on to the benefits of using CRM but aren’t convinced there will be buy-in across the organisation, look for critical metrics e.g. cost of sale, cost of servicing customers, return from marketing activities etc.

If you can immediately demonstrate ways to measure them and name the people who’ll be responsible for using CRM to achieve improved results, it will add strength to your case for CRM investment.

Business intelligence reports and key performance indicators matter to senior managers.

A useful way to promote a CRM project is to identify critical metrics, demonstrates ways to measure them and name the people who’ll be responsible for using CRM to improve this performance.

3. USE PEER PRESSURE

Ask senior decision makers to talk to industry peers who have implemented a successful CRM strategy.

Networking tools such as ‘LinkedIn’ make this type of interaction very effective.

If they can see that competitors, advisors and business partners are gaining an advantage from CRM it helps you to build a more compelling case.

4. TAKE THE QUICK-WINS APPROACH

As well as ensuring that a CRM strategy and technology will adapt to longer term needs it’s critical to demonstrate how short term gains can be achieved.

Successful CRM projects often start with initial deployments to a small number of high priority teams where CRM technology has enabled them to quickly improve their process and achieve a rapid improvement.

Once early results are established, there’s a solid basis to extend CRM into other areas of the business.

We’ve long recommended a phased approach to CRM projects as the best way to get started quickly and to achieve early results that will secure buy-in for further investment in future CRM phases.

5. CHOOSE VENDORS CAREFULLY

With so many CRM solutions available it’s easy to build a shortlist that runs to several dozen options.

Decision makers don’t have time to sift and choose from multiple CRM vendors so don’t expect a positive outcome if you’ve recommended as many as 5 or more CRM solutions in your plan. Do your research and narrow the choices.

CRM specialists like Preact will help you evaluate solutions, answer your pre-sales questions and provide recommendations to demonstrate how your objectives can be achieved.

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