CRM Implementation: A Client-Side Look

Managing CRM implementation: Client-Side 

cloud-crm“According to research, success in 68% of technology projects is “improbable”.*

Heather looks at the challenges of implementing CRM from our clients’ perspective, and gives guidance on how to approach, run and implement CRM successfully.

Internally, poor planning and management, lack of communication and executive sponsorship are all problems that can often cause a CRM implementation to go over budget, not be delivered on time or fail completely, due to inappropriate design or lack of adoption.

When an organisation decides to implement a CRM, a lot of initial planning is needed on the client side, right from the design stage through to user adoption, in order to manage the change successfully. The project will impact on staff time throughout, as it often triggers an evaluation and refinement of performance metrics and processes, and requires time for user testing and learning during the roll-out phase. Ultimately the time has to be right for the organisation to embrace this change.

To successfully manage the process the organisation should firstly appoint a Project Manager who has the time, enthusiasm and knowledge to successfully take ownership of the project.

The role of the Project Manager is to:

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  • Take time to understand the design process and technology to be adopted so they can understand and explain the functionality that is available, and gain buy-in from key stakeholders.
  • Gather, document and prioritise user requirements
  • Manage communications and build good working relationships with internal staff and external consultants.
  • Have the independent authority to manage people, budget and time and sign-off stages of work.


The Project Manager should also apply these [highlight dark=”no”]three key elements[/highlight], to give the CRM implementation the best chance of success:

  1. Business Analysis
  2. Change Management
  3. Project Management

At Economic Change, we champion all three elements within our projects, and equip our clients to adopt these practices by providing support, training and our specialist e-guides to the Project Manager.

Each of these elements is a skilled discipline in its own right, and we work with the individual needs of the Project Manager to deliver training to enable them to apply all three skills successfully.

Our top three actions for successful implementation are:


Business Analysis 

  1. [highlight dark=”no”]Gather the detail [/highlight]on performance metrics and reporting requirements from your data.
  2. [highlight dark=”no”]Involve users[/highlight] in reviewing and refining business processes, using the new digital tools to be deployed and through this process identify the positive benefits it will bring to personnel and the organisation to calculate return on investment.
  3. [highlight dark=”no”]Future-proof the choice and design[/highlight] of system by sharing the business strategy organisation-wide, and discussing the wider potential application of the CRM to identify costs and suitability going forward.


Change Management

  1. [highlight dark=”no”]Appoint an Executive Sponsor [/highlight]who is fully behind the purpose and application of the CRM, who provides an investment of time and money, and leads on communications about the ‘What, Why and When’, to give weight to the project.
  2. Create a [highlight dark=”no”]strategy for communication, user involvement and support[/highlight] during the adoption process that accommodates for different team members personalities and learning types.
  3. Create a ‘[highlight dark=”no”]Carrot and Stick’ adoption strategy[/highlight] to ensure the new system is adopted and used by all relevant team members.


Project Management

  1. [highlight dark=”no”]Set up a Champion Group[/highlight] consisting of internal staff and external experts who have complementary skills and personalities, and are committed to the success of the project. Assign specific roles to each member.
  2. [highlight dark=”no”]Assign your Project Manager[/highlight] to lead the Champions Group internally to organise, manage, sign-off and communicate requirements. They are accountable, and ensure deliverables get completed on time and within budget, by both internal and external team members.
  3. [highlight dark=”no”]Work in an agile way[/highlight], and [highlight dark=”no”]identify and deliver an initial ‘quick-win’ [/highlight]implementation with one particular team or department, to generate confidence in the process and solution.

Take Action

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  • management-developingJoin our monthly training workshop for individuals who want to equip themselves with the basic knowledge of Business Analysis, Project Management and Change Management. To find out more click here.

  • We can also run an in-house workshop for you and your team. Contact us for more details.

  • You can also download our e-guides to help you kick-start the process:  


*Based on key findings from the report,  The Impact of Business Requirements on the Success of Technology Projects  from  IAG ConsultingSimilar trends are also cited in the Standish Chaos Report and this stat presents a far worse picture than  Sauer, Gemino, and Reich.

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