CRM Planning #3: How to ensure successful executive sponsorship for your project

You know you need a new CRM – it’ll save hours of admin time, give your team a clearer view of activities and progress, and create a central hub for all those scattered contacts and tasks you have – saving everybody time and money. But how do you communicate this need to your company execs, and find the right person to help push it forward?  

Here are the 3 key things you need in order to make your executive sponsorship a success: 

Great Business Case  

The first thing you will need is a strong business case for your projects. A key role for your executive sponsor is to communicate the changes across your organisation, and in order to do so they will need a written document showing how and why a new CRM will benefit your organisation in the long term. 

It is essential that your business case includes SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) measures.  

SMART measures clearly show the financial and other benefits of the project, and will be an important tool both in finding an executive sponsor and for them to use in communications to teams further down the line. 

Try to show how your project will change your organisation for the better! 

A Clear Rationale 

Your exec sponsor will also need to be very clear on the rationale of the project, as there will undoubtedly be some colleagues who do not see a need for change.  

A good start in this process is to perform a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is basically a review of the current level of satisfaction and dissatisfaction associated with the status quo and any anticipated changes. You look at:  

  1. Strengths: What are considered to be the strengths of the current situation without change? 
  1. Weaknesses: What are considered to be the weaknesses of the current situation without change? 
  1. Opportunities: What new opportunities are presented by the anticipated change? 
  1. Threats: Are there any potential threats to the organisation of not undertaking these changes? 

This will help to anticipate whether changes are necessary in the eyes of the participants and are a priority at this present time. It is useful to include different team members with different perspectives and skills, to ensure the outcomes are balanced and you find the best solution for your organisation.  

The right person  

Finding the right person to be your exec sponsor is just as important as your business case – you could have the best business case ever, but if your sponsor is not fully engaged and involved then it won’t get you far.  

You’ll need to think carefully about who you approach. First of all, they should be enthusiastic and actively engaged in the project! Their enthusiasm will go far in helping with adoption further down the line and enthusing managers and other board members.  

Ability to communicate clearly and engage teams in the project is a key responsibility of your exec sponsor, so these are essential qualities.  

Finally, on a very practical note, your executive sponsor should have the authority to do all of the above effectively, and control of the budget so they can keep the project moving.  

Ready to go!

Following these steps will give you a solid foundation for your project, helping you to build a highly effective business case and find the right person to help make your digital transformation a reality.  


Did you find this article helpful? Then our FREE CRM Planning Course is for you!  

Join our free 8-week course for a comprehensive view of all the necessary ingredients of a successful CRM project.  

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