CRM Implementation Project Roadmap for the Small Business

Updated: January 01, 2012

Having worked with small business executives and owners and their employess for the last 16 years - and this applies to the big businesses we have worked with too - we have seen an alarming trend in the decision making process when it comes to systems procurement. We specialize specifically in contact, customer management and so called 'CRM' (customer relationship management) systems, but I have no basis to believe that the same behaviors do not apply in decisions made in other areas - in fact I have witnessed it time in again across the board - it is a cultural thing.

One common CRM system evaluation 'process' goes like this:

  • Someone in the organization gets fed up with the limitations in the current process - how things are done along with whatever software they may have been saddled with (typical examples being Microsoft Outlook or Excel or QuickBooks or a 9 year old version of some various contact manager).
  • Not realizing that the underlying issue is one of culture and existant process in the organization, they conclude that if only they had 'better' software, things would improve.
  • On their own they conduct some 'research' (you know, read Amazon reviews or the like, maybe download a demo version), ultimately finding a system that they think is the answer to the problems the organization faces with its sales and customers.
  • Then they call the local reseller/VAR/consultant for the system selected as per the web site.
    The consultant - if he/she is a 'consultant' - will ask questions about current process, goals, things that are working, things that are not working, budget range, etc.
  • At this point, the 'project champion' will get quite, realizing that his/her aspirations for 'improvement' are looking slim indeed and usually says: 'I think we need your solution. You will need to talk to our IT department and/or my boss to get the information you're asking for.' (Of course, neither IT nor BOSS have heard anything about this and things pretty much flame out from there as no one likes to feel they didn't know what was going on...)
Featured Research
  • 15 Tools for Managing Remote Call Center Agents

    Together, technology and the connective power of the internet are making drastic changes in what a typical work setting looks like today, and many companies are beginning to rely more upon a remote workforce. In fact, according to Global Workplace Analytics, “regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 105% since 2005.” more

  • The Business Case for Updating an Aging Phone System

    You may think your business phone system is functional, but is it fully modern? In recent years, telecommunications technology has made major strides. A system that was perfectly serviceable ten years ago—or even five years ago—is now very out-of-date. more

  • 2017 ERP Buyer's Guide

    Among all of the business software applications necessary for business operations, ERP is undoubtedly one of the most important. Making the wrong selection can have a disastrous impact on your accounting, manufacturing, and supply chain. With so much at stake, it is crucial to make a well-informed decision. more

  • 2017 Contact Center Software Trends

    Did you know that, according to Forbes, 86 percent of customers will pay more for a better customer experience? Customer satisfaction is always a worthy business pursuit, but to identify customer preferences and exceed expectations, you must keep pace with innovations in the technology your customers are using. more

  • The Social Intranet: A guide to getting better business results

    This whitepaper describes why the shift from a traditional to a social intranet is imperative to staying competitive, and analyzes the costs and benefits associated with implementing one. You will also find useful KPIs to measure performance and further leverage your intranet's success, raising employee engagement and boosting your competitive advantage. more