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
  • The Best Video Conferencing Solutions in 2017

    Thinking of investing in video conferencing but not sure now if it is the real deal or just a passing fad? 75% of managers think that video conferencing will ultimately supersede conference calls. Additionally, 89% of remote employees say that video helps them feel more connected to their colleagues. more

  • Better Together

    It is absolutely essential to the success of your business to employ excellent communicators AND provide them with the support that they need in order to be successful. When you pair your VoIP phone system with UC, you can create a seamless, centralized communication system that your teams can use to collaborate in any medium they choose. more

  • Contact Center Implementation Best Practices

    Are you looking to add a contact center for your business but not quite sure of how to go about implementing one? You aren't alone, in fact, getting a modern contact center up and running efficiently and effectively is much more difficult than it was even five to ten years ago. more

  • Business Meeting Showdown

    It is no secret that communication and collaboration are at the heart of success and longevity for any business. However, as businesses become more global and more employees work remotely, video conferencing is being increasingly used as an alternative to face-to-face interactions. There are pros to both business travel and video conferencing such as personal connection and ease of use. However, there are cons as well ranging from travel delays to being technologically reliant. more

  • Mobile Communication Showdown

    It's no secret that businesses are becoming agiler and employees are spending more time away from their desks. The question isn't should we get rid of our landlines, but how quickly can we replace them?However, staying connected with your colleagues, clients, and customers is absolutely essential for cultivating long-term, lucrative relationships that will help your company achieve success. more