December 2, 2020

4 minutes

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Common modernisation mistakes – CRM system

We ask our experts, what are three most common modernisation mistakes seen throughout their career

Modernising an IT system, especially those that are highly complex, can prove difficult for many organisations. In a series of blogs, we ask Jumar’s business technology experts what the three most common modernisation mistakes are that they have seen throughout their career.

We speak to Jumar’s Principal CRM Architect, Simon Morris on the most common mistakes he has encountered when organisations choose to modernise with a new CRM system. Simon has more than 20 years of experience in a variety of CRM roles ranging from pre-sales, functional consultancy, application design through to program delivery within the Dynamics CE space.

Here is what Simon has to say:

1: Unclear or overly prescriptive business requirements

When detailing requirements for a new CRM system, especially if the organisation has used one in the past, there is a tendency to describe the functionality they already have rather than the business needs that they want to address. For example, requesting a button to email all marketing contacts rather than requesting the ability to email specific types of contact on a regular basis. Detailing needs rather than solutions helps suppliers identify how their CRM system best addresses those needs, avoids unnecessary development costs and allows for better alignment with the inherent capabilities of their solution. This will result in reduced implementation costs.

Another common mistake surrounding a company’s business requirements is not considering how the proposed CRM system and preferred vendors meet the company’s strategic goals both in the short and long-term. Do they adhere to the company’s IT policy? Does it meet the company’s long-term technical objectives such as moving to the cloud? How easily will this product co-exist with other Line-of-Business solutions? Businesses should try and select a product that will facilitate those requirements as well. This approach provides greater solution longevity and ROI as well as lower overall training and implementation costs, etc.

Lastly, organisations need to understand their budget and internal resourcing. Mobilising, testing and deployment costs are often overlooked in project budgeting as are the intangible costs associated with using full time employees who become involved in the project. How much is their time worth and what does it cost the business to take them away from other revenue generating work?

Having a clearly defined set of business requirements will support organisations in choosing the right CRM system, approach and solution provider. To aid this understanding, discovery workshops which consider all these key criteria will prove invaluable.

2: Not fully researching the options available

Frequently organisations decide to proceed with a particular CRM solution without fully reviewing whether other systems better meet their needs out of the box. Whilst specialist CRM system providers can customise and develop software to fit requirements, it is far better to find a product that is as close a match to the business needs as possible from the outset. If a major modification is required, the organisation will incur higher risk and costs to update and support that solution in the long run.  The capacity of the solution provider to update this system also becomes a limiting factor in the roll out of the CRM solution within the company.

3: Trying to do too much too quickly

The last key mistake I have seen over the years is people trying to do everything in one go. Take a phased approach when implementing a new CRM system. Doing too much in one hit increases the risk of something “breaking” or not working as expected.

Ensure that the pace required both in terms of project delivery and financing can be maintained. Not only do organisations require the planning, implementation, testing and deployment of their CRM system but they also need to consider the training and buy-in from its users for it to be a success. Just because a CRM solution can do a hundred-and-one things out of the box it does not mean that an organisation should try and change all their business processes to make use of them. CRM solutions should be rolled out at a pace the organisation can cope with, go too fast and there is a risk of ‘change’ choking the business.

Focus on a particular pain point first, resolve that issue and absorb the new CRM system into the organisation before addressing the next point. For example, address sales team’s needs first before tackling those of the marketing department or vice versa.

Using an agile approach to CRM implementation can help break up this process change with smaller deliverables. Smaller and simpler, but regular deliverables reduce the risk that something major will go wrong.

To find out more about conducting a discovery exercise to determine your CRM system requirements, understand your readiness to embark on your next project or to discuss your implementation requirements, contact us.