Earlier this week, I was asked to recommend books or articles that would drive a successful CRM implementation. They had already chosen Landslide as the application, a good choice, and now they wanted to be sure that their decision paid dividends. This article is not about the merits of Landslide (UPDATE - Landslide was just named the 2010 Top CRM Solution), although there are many, nor is it about how to choose an ideal CRM solution. Instead, I will share my top 3 steps to a successful CRM implementation:
- Skip the books - they're a waste of time. They cover logistics which, if you make the right choice of CRM, is all covered thoroughly in training.
- You must set proper expectations including why the company is implementing this particular solution at this point in time, how it will help the company, how it will help the salespeople, and the importance of thorough, timely updates.
- Implementation is simply a three-ingredient recipe. The recipe is: 7 parts buy-in as in "this is not optional"; 1 part training, as in "Look at how easy we can make this"; and 2 parts accountability, as in "This is a condition for continued employment".
Some CRM is better and/or more appropriate than others. They all work if you implement according to the 3 steps. None of them work if you fail to implement. Implementation is up to you from the top down, not your salespeople. If you plan to leave any of the decision up your salespeople, don't even start the process. If you don't have or plan to have an effective CRM application, optimized for the way people sell, you are years behind curve.