ComSystems IT - Внедрение CRM на практике

Внедрение CRM на практике

The implementation of CRM requires extremely professional project management. Compared to classic IT projects, the "human aspects" are particularly important and must be taken into consideration.

At the start, the strategy specifications are used to define the operational goals. The CRM project managers are then also responsible for their execution (see also the information elsewhere in this series). The clarification of system requirements and determination of user goals, for example, are decisive factors.

This means we need a user - oriented project organization that can react flexibly to changing requirements. While a functioning IT solution is the basis for project success, it can be no guarantee of it.

Organizational implementation with strategic direction and specification of operational goals

The strategy def ines the focal points, contents, strategic positioning and goals, which are then used to determine concrete tasks and activities.

With this first step, the company must def ine the nebulous term "CRM" for itself and formulate it right down to the various user roles and their individual requirements. System requirements and processes are then determined on the basis of this. In this way, the initially abstract goals of a CRM strategy are transformed into achievable specif ications for the employees. The interrelations and contents here are described in part 1 of the series "Implementing CRM successfully".

One impor tant benef it here is that the members of the project teams can now communicate the various goals and their importance, as well as the benef its, within the various interest groups, and therefore spread the information and generate "expectation".

The requirements the CRM manager/s must meet are described in detail in part 2 of this series. The graphic provides a brief overview.

From the strategy to the operational platform

The example below illustrates the process of turning part of a CRM strategy into operational content:

In the first phase, the initial strategy could be the setup of a CRM enterprise platform, for example (customer connection system). This is then used as the basis for determining operational goals, such as the setup of a standardized customer database, the elimination of distributed systems, and the creation of the technical and organizational prerequisites for this.

These points are then broken down and described in detail, for example address structure, user rights for data, inter faces to ERP systems, procedure for duplicates and so on. This detailing continues until concrete functions and structures have been mapped.

As soon as these goals and tasks have been successfully implemented and put into practice, new strategic specifications can be included in phase two of the project:

In a second step, the company may plan to set up key account management with a direct contact person for large customers on the international market.

In operational terms, this means e.g.:
  • Redefine and change structure and organization
  • Prepare budgets
  • Set up new positions
  • Introduce new processes
  • Make changes to the sof tware etc.
This shows that the process is more about "pure CRM topics" and less about the actual software application.

The CRM managers described above are responsible for coordination, success and cost checks on contents, deadlines and costs. They also create and coordination the following for project implementation:
  • Documentation, checklists and CRM knowledge base
  • Instructions on completion = THE CRM BIBLE
  • Motivation, check, improvements, objectives, controlling and financial/time -based/personal incentives for user support
  • Clarif ication on whether local, decentralized rollout
  • Group sizes, parallel or sequential rollout
  • Training for key users, administrators, local (subsidiary) support staff
  • Setup of CRM key user group

Content/technical implementation

The "start small – think big" approach has proven highly ef fective. A step-by-step implementation of the CRM solution is recommended, as it gives users the chance to use the system early on – and initially just parts of it – and gradually get used to it.

Another advantage of this approach is that the company only has to make slight changes to its existing process and organizational structure – regardless of the size of the CRM project . The Frauenhofer Institute speaks of the principle of "evolution not revolution". An evolutionary project development also enables proactive change management by basing project work on the experiences gained with the pilot application.

The project is systematically split into dif ferent work packages or work steps, which follow on from each other in sequence or are carried out across all phases. The following procedure has been successful in the step-by-step implementation of a CRM systems:

The initialization phase includes the setup of the project organization with a check on available resources, the appointment of project team members, the assignment of tasks and responsibilities, the setup and definition of a schedule and the holding of an initial meeting (kickoff).

The result of the initialization phase is recorded in a project plan (concept phase). In addition, the working environment with all its administrative components is prepared. Databases are set up on the server and are administratively processed. The basic design of the screens and views used is planned.

In the development and installation phase, the individual functions are developed based on the specifications in the functional description. Once the most important screens, documents and views and their basic functions have been completed, the pilot installation begins. As a result, the customer has a prototype that already includes all the required screens with the requested changes and modifications, as well as the defined functions.

During the pilot installation, provisional training is provided for the people responsible (project team, administration, power users). The pilot group is therefore able to test and check the basic functionality and screen design from a functional and organizational perspective. Any changes and corrections can therefore be carried out at an early stage.

The evaluation and improvement of existing processes and the associated potential for optimization often only become apparent to users when they start to use the system. End users of ten work with a released part of the CRM installation while the pilot group tests and enhances other parts.

After the final user acceptance test by the pilot group, the whole system is installed and approved, with handover of the project documentation and the holding of training courses for users and administrators. As a legal consequence, the warranty period also starts here.

Training on the new CRM system enables a company to show employees that the project goals have been achieved in the form of concrete work processes. The business goals such as increased customer loyalty, cross-selling or bet ter customer service are decisive and must therefore be at the forefront of the training measures. Training courses should therefore focus more on the business processes and less on system operation. The train-the-trainer concept is recommended for CRM projects. Here, selected employees are provided with intensive training, and then spread this knowledge further.

CRM (in terms of a strategy and ongoing process, not in terms of a CRM project) is never finished – it is subject to continuous improvement . The CRM users learn how to formulate their requirements for subsequent process steps more ef fectively. In on-going system support, IT and the CRM manager must implement subsequent requirements in new steps of the project . And as a company’ sales and marketing strategy changes to meet new market conditions, the CRM system must also adapt in line with these developments.

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