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Post CRM Implementation Lessons Learned

I recently finished an implementation consulting gig for a Canadian distributor and thought I'd share the lessons learned from that engagement. Overall, the project went fairly well, however, like all projects there were bumps in the road.

  • We incurred a few problems with executive sponsorship. The first executive sponsor was underpowered to move or commit resources and eventually left the company. The second executive sponsor was empowered, however, had little time for the project and was initially unsuccessful in promoting the project to the many stakeholder groups. After some coaching this was later remedied and the sponsor became extremely supportive.
  • The CRM project followed a marketing software deployment. While the company did a good job in their marketing software evaluation, we quickly recognized the CRM system should have come before the marketing automation software application.
  • As with many CRM implementation, the data conversion was slow to start and required more time than anticipated. The source data was not clean and required a data cleansing process. This added about two weeks to the project timeline.
  • We incurred a few integration problems from a mainframe to the new CRM system. While a few IT (information technology) folks first blamed the XML web services, it turned out to issues associated with the previously discussed poor quality source data.
  • The CRM product's mobile solution didn't work. We were told it would work on a blackberry, and while technically it did, it was completely unusable and abandoned.
  • User adoption was an issue, although probably not more of an issue than the norm. While the marketing people and call center staff were for the most part advocates from the beginning, the sales staff did not initially embrace the sales force automation (SFA) system. Through a series of carrots and sticks they ultimately came around.

The project was estimated to take six months to get to go-live and actually made it in just under seven months. Not bad considering. I'm proposing to do a one year post-implementation ROI measurement, however, the client hasn't yet confirmed this. We'll see.

crm blog
CRM Lessons Learned Posted: Wednesday, August 1st, 2007
Under: Implementation

Comments: kelly[at]crmgal.com
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