How to keep the implementation cost of a CRM project down

 

We understand that a CRM project can be scary. There are a bunch of different reasons for that, but the most basic (and common) is cost. A CRM system is a major investment and implementation cost is a major stressor for most companies.  

A lot of cost stressors come from the project scope changing. The implementation cost is increased because the project got bigger. Many people feel that that is inevitable and that it is even part of a implementation partner’s business strategy. Nothing could be further from the truth.   

Implementation cost can be controlled. Here are five common reasons a project might not go as planned and cause costs to increase. More importantly, we will also tell you how you can avoid them and keep implementation cost down.    

1. Too vague of a plan 

Often, companies will fall in love with the idea of implementing a CRM without fully understanding what it is that they hope to accomplish with the system. That makes it difficult to define the scope of the project to your implementation partner. Inevitably, the end result is the company then wanting to make changes to the project after it is started.  

Soon, the hours start to get gobbled up and you’re forced to increase the budget.   

The solution is to make sure you know exactly what you want heading in. Get all of your stakeholders in the same room and hammer out your needs before you start the implementation. 

2. Understanding your goals 

Similar to having too vague of a plan, many companies aren’t fully aware of what it is that they want their CRM to do for them. They think the CRM is a magic bullet that can fix all of their problems with the flip of a switch.  

A CRM can help you fix your problems, but only if it’s used with purpose.   

Before starting the implementation you should carefully identify your pain-points and determine how you will use the CRM to fix them. Without knowing exactly what the pain-points you want to fix, you might end up buying more system than you need. A bigger system means a bigger implementation cost. 

You’ve bought the system, your implementation partner has built it and everything is ready to go live.   

3. Having a bad (or no) launch plan 

Now what?   

If you don’t have the answer to that you’re in trouble. It’s is vital to have a plan in place for the roll out, yet many companies neglect to address this aspect until it is actually happening.  

That’s madness. It’s like a football coach who spends all their time designing drills, but forgets to crate a playbook for the game. You have all the pieces in place, but you’re trying to learn how to use them on the fly.  

In the early stages of the project you should crate a detailed action plan and timeline to implement the CRM features. Without that planning, scope creep is a best case scenario. Worst case is a full implementation failure.  

4. Beware of management Group Think 

When planning for a CRM system implementation it is important to consider who will be using it. As senior management, you have great ideas about how a system can benefit the company in a perfect environment, but you might not be aware of the pain points of your frontline staff that will be the ones on the system on a daily basis.  

If you design a system that they can’t use effectively, or that doesn’t actually address their needs then you’ll be forced to spend again make changes to the design sooner rather than later.  

Make sure you provide all users a chance to be part of the planning process. And, get junior staff feedback in a way that allows them to speak candidly about what it is they need from a CRM system. By including everyone in the planning, everyone will feel invested in the project’s success as well.         

5. Pick the right implementation partner 

Not all partners are created equal. You need to do the research to find a partner with a track record of delivering on time, with limited change order. Ideally, you will work with a partner that has pre-designed components that it can draw from to speed up the design process (and save you money). 

At CRM Dynamics we utilize an assembly line approach to design. As the largest Microsoft Gold certified CRM partner in Canada, we have a large team of engineers that are able to work together to design a project faster than our competitors. Additionally, we have out-of-the-box solutions that are perfect for mid-size organizations looking to grow. 

Why not give us a shout to learn more about how we can save you money.    

Duane Rollins

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