CRM Implementations Need To Be Multi-Dimensional

Posted by: Neil Saviano on October 22, 2014

By Neil Saviano
CRM International

There are still many CRM implementations that are first time users. These implementations can be fraught with poor adoption company wide if they're not executed properly. Accordingly it's widely known that poor adoption results in scattered usage and poor project ROI. Subsequently it's not uncommon for a company to just give up and not renew their CRM software subscription, or just take what they get. Not only is this result costly, but it robs a company of potential strategic benefits that can bring their sales and marketing programs to exciting new levels and often help them gain a competitive advantage.

How can this unprofitable outcome be avoided? The answer is that the CRM implementer must approach the project from a process perspective - not a technology perspective! Importantly the implementer must ingrain in new user management that the CRM technology alone is not a sales and marketing panacea.

This process concentration must satiate initial project discovery as it dissects the new user's current sales and marketing programs, and the perceived shortcomings and pain points that need fixing. Only when this is uncovered can the implementer jointly (with the user) begin to develop an implementation plan that is built around the application of historical CRM technology benefits. This is the structure that sets up the best chance for user adoption company wide.

The following comprise the historical CRM technology benefits mentioned above:

-Maximum information management for current customer development and      retention.
-Lead development, conversion and nurturing for new customer development.
-Opportunity management.
-Marketing automation (workflow) with campaigns using software such as  Act-On
-Inbound marketing.
-Extensive reporting.

In essence the new user (company) needs to develop a technology-based marketing plan. As the technology is implemented the fulfillment of marketing plan metrics must be a part of the technology training. As an example, each CRM system feature taught in training must apply to business and activity metrics that address marketing plan elements such as:

-The levels of information needed to determine current customer and lead potential and how to log this information into the CRM.
-The kinds of, and levels of activity needed to help assure attaining current customer potential and how to log and use this activity.
-The levels of lead activity needed to use the CRM through the lead conversion to opportunity creation process, and the implementation of effective reporting to monitor this process.

This process focus in a new CRM implementation attaches every element of the new CRM system to the fulfillment of company wide business objectives developed during initial project discovery outlined above. The new CRM becomes a catalyst for sales and marketing goal fulfillment and project ROI. This makes it easier for management to set levels of accountability for company-wide adoption as everyone wins.

In future posts we'll talk about specific strategies to draw sales people and other divisions such as customer service into the CRM implementation and stimulate adoption from them. We'll also dig deeper into marketing automation's role in a CRM implementation.


Please see other blog posts on related topics on our website at

CRM International are SugarCRM resellers. We do SugarCRM implementation, training and customization.  We re marketing automation specialists and do complete implementation and training.  This includes inbound marketing.

We are resellers for Act-On marketing automation software. We integrate Act-On with SugarCRM, as well as offering standalone marketing automation.