5 “no-brainers” and 5 actual pieces of useful advice.

    Speed of implementing

  1. Implementing too quickly: This is a classic no-brainer. You really do need to do enough research so you can make the market fully meet your own requirements.
  2. Implementing too slowly: Actually, over-analysing can harm your business too. The time and energy you invest into researching and meeting different vendors should be limited, otherwise you can make your expectations too unrealistic. Don’t waste time when you could be dedicating it to working with your existing CRM! Make sure you schedule your process realistically before you start implementing.

    Importing data

  4. Importing too much data: Any data that won’t be used in the next half year is generally not worth importing as by the time you come to use it, it will be too obsolete to rely on.
  5. Not importing enough data: Do you think transferring data is too much hassle? Keep your existing valuable data alive. Choose a CRM vendor with easy data import technology and look into the future to determine which data might still make a difference.

    Initial functionality

  7. Implementing too many features: You will end up paying too much and your users might end up overwhelmed. You also need to consider the amount of time needed for customisation of the whole system, as implementation is only the start, adding on more time again before you reach the fully optimised state.
  8. Not implementing enough features: Start small but make sure it counts. Write up a list of what you need and don’t let yourself be sold a solution that doesn’t fit your current business processes.

    Reasons for implementing CRM

  10. Focusing on fixing a management problem: If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there. Make sure you’re implementing CRM for the right reasons: better customer relationships, not better company management, and adjust your objectives accordingly.
  11. Focusing on fixing a technology problem: To treat a CRM system as a unified database without pursuing the additional benefits it can bring to your marketing, sales and service would be to completely miss the CRM essence. Understand that implementing CRM calls for change and more clarity in your business processes, and make sure your company can handle the shift.

    Relationship with your vendor

  13. Over-relying on your vendor: Make sure you are clear on the responsibility division before you sign the contract. Also, never assume that they are perfect – the outcome will also depend on your share and initiative.
  14. Over-relying on yourself: Don’t be afraid to take a step back. You may well profit from hiring a consultant who specialises in companies like your own. Outsourcing some business expertise is likely to bring you more objectivity, skills and confidence in the system.