One of the questions that gets asked from time to time, when looking at projects is "Who should take ownership of the CRM project, in particular the roll out phase?" On the surface, surely this should be the CRM Project Consultant, but as I discuss here, this is not entirely true, let me explain.
Of course, having a strong projects team from the CRM supplier is a must, and in our case, at OpenCRM, we put together a team of people, all with specific responsibilities, who interact to deliver the solution (more of what we do and why in a future blog article), with a lead Project Manager who will liaise directly with the client and their key personnel. But, there needs to be a CRM champion on the client side also, and it is this person in a lot of cases, that will determine the success or failure of the overall project.
We keep saying "our job is half technology management and half people management, and the people management half is the most important and usually the largest".
The CRM champion needs to be someone who has the following skills;
- Good communicator
- Respected within the organisation - can help set expectations
- Can champion a cause and follow through - who believes in the CRM project
- Can solicit and communicate at all levels, to understand and help define the procedures that will be implemented
- Can personally, or has access to someone who can, apply pressure when needed to keep the project goals on track
Quite often this is the person who has negotiated the contract and been involved with the supplier selection, although not always. It may be someone delegated this task.
OpenCRM is a great repository for all of your company data, however, its how you use this data and how its use defines and streamlines the processes that get implemented that make the real difference. Users who can see the payback, because life gets easier (agreed, after some initial pain), will become advocates of the new systems and 'sell' the ideals and best practices themselves, so the CRM champions job has a limited shelf life, although, I feel that this persons role transitions through a number of phases as a successful CRM project is delivered. Once the initial delivery is completed, there is still a need for someone to monitor and plan for the future. Having a CRM Vision should be a real goal for all forward thinking businesses, so perhaps the champion remains, its just their focus that changes?
Sales Pitch : At OpenCRM we assign a dedicated team of CRM professionals to your project, commensurate to the type of project being undertaken. Our promise is : There will always be a senior Project Manager and a dedicated Technical Contact, regardless of the size of system being undertaken.