CEO’s Best Practices: 10 Steps to a Successful CRM Initiative


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1. Business executives must “own” CRM projects, from identifying goals and objectives to defining supporting business processes and metrics to ensuring adequate funding for implementation and support. Upper management buy-in and leadership is critical to the success of any CRM initiative.

2. CRM projects need governance – not command and control. Recognize the dynamic and interdepartmental nature of marketing campaigns, sales interactions, and service calls, and manage CRM deployments accordingly – by a representative team or governing body. Get input from all major areas that make up a CRM initiative, including sales, marketing, and customer care, early in the process.

3. Establish a customer-focused culture throughout the entire organization.

4. Ensure seamless integration with your back-office applications so critical elements of other third-party applications help provide a true 360-degree view of the customer.

5. Get expert advice from technologists who have mastered the art of successful CRM implementations.

6. Design and implement employee buy-in programs that help your team understand the value of CRM.

7. Review, update, and implement automated business rules throughout the organization and report on the efficiencies and effectiveness of their use.

8. Implement a system that is highly open, robust, and scalable as the amount of information you gather and manage will grow with the organization and increase over time. Make sure your corporate IT is responsible for the integration strategy, maintenance of master data, and adherence to technology standards in connecting these new applications.

9. Identify your most profitable customers and provide products, services, and promotions that keep them as happy, loyal, customers.

10. Identify tangible and measurable links to business performance before implementing a CRM project. First identify the processes that require change, the current level of performance achieved, and ongoing improvements.


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