CRM Implementation – Part 1 – Process Evaluation


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As I get older I find that I tend to be very introspective about being efficient and effective. At least it seems that way.

In my twenties, I don’t remember giving too much consideration to overall daily or weekly accomplishments. I don’t think your mind works that way in your twenties. You’re always looking ahead to what’s next or to what you might be missing. Digressing for the sake of self evaluation does not come natural at that stage in life I suspect.

In my thirties I was running around like a crazy person trying to manage children, career, husband and home. There simply isn’t time to consider alternative outcomes to a day where there is little time to consider anything at all.

Now, however, in my forties, I find that I am very particular about maximizing my time and getting the most from my efforts. I find myself, not only in my professional life, but in my personal life, ensuring that I have taken the steps necessary to plan appropriately and evaluate if the results met my expectations. If they did not, I will ask myself why.

Process evaluation is essentially as simple as answering that question. If your expectations have not been met, why haven’t they been met? In our professional lives our daily routines are inundated with processes. Sometimes we are in a position to see an entire process from beginning to end and sometimes we are only a tiny part of a process that is much larger than we have total visibility to. That’s normal.

When considering a CRM software implementation it is absolutely critical to define all customer facing processes within your organization. What does that mean? It means that if the process in question affects the customers opinion of you, one of your company’s other employees, or of the organization as a whole, then the process needs to be looked at under a microscope. Most importantly you need to define what the expected result of that process is and ask if that result is being met on a consistent basis. If it is not, then why not?

We work with many companies who are implementing CRM software and our approach is very simple. If you understand what it is you hope to accomplish, and can measure that result, you will ultimately be satisfied with the tool you choose to expedite and track that process. Most CRM software provide sales, marketing and service management capabilities. They all provide essentially the same bundle of features and benefits. A very critical factor to a successful CRM implementation is not the software you select but the definition of what you want that software to do for you. It essentially starts with process evaluation and definition.

My recommendation is not to overcomplicate that task. Start by including all of the parties involved in a particular process and ask these questions:
What does your customer facing process look like today?
What do you want the result of the process to be?
Who determines if that result is achieved?
Is the result measurable or quantifiable?
Can the process be improved by removing or combining steps?

These questions are going to generate a lot of dialogue. That’s a good thing. From the dialogue, document the process. We recommend making this exercise as visual as possible. Use the LEAN philosophy and outline the process with sticky notes on a white board or wall. Work as a team and ask all parties involved. Don’t assume to know pieces or parts of the process that you do not directly touch. We find this exercise to be an enlightening and often fun one to do. It is not uncommon to find two people in a chain of events who unknowingly duplicate steps or worse, complete steps that are entirely unnecessary.

Process evaluation for the preparation of a CRM software implementation is not limited to sales departments. Marketing, customer service, operations and quality control all have impact on the reputation of the organization and have customer facing responsibilities. Initiate a company wide effort to be more efficient and more effective. Use CRM software as the tool to capture and quantify those results!

Read more about CRM Implementation and the next steps of Process Evaluation in CRM Implementation – Part 2 – Automation.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kym Riedel
Kym Riedel, Sales Director at Resolv, Inc., is responsible for business development, working with current customers on new projects and identifying companies that might need a new partner to help maximize their CRM investment.Prior to joining Resolv, Kym worked for manufactured consumer products companies in both the crafting and food industries. Kym has worked at internationally branded companies including ColorbÖk, Fiskars and Rondele Specialty Foods where she held marketing management and sales account management positions.Kym has Bachelor degrees in both marketing and business management.


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