First, there must first be a compelling business need for change that is recognized throughout the organization. Often, the business need is either expressed in pain or opportunity.
Second, there should be a clear CRM vision which directly addresses the need for change and articulates a destination. Recognize though that the destination is not a fixed endpoint, but instead an intersection of organizational priorities, guiding principles and measurable objectives which collectively achieve mutually beneficial customer relationships. It is essential that staff understand and buy in to the vision and this framework to make the vision a reality.
Third, the organization must assess and design its culture and capabilities to deliver upon the vision. This is where the CRM strategy takes shape. The CRM strategy must be designed with an outside-in customer focus and include an integrated mix of culture, people, business processes and enabling technology. Developing a business case is helpful in prioritizing the activities from a benefits and ROI perspective. This means that benefits must be expressed in measurable value and tied with costs. The business case should also identify the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) for all CRM stakeholders.
Finally, the company should develop a prioritized execution plan to achieve its objectives pursuant to forecasted results. We recommend the plan starts small, iterate and be agile to support the inevitable learning and adjustments. Also, the CRM strategy and supporting plan must be led by business leaders and supported by IT staff. When CRM projects are instead led by IT staff, it suggests a lack of strategy and that the primary CRM enablers (the users) are not the champions in achieving the vision
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