Our last discussion covered the essentials of creating a successful user journey, just one step in our ongoing blogs on how to succeed in choosing and implementing a CRM system. Now it is time to turn our attention to the people within the firm who are focused on driving the business value of the CRM and ensuring that the functionality is leveraged effectively.
The CRM project owners and the employees of the firm must be coordinated and the business priorities must be clear and aligned.
From the business perspective, clear expectations are essential regarding how the system will be used and what, if any, its interaction will be with other systems that the firm is currently using.
Utilization goes well beyond the act of logging in and working with the system each day. Rather it draws off the business needs analysis completed earlier in the journey and defines exactly how the system will be implemented within a practice.
Desired utilization may be as simple as building in and managing basic workflows to achieve greater consistency, visibility and accountability. For most practices, it will go further to include automation, at least within a single application. Significant business benefits will be realized when the CRM system is integrated with other software solutions (e.g., financial planning, portfolio management and document management) and the user experience in executing key workflows like prepping for a client meeting is made easier.
Feedback is a term that should never be far from any discussion on utilization. Building in the means and accountability to collect, evaluate and work with user feedback is critical to ensuring the long term health and effectiveness of your CRM. It is an investment for which the return will grow over time if properly managed from the beginning.
Anyone who is responsible for driving the business value of CRM will likely also be looking very closely at the opportunity to, and value of, integrating CRM with other systems that are in use within the practice. These evaluations should cover the current needs of the practice as well as its plans for growth and technology roadmap over the next several years.