Who are the starting 5 on your CRM implementation team?

Whether you work for a startup or an enterprise, implementing a CRM shouldn’t be complicated. That’s our philosophy at Base, and why we cannot accept the fact that up to 50% of CRM implementations fail. We don’t believe in overheads or wasting time with unnecessary consulting projects. We’ve written before about tips for ensuring a successful CRM implementation, and in this post we want to discuss key players on your implementation team. Keep in mind, this post assumes you have a large team and require multiple teams to use your new CRM.

In order to ensure your CRM is adopted and used to the full extent of its capabilities, you need buy-in. To create buy-in, you need a cross-functional team that will work together and be an advocate of the new process. Consider the value of appointing the following people to your CRM implementation team:

1. The Executive

Heading up the CRM implementation team should be an executive – whoever is closest to the project. The executive should make sure the project is implemented to fit the needs of IT, Sales and any other departments that have a stake in the tool.

Why? What the executive says, goes, and her buy-in sets an example for the rest of the company. When tough decisions need to be made about process, she has the final call.

2. The Collaborator

This position can be filled by a number of different roles in your business, be it a representative from Marketing, Customer Support or another department. Essentially, the collaborator works across each department to ensure the CRM implementation team is taking all departments and the greater good of your business into consideration.

Why? We’ve all seen the effects of a new initiative that accidentally leaves out an important person – or even a whole department. The collaborator acts as a project manager and ensures that your CRM tool is adopted.

3. The Salesperson

CRM tools are typically championed by your sales team, so including a representative from the team seems like a no-brainer. However, while many companies will include the VP of sales on this team, it may actually make sense to include a team lead or member of your sales staff instead – or at least in addition. Salespeople at this level typically have a better idea of how their teams use the tools day-to-day and may be able to provide better insight.

Why?  The best way to make sure sales uses your tool is to have an advocate on your implementation team.

4. The Techie

CRM implementations typically require some technical team members to build the foundation of the tool. From traditional IT to development to information security, who you need depends on the tool you purchase and what you intend to do with it. Keep in mind that the easier your new tool is to implement, such as Base CRM, the smaller your technical staff needs to be.

Why? This one should be pretty clear. If you’re implementing CRM, you need the technical resources to set it up and involving these folks from the beginning will make it easier for them to support the tool further down the line.

5. The Outsider

It’s sometimes helpful to have an outside professional on your CRM implementation team. Whether you’re missing one of the skill sets outline above or just need an unbiased third party, a consultant can be a valuable addition to your team, and a great partner for the collaborator who helps you make sure you’re covering all your implementation bases.

Why?  The reason for bringing in an outside consultant in CRM implementation is the same as hiring consultants in other business areas – they’re not as close to the project and often, consultants catch things that you don’t.

Have you worked on a team that successfully implemented a new tool or process in your business? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience.