12 Steps To Building CRM Infrastructure

  1. Define a vision of integrated CRM. Understand what services and products you want to offer your customers and how you want to track customer interactions. It’s critical to look at the whole relationship with the customer and not limit yourself to a stovepipe view.

  2. Understand the customer. How does he or she use the existing products and services you offer? What is good or bad about the current process from the customer’s perspective?

  3. Develop a business case. Analyze where you currently stand and where you need to go. Do not use subpar technology as an excuse for inaction. There will always be technical weaknesses.

  4. Evaluate current readiness. Determine your company’s position relative to the competition. Assess the ability of existing sales and service infrastructures to gain and retain existing customers.

  5. Establish the CRM strategy and specific objectives. Adopt a strategy consistent with the overall company strategy. Involve marketing, sales, and service organizations, and understand how each deal with customers. Ask about current and future product and sales offerings.

  6. Evaluate appropriate applications with an uncompromising focus on ease of doing business. Ensure that the applications meet today’s needs and the strategic direction of the firm. Look at the applications from an integrated viewpoint.

  7. Take the customer’s view, not the product or account view. After selecting an application, ensure that the process redesign will benefit and retain the customer.

  8. Identify and target quick wins. Set aggressive and realistic milestones. Accomplish attainable objectives early in the process to build support and ensure completion. This allows you to implement incrementally and successfully. Celebrate your successes along the way.

  9. Put the ownership of the end-to-end project in the hands of a single manager. Partner your team members with experienced business leaders and developers who understand how to deliver and deploy integrated applications.

  10. Implement in stages. Due to the cost complexity of CRM, a staged approach will offer a greater chance of success and allow for continuous evaluation of strategy. Also, challenge the solution. The usefulness and benefits of a CRM strategy constantly change in the real world. Be ready for it. Be proactive about change.

  11. Be sure to create a closed-loop CRM environment. The goal of the CRM strategy is zero leakage of information. As customers contact the company, regardless of the channel, purpose, or outcome of the interaction, make sure it is captured.

  12. Finally, create concrete measurements goals. Through ongoing measurement and continuous improvement, you will be able to monitor the project and ensure its success.