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Written by Natalie Gorton - 05/09/2017

If you’ve been through the pain of an overdue CRM project, you’ll appreciate the importance of momentum and accountability. Natalie, an all-star within our projects team, shares her experience on how to keep your new CRM project moving.

What does a project consultant do?

Whenever a new customer joins Gold-Vision, they are introduced to their own project consultant who will work with them from the start of their CRM implementation through to their system going live. Typically this involves scoping, planning, configuration, data import, training and go-live.

During a CRM project, we also train the administrators so they can make further changes as and when they want to – it’s a really flexible system. We want our customers to feel that it’s their Gold-Vision, the ownership really matters.

When I visit a business to set up their new CRM, it's not about delivering a vanilla out-of-the-box set up. We get to know our customers really well, and work with them in partnership. I know I’m there as the CRM expert but it's often so much more than that. Together we build something that works for them and that's really satisfying. Every project in unique.

Why is the project process important?

I’ve worked with lots of CRM systems over the years and that’s both working with them as an end-user and configuring them as an administrator. In my experience, it’s very easy to over-configure a system when you don’t have expert help. You can be left with something clunky and a lot of wasted effort.

We've learnt what works best and share that with our customers willingly. We can quickly create a bespoke set up based on roles, culture, business processes and outcomes. We keep the project focussed and on track – and provide plenty of advice along the way.

Each project is documented with a comprehensive work report and we make it clear what's needed, who's responsible, and how long it will take. It's all about having a transparent process that keeps the customer informed and involved.

Tell us about project momentum

Maintaining project momentum is really important. You'll remain clear about why you kicked the project off, use your time more efficiently (less need to recap) and this will keep the enthusiasm going too.

When momentum starts to fade, it can be for several reasons, but there are some general areas that contribute. If you focus on these six things, you can prevent that happening to your CRM project.

1. Have clear goals

Most systems have more features than you need and that’s fine.  Don’t be distracted by the shiny toys – your Project Consultant should help you address your goals first.  You don’t have to use every feature and you can always add the bells and whistles later. 

2. Have the right people ready

You’ll want your internal project team to understand your business, your goals and have a rapport with the people who will be using the system day-to-day. They also need to have the confidence and authority to make decisions – and be able to make them quickly.

Your project consultant should help you, challenge you and have no agenda other than delivering a great project for you (on time and to budget). If you are still looking at CRM systems, ask some questions about the person who will deliver it.

3. Make time - it might be less than you think!

We know you’ve got a day job and that doesn’t go away when you’re implementing a CRM system – so make time for it. Don’t just free up time for meetings – have time for reviewing, getting feedback internally and testing. On a straight-forward project, you may only need a couple of days and it’ll be worth it.

4. Focus on delivery

If there’s a lot to do, perhaps lots of departments or processes - break the project down into phases but don’t let that slow down delivering on phase one. There will be things you didn’t ask during the sales process. There will be things you didn’t know you wanted until part-way through the project.  Don’t let these things distract you now. 

Yes, I'm talking about the dreaded 'scope creep' here that can stop a project in its tracks. It's wonderful when the full possibilities of Gold-Vision begin to unfold during an implementation. It's a great idea to capture a list of the things you want to work on when you are live, but Rome wasn't built in a day, so it's best to keep these to one side until after launch.

5. Be open

Some business processes may have outlived their usefulness or reflect some quirks of an old system. You may want to replicate the data stored in an avalanche of spreadsheets or be used to seeing information presented in a certain way.

Sometimes, time and momentum is lost trying to recapture the past simply because change is scary. Be open and refocus on the business goals. Be open to change!

6. Have fun

If you’re passionate about making a positive change, your CRM project should be fun. You’ll want to move things forward, you’ll be itching to test the latest change, you’ll take delight in seeing tidy data.  Projects with engaged sponsors are my favourite.

The Gold-Vision Difference

CRM software, in our opinion, shouldn't be a one-off sale and then on to the next. We work hard to build relationships with our customers starting off with the CRM implementation process.

We’ve helped more than one customer who have had poor CRM experiences in the past. Struggling with web-support only? A partially implemented system? Partial data? Unable to talk to somebody on the phone when you need to?

Our team of project consultants have years of experience delivering projects in all industries. We'll work with you, making suggestions along the way, to make your new CRM work for your business from day one.

We don't disappear once your system is live either. For us, it's all about the long-term customer relationship. If your business needs grow, change or develop we'll always be here to help.

From onboarding new team members using our free online resources and webinars, to booking us to deliver enhanced training, or extending your CRM with integrations or custom web portals, we want to make sure Gold-Vision is still helping you every day.

 

About the author

Natalie has more than 20 years of experience delivering projects, as both the client and the provider. Her career to date includes roles across sales, marketing, finance and project management spanning lots of industries.

As a member of Gold-Vision's projects team, Natalie helps new customers to identify their needs and get started with their new CRM. Having spanned previous roles as both the client and consultant, she has a keen understanding of customer needs and how to support their project.

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