This is first article in the series of “CRM implementation best practices”. When a Small Company (or typically a startup) thinks on implementing CRM (or any kind of business automation system), there is always a dilemma – where to start with?
Once the Top Management sits down and starts writing ideas – they are so overwhelming, that they get lost. and keep the whole thing pending for next few weeks / months (or even years).
From our Experience of implementing CRM in many Small Scale organisations, we have learned few things. There are TWO approaches to implement CRM in a Small Company (typically 5 to 50 user group).
Trying to achieve 100% Perfection in one go:
- Here Management tries to get all the data and all the process into the system in one go.
- First problem is that since the company has been doing business for last many years – it has a huge database of customers (which is highly unorganised).
- Organising all the data of old customers is a daunting task.
- Also it cannot be delegated to a junior employee.
- Second Problem, is that the processes are not that well defined, most of the decisions are not taken as per system (or set of rules) but as per personal judgement. Hence trying to implement all the processes in one go creates a lot of confusion.
- The overall task becomes very over-whelming, and then there are chances that the whole project goes for a toss . . . .
Just in Time management (or piecemeal approach):
- Here Management tries to get only current Database and one process at a time on the system.
- They get current years customers on the CRM database – as it is. (it may be from Tally Sales Register – etc. . . )
- Since the customers database is that of new and current customers only, it takes very less time and also it can be delegated to junior staff.
- Secondly, take only one section of business Process and then automate it eg: Take Technical support team first and automate the whole process completely.
- This way even if the actual process needs to be tweaked or re-tweaked it is not a big problem.
- And as the team and system get used to the new environment, it is easier and easier to get more and more processes automated.
The Second process has been by and large successful in small scale companies. The Basic idea is to apply 20/80 rule, do that critical 20% which will give you 80% benefit. This is just an example, there could be lots of ways to make sure that piecemeal implementation is highly successful and effective.