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Alligators…What are they and how do you avoid them in your CRM?

Alligator is a euphemism for a business problem.  We use this term to describe anything that can negatively impact your CRM implementation.  Any problem that can sneak up on your CRM implementation and drag it under to failure.

Beware of the alligators.  But how do you avoid them if you don’t know what you are looking for?

Good news.  We have been fighting the alligators our whole careers and you can get to benefit from our experiences.  Our team has compiled a list of the most common alligators we see when we engage with a client,

The key to fighting an alligator is to never let them form, and the best way to accomplish that is to know the potential problems that commonly occur, and have a strong plan and implementation methodology that minimize any chance of the alligators showing up.

Trying to do it all yourself. 

Configuring CRM goes way beyond simply following the defaults during installation.  Successful implementations require very specialized knowledge.  Work with an experienced partner like to team at Empellor so you can focus on what you do best.

We don’t trust our data!

We frequently hear complaints about data quality from CRM users looking for help.  It is absolutely critical to establish a data plan.  The plan defines all sources of data, who owns the data during its lifecycle, data definitions, and the process to ensure your data remains accurate!  There is a very strong correlation between poor data quality and poor adoption and utilization of CRM.

Lack of Strategy.

“My boss told me we needed CRM, so that’s why I am calling…”  Sound familiar?  It does to us.  If you are not clear on why your company needs CRM, then start with defining the major and minor business issues you need CRM to address.  Categorize the list into the must-haves vs. the nice to have.  Prioritize the list with the must-haves at the top and the nice-to-haves at the bottom.  Use the list to track the progress of your CRM implementation.  As you begin crossing items off the list, you will begin to see major improvements in your business.  If you don’t have a defined target, how will you know when you hit it?

How do I support mobile?

Supporting mobile, both phones and tablets mean planning ahead during the design phase of the implementation.  While Dynamics CRM makes it fairly straightforward to use mobile devices, there are many factors to consider, from form design to what form modifications are supported in mobile, to making the user experience efficient and effective.

Be Realistic.

Manage expectations. CRM will not solve all problems, be a perfect application, or work flawlessly from the start.  But implemented properly, with a focus on business process, training, and ongoing support, it will evolve to be an integral part of your company’s success.

Too much, too fast.

Implementing CRM requires a balanced approach.  Many organizations attempt to implement more functionality than their organization can absorb efficiently.  This results in frustration, stress, and impacts adoption.  Utilizing the focus on business processes we recommend for every client to guide your decisions, construct a timeline that incorporates the reality of your business and the capacity of your employees to learn a new system.

Too little, too slow.

Deja vu, implementing CRM requires a balanced approach.  If you find your employees can handle more functionality or more automation, step on the accelerator until you have an implementation cadence that is balanced to the capacity of your employees and keeps your company moving forward.

Stopping too soon.

It can be very tempting to stop your implementation before your company has realized the benefits of CRM.  We see this frequently with companies lacking a defined list of goals for their implementation.  Without a defined list of goals, how do you know when your CRM implementation has accomplished what your companies need most to succeed?

Faulty project planning and budgeting.

Without an experienced partner to guide you, it is almost impossible to develop a realistic plan and budget.  This can lead to significantly blown budgets and expectations, embarrassment, and frustration.  We have implemented CRM many times, in all sizes of companies and in many industries.  Take advantage of our experience to develop a realistic project plan and budget.

Lack of management support.

Every project as significant as a CRM implementation requires the full support of the top levels of your company.  Support is defined as active participation in developing the strategic goals and priorities of the implementation plan, and ongoing participation in goal setting and oversight.  The success of the implementation directly correlates to the level of involvement of the company’s top-level management.