The ABC's Of CRM Success

The ABC’s of CRM: XYZ


So Catch This…

The ABC’s of CRM: XYZ

Xanthan, Youthful, Zeal

Whether you are planning a net new CRM installation, or an upgrade to the latest release of your existing CRM products, our ABC’s of planning and executing your implementation/upgrade will apply. With the ProfessionalCRM “ABC’s of CRM” series, we have fun with words.  This installment highlights X, Y, and Z, and is sadly the last segment of the “ABC’s of CRM Success”. Today we will help you to find what will help bind, and bring your firm together around a successful CRM implementation: Your Xanthan. As well the approach taken must be one of Youthful Zeal. With each milestone, adding to your vigor, as you realize you are inching closer to the goals set forth.

xanthan (noun, nutrition):

a water-soluble natural gum produced by the fermentation of sugar with certain microorganisms and used as a binder, extender, or stabilizer in foods and other products.

 For our purpose, each firm needs to find that binder, extender, or stabilizer that is the secret sauce that clicks within your firm culture, drives adoption and allows you to pave your unique path to CRM success.  Too many have tried a cookie cutter approach to success.  After being involved in 250+ CRM implementations and upgrades, I know without a doubt that what works for Firm A, may fail at Firm B.

Beware the snake oil selling consultant that has the, all-encompassing, roadmap to CRM success, and know that yes there is a framework of a roadmap or guideline to follow, but for true success, it must be YOUR map, designed and executed by your organization.

Youthful (adjective):

characterized by youth; young; of, relating to, or befitting youth; having the appearance, freshness, vigor, etc., of youth.

 Zeal (noun):

fervor for a person, cause, or object; eager desire or endeavor; enthusiastic diligence; ardor; passion.

 For our purpose, (cheating on this one and combining these words for dramatic impact) you must approach the planning and execution of your CRM project with youthful zeal; with the exuberance and freshness of youth and the zeal of knowing your cause is righteous in spite of the roadblocks you face, and the arrows you take (typically in the back.)

Approach each milestone with vigor and passion, take your champions with you and leave your detractors behind.  Remember success is not only about the results achieved, but also the lessons learned and actions taken throughout the CRM journey.

 And… So what if you have failed in the past!!!

Ask yourself and your firm leaders this question:  Did you quit trying to ride a bike on your first attempt? second? third?

Well… unless you are like my 3rd child that was basically like, “that sucked, I have road rash and am not doing that again.”  True story… took nearly 2 years to teach him to ride a bike without training wheels.  Picture the kid riding down the street leaning sideways on the training wheels, yep that was my kid…  (As I said, 3rd child, so no photo)

But back to the business at hand…  No you did not quit.  You kept it up until you were able to ride, and ride you did!

So, why do you treat your CRM project/solution differently???

With rare exception, most professional services firms are:

  • Underutilizing the CRM systems they have invested in;
  • Some of those firms accept the failure;
  • Others truly believe they are making the most of the system based on comparisons to other firm’s usage;
  • Others place the bar for success extremely low, “Hey, we are getting our communications out, so if it is not broken, why fix it”;
  • There are also many firms that are in the process of analyzing CRM systems for a first time investment;
  • A handful of firms that are truly on a path to achieve overall CRM success, where the system is considered a core application, on par with other key productivity tools.

In whichever bucket your firm may fall, our strong recommendation is to challenge your current situation and continue to push forward to achieve your firm’s goals, as an effective CRM implementation will be a “game-changer” delivering many tangible returns, from business process improvements to directly influenced revenue.

From our perspective (with veracity and youthful-zeal) CRM leadership must always:

  • Evaluate successes and failures
  • Build on that knowledge;
  • Clearly formulate the plan for the next step in your CRM journey;
  • Foster executive sponsorship;
  • Continually evaluate your selected technology; and
  • Of course, follow your ABC’s.

And remember…  If you have fallen off the CRM bike, get yourself up, throw some dirt on the road rash and keep riding towards success!

God Speed on your CRM Journey!

Catch Ya Later…


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