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SMBs: 5 Tips for CRM success

24 Dec 2013

Small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) can be at a great advantage to roll-out new technology (with their less complex and change resistant environments) and can typically ‘get on with it’ without the burden of project bureaucracy that large enterprises face.

For any SMB considering adopting a CRM solution, but lacking the processes, budget, and resources of a large organisation here’s five tips to help ensure success.

It’s all about Discovery

Discovery is a must-do for most, if not all, software projects. Yes, even the small ones! The good news is that it doesn’t need to be a costly or time consuming exercise for SMBs.

The discovery process generally consists of workshops and other research to understand the problem and desired outcomes, the processes to be enabled with your new CRM and the all-important costings for the configuration and roll-out. The good news is that this can be done with as little as three day’s effort!

Define your future state

This is pretty simple really; define and agree what your business processes and customer interactions need to look like for you to achieve your desired outcomes.

This will give you a clear way forward for the project and for your stakeholders, and will provide a reference point to manage your investment as you progress.

Agile is King

Iterative, incremental delivery - “just enough” analysis, build, demo, improve, repeat - suits SMBs’ less complex and fast moving environments, and are the perfect way to deliver the benefits of for any CRM deployment.

You will get just what you need to achieve your objectives in the most efficient and cost effective way. Involving your key stakeholders and users in the process gives ownership to the business earlier and will improve user adoption.

Simple is good

Most off the shelf SaaS CRM solutions typically meet 80 percent of requirements with a small amount of configuration. Try to make it 100 percent!

Don’t be tempted to stray down the path of customisations unless there’s a really good reason and pay-off. Remember too, it’s not just the up-front cost of development that you will avoid; future maintenance and changes will be easier and cheaper. Small compromises to your desired future state can pay-off big!

Lastly, leverage your investment in the platform

Welcome to the cloud. Get what you pay for by leveraging the cloud platform to enable other parts of your business. Increase your exposure to the benefits of the cloud such as agility, capex not opex, multi-tenancy, high availability, and free yourself from managing infrastructure and applications.

SMBs often have the opportunity to move to the cloud in ways enterprises can only dream about - why not make the most of that opportunity? With a small amount of discovery and planning, plus some clever decisions along the way, you can get up and running in no time!

By Dean Evitt - Principal Consultant, Fronde