The CRM Marathon – and CRM Hurdles

by Chris Fritsch
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To finish a CRM marathon, you will need patience and persistence. Honestly, almost no runner feels like getting up at 5 a.m. every day to hit the road, but real winners keep going. They know that if they persist, they can make it through to the finish line.

They also understand that CRM implementations can be a long and winding road. While there will be many accomplishments, there will also be setbacks. Out of nowhere, a key staff person quits. A professional’s new smart phone pours personal contacts into the database. The time and billing integration doubles the database with duplicates. A new software release corrupts your custom integrations. These types of roadblocks can make you start to feel winded or even consider throwing in the towel. But you have come too far now to turn back. To keep pace through the CRM roadblocks, you need to focus again on your plan. (Of course, having a good sense of humor doesn’t hurt either.)

Start by thinking about the goals you set when you started and the progress you are making. What made you want to take on this CRM marathon in the first place? What did you want to accomplish along the way? For instance:

  • Were there certain levels of CRM adoption you wanted to reach? Pick one key group that you know CRM can help and reach out to the leader as a champion.
  • Were you interested in improving mailing lists or event management? Focus on one communication or event list that is important to certain key stakeholders and get the data cleaned.
  • Did you want to identify a certain number of relationships to enhance business development? Consider investing in an Enterprise Relationship Management (ERM) system to automatically capture contacts with minimal attorney effort.
  • Do you have bad data? Get a Data Quality Assessment to assess the project scope and deploy part- time or full-time Outsourced Data Quality Professionals to help with the cleanup effort.

Just take the hurdles one at a time, slow and steady. Keep breathing and remember that each hurdle cleared gets you one step closer to the finish line…

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Chris Fritsch
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