Changing Crm-Cs Tool? your 5-Stepguide to a Smooth Transition
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Changing Crm-Cs Tool? your 5-Stepguide to a Smooth Transition

Rami Sarabi, Sr. Operations Manager, Campbell Soup Company
Rami Sarabi, Sr. Operations Manager, Campbell Soup Company

Rami Sarabi, Sr. Operations Manager, Campbell Soup Company

You are tired of the CRM tool you and your team are using. You have the green light from the C-Suite to get a new tool(s), now what?

Change is difficult and no matter what potential providers will tell you, it will be an enormous amount of effort. However, the payoff of improving your customers’ satisfaction, empowering your team, and gaining and sharing insights with the entire organization is well worth it.

I found the below points helpful streamlining the process

1. Understand why you want to make that change

The prospect of having a new tool is exciting. However, you need to make sure that you certainly need to change your current provider. Define precisely what you and your team are trying to accomplish. The best way to go about this task is to conduct Gap analysis.

Conduct roundtable meetings with your team member, and with stake holders from other departments. During these meeting, you need to evaluate the existing solutions. You would be surprised how often existing solutions will meet the needs of the organization if they were configured properly.

Draft a wish list of tasks, processes, automations, and omni-channel goals you want to have. Don’t limit your imagination, go for it. Think big and bold, trimming the scope of what can be done will come at a later point and will be part of the final decision-making process.

2. Get people involved early

The last thing you want to do is to surprise stakeholders with your big project. You should communicate your intent during cross-functional meetings early on. This will help you get the buy-in from different departments when you need them, and you will need every bit of collaboration when the time comes to implement the new solution(s).

Checking with your finance team and determining your current spending and the budget you need/have will be essential. Engage with finance immediately as this will give you an idea on who to consider as a provider.

 Working with your IT team is essential, you need to understand what kind of infrastructure your company uses 

Working with your IT team is essential, you need to understand what kind of infrastructure your company uses. This will have an impact on what providers you may want to consider.

3. Write a comprehensive RFP

Writing an RFP can be a daunting, yet it saves you a lot of time when vetting potential vendors. Even though this solution is oriented towards your department, it is critical to have stakeholders review the RFP as it will touch the infrastructure of your organization. Marketing, Operations, and IT should have at least a look at the RFP before sending it out to selected vendors.

The RFP should encompass your vision. Security concerns need to be listed regarding your customers’ PII and GDPR compliance if you are operating internationally. A specific timeline should be spelled out to when you are expecting the proposals and the expectations of completion dates. Many vendors will refrain from submitting proposals as they can’t meet the criteria, which saves you time.

When you work on the RFP, keep an open mind. There will be providers who claim to be a one stop shop, which may seem appealing from an ease of implementation point of view. Nonetheless, it comes with limitations as it would be difficult to cover all channels in one solution and be the best at it. You maybe surprised that you can secure the best in class solutions by using multiple up and coming providers.

4. Use your network

Word of mouth is still golden. Connect with your peers in the customer experience world. CX Conferences are great venues to build a network of professionals who can give you advice based on their previous experiences. Ask your peers for their opinion and if they experienced the vendors you are considering, or if they can connect you with someone who did.

The feedback you receive from peers tends to be more honest and direct compared to references provided by vendors. Setup 30-minute meetings with peers who are using solutions you may consider, ask them about their experience with the provider throughout the process: Sales, project management and development, deployment support, training, and customer success support

5. This is a marathon, not a sprint: timeline matters

Set expectation to yourself, your team, and stakeholders. The timeline of implementing a new solution varies depending on the scope and complexity of the project. At a minimum it will take you 6 months to complete this properly and it may take a full year to see it through.

It is important to make sure you put your project on the development roadmap early on. You will need to campaign internally to prioritize your project as it will be competing with other projects. In larger organizations, you will be assigned a project manager who will help keep the timeline on track and work with the project manager on the vendor’s side. In smaller companies with smaller scopes, you will find yourself wearing the project manager hat. Utilize a project management tool such as Podio, asana, monday or Jira to make sure you are keeping track of the timeline and tasks.

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