Maximizing Success With Vertical CRMMaximizing Success With Vertical CRM
Once you have waded through your myriad choices of vertical CRM vendors and approaches, the real work begins. Here are some tips for ensuring success with your vertical CRM implementation.
July 30, 2003
Once you have waded through your myriad choices of vertical CRM vendors and approaches, the real work begins. Here are some tips for ensuring success with your vertical CRM implementation:
Quantify the results you need down to the return-on-investment level. "If you understand that by reducing the amount of time one of your contact center agents spends on the phone resolving a customer's problem translates into reduced overhead or hiring needs, you're really using the solution effectively," says Chris Fletcher of the Aberdeen Group. Have executive leadership and accountability. "That drives organizational alignment around the initiative," says Rod Johnson of AMR Research. Get users on board. "Put the functionality in front of the people who will actually be using the product and touching the customer," recommends Chris Selland, managing partner of Reservoir Partners, a CRM consulting firm. "It creates advocates and prevents a lot of change management issues." Avoid the big bang. "Companies that go for very large implementations also tend to have large failures," says David Strauss of Chordiant Software Inc. On the other hand, companies that take smaller steps can better ensure that they will meet their business objectives. Incremental changes also don't require as much training or cost, and smaller successes may even allow you to fund additional work, he notes. Hold your vendor to a fixed price, fixed duration agreement. "Have skin in the game where there is benefit-sharing for both sides," says Richard Eyram, VP for vertical solutions at Pivotal Corp. "If we way we will deliver in three months and we don't deliver in that time frame, you should withhold payment." Pay attention to user adoption issues. User adoption of CRM is much more difficult than with other applications, so make sure to invest in training and education," Johnson notes. Don't take anything vendors tell you at face value. Keeping a close eye on the process every step of the way, Fletcher says, will help avoid problems. Return to main story, Tech Guide: Vertical CRM Stands Up to Scrutiny
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