Take Ownership of your CRM Project

One of the greatest challenges my business faces as a GoldMine CRM software consultant is the lack of internal project ownership on the part of my clients. This creates an opportunity cost to both my business and my clients. Let me start with a brief explanation of the opportunity costs.

The opportunity cost to my firm, First Direct Corporation, is obvious – it is the lost professional fees for services that are NOT rendered such as GoldMine consulting, technical time, GoldMine training, etc. The opportunity cost to my clients is that they fail to realize the available benefits of the software they’ve purchased.

As you can appreciate, it is to the mutual benefit of both my business and my clients to mitigate these costs. This would mean more revenue for us both. A true win-win!

So what’s the problem, you might wonder. That is where the challenge that I referred to in my opening sentence comes into play — the lack of internal project ownership on the part of my clients.

It would be natural for you to assume that it is my responsibility to manage the project. To a certain extent that is true. But here’s the practical reality:

  1. My GoldMine professional services are optional – The customer calls all the shots – I am not in control of what services they use. As an old expression which applies, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.” 

  2. Each customer’s expectations, needs and access to resources is different.

  3. The customer inclination is generally to limit the use of outside professional services in order to save money.

  4. The customer doesn’t know what they don’t know and therefore are often unaware of the potential for the software, best practices as well as the pitfalls with CRM.

  5. There is often a disconnect within my client’s organization – IT, Management, Users, and Ownership, etc. are often unaligned. The tendency is for there not to be anyone inside the client firm who “owns” the outcome, nor who stays fully on-top of all the aspects needed for a truly successful system. Again, a lack of project ownership and project management.

As a result of the challenges I am describing, it is terribly easy for the following to occur:

  • Important details and next steps are dropped or overlooked.

  • The GoldMine CRM system is not properly or fully configured.

  • GoldMine Users are not adequately trained.

  • Expectations for usage are unaligned.

  • The firm gets off on the wrong foot and data isn’t entered that should be or is entered inconsistently.

  • More advanced benefits that can be derived from CRM reporting and analysis, marketing, management, etc. are not realized.

  • Satisfaction and results from the GoldMine CRM investment is not optimal.

I have tried various methods to promote our professional services and improve the results.  And I’m sure I could do a better job staying on top of customers to remind them of what they’re missing!  But ultimately, the only solution that truly works is for company purchasing a CRM system to take ownership of their CRM project and to dedicate the time, attention and resources such a system requires.

The challenges of a successful CRM implementation are not insurmountable by any means. And, it is well worth it to both the customer and my firm to do so. It is in our mutual best interests for a customer to be satisfied and to achieve a higher return on their CRM investment.