How to implement the CRM system?

Below we will give main recommendations how to properly organize the “CRM International” implementation process in your company. In our recommendations we consider that the company doesn’t want to prolong the process and is aiming for fast results as well as willing to avoid difficulties which can occur during the implementation process.

We will describe step-by-step technology of work for implementation of the CRM system. Goals, results and possible methods of implementation of every stage will be given. Step-by-step execution of work allows to receive the desired result in short time.

The implementation of the program “CRM International” can be performed using the following methods:

  • Implementation with fixed term and cost of works – “Express implementation”. Is applicable for:
    • Small business OR as a pilot stage of a big project
    • Companies, implementing standard business processes and methods of the program “CRM International”
  • Implementation without functional change (minimum programming) – “Standart implementation”. Is applicable for:
    • Small and medium business
    • Companies, implementing “CRM International” with insignificant changes of business processes and with the big number of implemented “CRM International” modules
  • Implementation with significant functional change – “Project implementation”. Is applicable for:
    • Medium and big business
    • Companies with high degree of regulation of business processes and significant changes of business processes and methods of the program “CRM International”
  • Implementation of CTI technologies separately. Is applicable for:
    • Companies with working CRM system
    • Companies aiming for fast implementation and results

When implementing business solution “CRM International”, its standard possibilities for setting up the program in the user mode without changing (programming) the standard “CRM International” configuration are enough for most of the basic tasks of a company. If it is necessary for the needs of your company you can make changes in the standard configuration (except basic versions). Adding of changes (programming) should be performed by the qualified specialist, certified for the system 1C: Enterprise 8. If the changes are small, such works can be executed with the approved tasks (lists of works). If you want to make significant changes, it is better to use the project technology (creating detailed technical specification).

Implementation stages

  • First stage: pre-project investigation
  • Second stage: design
  • Third stage: development, creation of working documentation
  • Forth stage: implementation, data transfer, transfer of collected data, user training, trial operation
  • Fifth stage: project audit

Let’s see how to prepare to the implementation of CRM system.

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Preparing implementation

Preparation to the implementation process can be something of a great value. To define how to implement CRM system, whether to use external consultants, whether changes (reworking) of the system are needed, you need to perform a number of preparatory actions.

First of all you need to decide what exact problems and tasks the CRM system has to solve for your company:

  • Formulate desired goals and implementation results;
  • Define authorized responsible project manager and key staff from your company (project team);
  • Define desired budget and project terms;
  • Make yourself familiar with possibilities of the software product “CRM International” and associate them with the needs of your company;
  • Define implementation method and clarify project terms and budget.

To successfully implement CRM you need to identify current problems of a company, and clearly define goals and purposes of the implementation project. Henceforth the variants of use of the CRM system will be defined based on that data. If the project initiator doesn’t have clear vision what tasks should be solved during the implementation process, the project will be useless. During the project you need to constantly ask yourself “What is the purpose of doing this?”

One of the factors of success is the organization of the project team, consisting of your company’s employees, having deep knowledge of their fields of work and organization structure of the company. All team members have to be motivated to make the project successful.

The implementation team has to include: the company chief executive, chiefs of the departments, in which the program is implemented, leading area (leading specialists of the departments). You have to distribute between team members the roles which they will perform during the implementation project: project lead, project sponsor (executive), project consultants, system support specialist, and system administrator. One person can fulfil several roles or one role can be distributed between several team members.

The project budget and time play significant role. You need to understand that you cannot reach maximum result for the shortest time having financial limitations. Thus you need to find the middle ground between several project interests and select two of the three priority tasks: system functionality, time of implementation and project budget.

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Holding of consultation workshop

To participate in the Consultation workshop you can check the contact information on our site.

Purpose of the workshop:

  • To get an idea about how to organize the work with clients and to make it more efficient, using the CRM system;
  • To find out how to solve daily tasks with minimum time and effort and how to increase the transparency of processes in your sales department, marketing department and support department;
  • To reveal problems in the area of work with clients and formulate the changes your company needs;
  • To form the common understanding in the company of the necessity of the CRM project, it’s goals and purposes;
  • To understand how the functionality of the “CRM International” can be used and what is needed to be changed in the program according to your company’s specifics.

Format of holding of the workshop is the open discussion, during which the consultant demonstrates “CRM International” functionality and describes the program possibilities, answers questions and offers possible solutions for your problems, actively shares his/her experience in performed implementation projects.

Who is recommended to participate in the consultation workshop: chief executives of organizations, sales department’s chiefs, chiefs of marketing department, support and other departments for work with clients. This way in the workshop participate all the people who will be included to the project team for implementation – project team of the client.

After participation in the consultation workshop your employees get better understanding of CRM technologies and how CRM can help them in their work; common understanding of necessity of CRM is formed in the company. You get better understanding of possibilities of the standard functionality of “CRM International” for performing daily tasks of the company as well as of what program modules are needed to be set up and reworked for your needs. Thus you can knowingly take decision about features of the CRM system which will be most useful for you and what implementation method will be the best.

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Implementation stages

The standard CRM implementation project, considering specific needs of a company and including participation of external consultants consists of the following stages:

  • Pre-project investigation, creation of Pre-project report;
  • Design, creation of Technical specification;
  • Development:
    • Building-in of “CRM International” into existing accounting system (if required),
    • Transfer of data from inherited automation systems (if required),
    • Defining methodology of work with CRM system, setting analytical catalogs, properties and characteristics,
    • Programming (if required),
    • Developing working documentation (user manuals),
    • Testing.
  • Implementation:
    • Transfer of collected data,
    • User training,
    • Trial run,
    • Putting into operation,
    • Project audit.

Let’s look at the stages of implementation of the CRM system in its full version, including tuning and programming for the specific needs of a company and with the participation of external consultants.

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First stage: pre-project investigation

The first stage is needed for evaluation of the company needs and of the possibilities to satisfy those needs when implementing CRM.

Purpose of the stage: to make detailed analysis of current business condition in the area of client relationship management, reveal problematic places and understand desired business condition.

The stage includes series of interviews help by members of the project team with executives and employees of different departments of the client company.

At the pre-project investigation stage the following information has to be received:

  • Company organization structure;
  • Company’s products and services;
  • Existing classifications and client characteristics;
  • Client portraits;
  • Production distribution channels;
  • Sources of attraction and sales stimulations or marketing mix (marketing tools);
  • Main business processes of departments of a company;
  • Currently used analytical tools and reports.

During the pre-project investigation at each stage it is necessary to discover possible problematic cases. The list of goals and purposes, describing the desired situation, is formulated. The implementation purposes are needed for evaluation of results of the project of implementation of the CRM system at its conclusion and at the audit stage.

The pre-project investigation results in the report, describing what is necessary to implements in the system – “What has to be done?” On this stage you don’t need to try to build detailed design of the system or thoroughly describe implementation methods. This will be done at the next stage – preparation of Technical specification which answers the question “How exactly to do what is described in the Pre-project report?”

At this stage project costs are evaluated and you get an idea about how and what can and needs to be done.

Based on the information, collecting during the first stage, the schedule chart of the project is created. After that the schedule will be refined and specified as we progress from one stage to the next one.

Results of the first stage

The results of execution of the first stage of work are:

  • “Pre-project investigation report”: in this report it is described what has to be done.
  • Understanding of current problems regarding CRM and possible solutions for these problems.
  • Understanding of the further working plan, budget and expected project results.
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Second stage: design

During the second stage the design of the implemented CRM system is made. Purpose of the stage is to describe the program implementation methods, described in the Pre-project investigation report. The stage result is the creation of the “Technical specification”, which answers the question “How exactly to do what is described in the Pre-project report?”

For implementation of methods, described in the Technical specification standard mechanisms of the program “CRM International” can be used; also additional modules for automation of the company’s specific needs can be developed.

The technical specification includes methods of implementation of requirements for the program, description of required settings and changes in the program; examples of screen forms of interfaces of documents and reports; print forms of reports or other materials, describing how to fulfill the program requirements, described in the “Pre-project investigation report”. To check the results of the work of the program we recommend preparing test examples (detailed description of a through standard task).

Every change of standard functionality of “CRM International” has to have evaluation of time resources, needed for that, and cost of implementation of a new functionality.

Results of the second stage

The stage results in the creation of the “Technical specification” document, which includes methods of implementation of needs of the client – company, in which the CRM system is implemented – described in the Pre-project investigation report. The technical specification has to be clear for both the project manager and the programmer and do not have any ambiguities.

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Third stage: development

The purpose of the current stage is the development, tuning and testing of the program according to the Technical specification. In parallel with the program’s tuning the documentation for working with system (user manuals) is being prepared. As soon as the modules are ready, consultants have to discuss and seek approval of the developed modules with the clients.

The third stage consists of the following sub-stages:

  • Building-in of “CRM International” into the existing accounting system (if required),
  • Defining methodology of work with CRM system, setting analytical catalogs, properties and characteristics,
  • Programming (if required),
  • Developing working documentation (user manuals),
  • Testing.

Building-in of “CRM International”

The software product “CRM International” can be built in into an existing accounting information system developed using the technological program 1C:Enterprise 8.

Programming

At this stage the “1C:Enterprise” programming specialist develops the new functionality and makes necessary changes in the configuration “CRM International”. The work is performed according to the implementation methods, described in the “Technical specification”.

Setup

The purpose of the stage is to prepare the system for work of users. At the current stage main accounting parameters are set, information catalogues are filled (necessary analytics is created), interface setup is performed and roles (sets of access rights for groups of users) are defined; users of the system are registered and interfaces and access rights are set for such users.

Data values for setup have to be described in the “Pre-project investigation report” and “Technical specification” documents.

Developing working documentation

The purpose of the stage is to develop understandable and easy instructions for all users how to work with the CRM system.

The stage has to result in creation of easy and understandable instructions for your company’s employees about how to work with the system. The instructions have to take into account specifics of work in the organization and computer skills of the employees.

Testing

The purpose of the stage is to check the performance of all implemented modules and units of the CRM system. Examples of tasks for testing are described and approved at the design stage.

The performed setup has to be in accord with the requirements from the “Technical specification” document. During the testing the list of discrepancies is created and the order of their removal is coordinated.

The testing is performed using preliminary prepared by the client's responsible employee examples or as a trial run of the system.

Results of the third stage

The result of the current stage is ready CRM system, adapted for use according to your company’s needs and prepared working documentation.

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Forth stage: implementation

The purpose of the current stage is to make the system ready for operation.

Current stage consists of the following sub-stages:

  • Transfer of collected data,
  • User training,
  • Trial run.

Data transfer

If necessary, it is possible to transfer data from inherited automated systems to the created CRM system.

Transfer of collected data

Information about clients from different electronic sources (inherited automation systems, electronic spreadsheets, etc) is transferred to the CRM system.

User training

You need to train the employees of a client – company, implementing CRM system – how to work with it. The training is performed by the implementation team of single specialist - instructor. It is recommended to train groups consisting of no more than 7-10 persons. Better to perform training separately for employees of the sales department, marketing department, support department and group of executives, if such possibility exists. Such method is recommended because every single group has different tasks. It is also necessary to prepare the training schedule and make employees to be familiar with it.

Trial run

This is when all employees of the company start to work with the CRM system. For this purpose the CRM system is installed on server and users’ workplaces, actions for providing information database security are performed, user passwords for logging into the system are set. This work should be performed together with the technical support service of the company.

Operative feedback regarding the system exploitation has to be possible. The project lead will need to receive operative information about system work and suggestions for its improvement.

After the trial run stage the company’s employees have to learn to confidently work with the CRM system and the additional system tuning has to be done according to the received suggestions.

Results of the forth stage

After this stage users have to know how to perform their daily duties with the help of the CRM system.

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Fifth stage: audit of the project

The implementation of the CRM system is the permanent, constantly developing process. To successfully achieve your goals you need to control this process and to perform corrective actions. For that you need regularly perform the audit (analysis) of the work of employees with the system. With the help of such audit it is possible to control how the created regulations for work with the CRM system are working.

According to the results of an audit recommendations for corrective actions, necessary for improvement of the work of the system and achievement of implementation purposes, can be formed.

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