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How to Build an All Star CRM Project Team

By 07.28.15
Reading time: 3 minutes

On the surface, drafting a project team appears to be a fairly basic task, but ultimately, the team that you bring to the table will determine the fate of your CRM project (or any project for that matter). One could make a comparison to building a championship baseball team. The gut reaction for a senior leader in an organization is to draft players of like mind and status. In practice, that team would consist of ~10 senior executives that have one centralized view of how the bank or credit union runs day to day from approximately 36,000 feet. This would liken to your baseball team consisting of all 30 year old skilled athletes that have been playing the game at a high level since college. The views, opinions, and processes of the C-Suite are different than those that are actually out there standing at the plate or playing on the field.  This is not to say that having senior leadership on your team is not important, but in order to transform an organization from product driven to relationship driven, your day to day relationship experts must also have a position on the team.

I bet your first thought when I said relationship experts was “she must mean our commercial loan origination team, maybe the wealth managers or possibly our residential mortgage lenders?” Those folks are important players on the team and should carry a starting position but the all stars of your team will be your later round draft picks from Retail Banking, both tellers and platform service representatives. It has become obvious, as I tour the country and talk with different banks and credit unions, that there are differing views on how the organization runs depending on the person you talk to. An organizational transformation project, such as CRM, will allow those opinions to come together on a team to flush out how the organization actually runs. The truth of the matter is, the truth normally lies somewhere in the middle.

Let’s recap our current draft status, we have established the need for a strong presence of C-Level leadership as well as having the representation from across all facets of the bank. This is a major turning point in our search for the perfect team, the perception across our industry is that divisions of a bank are siloed and with that, functionally do not need representation. That may be true at the onset of this project, though, will not be true going forward. CRM is the platform to break down those silos in the organization and provide insight into customers’ behaviors, their relationships with your organization, as well as who and how your employees interact with customers and prospects that span multiple divisions in your organization.

We find ourselves in the World Series of projects, and we have the dream team on the field:

  • Executive Sponsor: Top down buy in is extremely important for this project. This should be either a C-level executive of Operations, Marketing, IT, Retail, Wholesale or Wealth.
  • Project Manager: This should be a technical but yet business process minded individual that works for a division of the organization that services the organization as a whole. (ie: Marketing, Operations, IT)
  • Divisional Leadership: Marketing, Operations, Retail, Wholesale, Wealth, IT, Risk/Compliance
  • Customer Facing Sales Team: Residential Loan Originator, Wholesale Lending Originator, Consumer Loan Originator, Retail Banking Customer Service Representative and a high performing teller.

That’s it! Everyone is in position and can begin the trek to becoming the best team in baseball… or banking that is. I speak from experience that this team referenced above can provide the leadership, vision, and follow through required for a successful customer relationship management project. You cannot go wrong with a strong cross functional team.

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