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Digital Transformation Begins With the Customer: Five Keys for Building a Successful CRM Roadmap

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Business leaders are becoming increasingly aware that they must embrace digital transformation to remain competitive. This can mean a number of things depending on the organizational maturity and marketplace. One thing it always includes is the idea of leveraging cloud technology to become more customer-centric. Cloud-based CRM has emerged as the platform of choice for a 360-degree view of customers and customer interaction. It is no longer the domain of sales alone, the entire organization must be customer-centric. This shift in thought requires a comprehensive plan that engages everyone. Here are five keys that will put your organization on the right track.

Begin With Vision

Digital Transformation Begins With the Customer: Five Keys for Building a Successful CRM Roadmap 1Too often at Silverline, we see organizations begin down the path of CRM adoption because of a perceived urgent need to keep up with the competition in new technology, only to flounder. This is expensive and rooted in a feature focused plan without a clear business outcome in view. Leadership must set a clear course that the organization can rally around. Often this is not considered a priority for busy executives or urgency seems to justify skipping this step. Don’t do it! Without a clear target to shoot for, we are 100% guaranteed to miss the mark. Recently, I worked with a financial institution whose leadership vision was to grow market share by increasing the quality of service and introducing customer education tools. Within the organization, there was also a desire to improve operational efficiency by reducing interaction with customers. Without a clear vision articulated across the organization, they would likely have begun marching in the wrong direction.

Determine Business Value Alignment

Digital Transformation Begins With the Customer: Five Keys for Building a Successful CRM Roadmap 2With a clear vision in mind, each portion of the business can begin identifying what they need that will help meet that vision. We find in most cases the teams already have great ideas in mind. The real challenge is to determine which ones should come first. At this point, these ideas are really assumptions that must be tested. We do this by conducting workshops where we quantify the impact of assumptions and assign value related to the business goals. This becomes essential later as we prioritize work and also when we are trying to identify when to stop investing in a specific idea because it has reached its maximum value curve state. To make it onto the roadmap, every idea must have a defined prospective value.

Create Measurable Business Metrics

For every idea that is accepted into the roadmap, we must have a way to measure if impact value assumptions are correct and we are in fact achieving the desired outcome. The temptation of many teams is to create metrics that are tool or product based because those things are often easiest to report and measure against. Resist this temptation and push to define a technology and tool agnostic metric that shows business value from the effect of the idea, not the outcome of the tool.

Adopt a Program Mindset

Becoming customer-centric across an organization is transformational, painful at times, and requires changes to people, processes, and systems. One of the worst mistakes is to attempt too much in the first phase. Approach this as a program that will have many phases which inform, validate, and evolve your understanding and approach. Don’t assume all of your ideas are going to work, in financial terms it’s much better to “dollar cost average” your investment, double down on the successes, and quickly stop investment into things that don’t yield measurable results quickly.

  • Roll out quick small releases with just enough business value to be measurable.
  • Start with a program governance plan that establishes roles, responsibilities, and process standards that allow you to make measured, informed decisions.
  • Establish a change management plan that anticipates and supports continuous user adoption across the organization.

Build a Vertically Integrated Team

Remember, the goal of having a customer-centric organization is for all aspects of the organization be engaged correctly. This has to be both horizontally across teams and vertically across roles. Don’t assume leaders understand the nuances of activities and processes within their team. People are creative and they will solve problems in many ways that their managers are unaware of. With that in mind, make sure to engage a strong vertical cross section from each team as stakeholders and empower them. If the loudest voice drives the agenda you will lose the wisdom of the team.

By executing these key areas, your organization will be on the way to digital transformation. Our team at Silverline has the tools and the expertise to support you along the journey and help build out a successful CRM roadmap to success, contact us today.

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