A Guide to CRM Leadership – What Makes a CRM Project Successful

The success of a CRM project depends on several components. Technical expertise and a detailed implementation plan are solid foundations to start from, but it’s also crucial to remember another key element: leadership.

So, what role does leadership play in a successful CRM project? According to Warren Butler, marketing director at the Microsoft partner agency Preact, “it might come as a surprise how many businesses investing in CRM systems end up producing results short of expectations.”

The root of the problem often is business leaders assuming that “users will immediately embrace a new CRM system.” There are, however, a few steps leaders can take to help their teams understand and embrace a new CRM system.

How to Efficiently Lead a Team to a New CRM System

The initial stage of any CRM project should include a clear and detailed vision of what results you want to achieve and a project management tool to help you handle it with ease. Key executives and leaders should always be involved in this decision. Only once this has been clearly defined you can share the vision with the rest of the team.

When introducing a CRM tool, leaders’ major mistake is focusing too much on processes and technology, overlooking the people these systems should benefit from. Making sure the whole team is confident with a new system is the key to success.

Team meeting

Here are a few considerations to underpin a successful CRM project:

• Explain your vision – Users need to understand how you envision the CRM working to achieve your targets. Share these targets with them and explain what role CRM will play in it.
• Delve deeper – Don’t assume that everyone will attribute the same value to a CRM system. Instead, take time to educate the team on how this will be implemented and share with them what CRM success would look like in an ideal world.
• Lead by example – CRM project should be initiated by leaders who are as committed to the new system as they expect the rest of the team to be.
• Understand user needs – When choosing a new CRM system, take a moment to think about the end-users and what tools would be most beneficial to them.

Team meeting pt2


One last word of advice for leaders looking to implement a CRM strategy: Use the CRM System. It might seem futile but, over time, companies might forget about their CRM systems. Make full use of the data and metrics gathered via your CRM as a basis for reporting and setting goals.

From time to time, it might be the case you will need to review your systems; if users request changes or improvements, take it as a sign that the CRM system is being used to its full potential.