Part 2. Getting the Design Right

The correct design should reflect the goals of your CRM strategy. These might be:

      • To help sales people manage and close opportunities
      • To give sales managers a complete view of the pipeline, and to automate sales forecasting
      • To safeguard ownership of the sales pipeline, a key company asset
      • To make sure that your organisation has a full picture of every sales process
      • To provide a complete picture of every customer to those that need it within your organisation
      • To run and track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
      • To provide better service for your customers

“all of the above”

Many people will answer “all of the above”, and most “both sales and marketing”. If this is this case for you then it is best to start with the sales process and then bring the rest on line afterwards. Why? Because marketing and support teams are well disciplined people, used to and happy to accept automation, and they know that their tasks cannot be achieved without a system. Sales people, on the other hand, are perfectly capable of making a sale without a CRM system so their cooperation cannot be taken for granted. So design your system so that it meets the needs of the sales people, and then fit marketing and support/service around that.
For sales people to use the system fully, it must be both useful to them and easy to use, so don’t make the design too complicated. The more complicated the design is, the more fields you add to each screen, the more screens you have to go through to add a contact, the more barriers to successful adoption you will have erected. Every extra field you ask the sales person to complete, especially mandatory ones, the greater the chance that the sales people will enter garbage, leave fields un-entered, or simple only use the system under duress.

So, take Leonardo da Vinci’s motto “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” to heart and


      1. Start with the minimum design, not the ultimate, to get people using the system
      2. Make sure that as many fields as possible have sensible defaults
      3. Make sure that key fields that you wish to capture (like marketing source) are shown on standard reports so that if they are not completed it is obvious

Design by Democracy or Dictatorship?

Somebody in your organisation, maybe yourself, will be tasked with choosing and implementing your new CRM system. Should you solicit the views of everybody in each department, or should you simply impose a system because you know best?

Both approaches have their drawbacks. In the former “design by committee”, the risk is that in order to please everybody the resulting design will incorporate every feature ever invented, and then some more.
This will result in a complex system that will be expensive to purchase and set up, and then fail because people can’t use it, or can’t be bothered to use it. The latter approach will result in a lean minimalist system, easy and fast to use, but the risk is that other departments may reject it because they were not consulted.

You need to ask everybody want they want, ask them again what they really need, decide for yourself what the pay off is between functionality, cost and ease of use, then get everybody’s buy in for the final design by cajoling and argument. And people think Kofi Annan’s job was difficult!

10 Critical Factors in choosing a CRM factors

A six-part blog about how many CRM implementations go wrong because implementers fall into the same common traps. This Guide lists the ten most common pitfalls, and how you can avoid them.
•  Part 1 – A Brief History of CRM
•  Part 2 – Divided into Getting the Design Right,
• Part 3 – Choosing the Right System,
• Part 4 – Cloud v Local Application
 Part 5. Getting the Adoption Right, and
• Part 6. Avoiding the Pitfalls,

This guide will show you how to make sure that your CRM system will be a success, based on real life experience.
Knowing what the pitfalls are is more than half the battle.

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