A ZOHO CRM implementation can be a big investment for any business. Unfortunately, for many companies, the whole realm of CRM is a mystery and, as a result, the CRM implementation process is set-up and executed arms-length from company management and stakeholders. This results in higher implementation costs, lower acceptance levels, and even corporate in-fighting.
So it’s important that companies undertaking a ZOHO CRM implementation understand and engage in the process. Every implementation will usually involve roughly the same phases:
Obviously, each implementation will have it’s own unique twists but generally the process will follow the same pattern.
A proactive company can do a lot of the groundwork before their implementation. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is relying too much on their consultants. They take the view that their only role is to approve the work and sign the checks.
But if they were more involved, they would be signing smaller checks and increasing the likelihood that their implementation will be successful. In looking at the process there are many ways for a company to eliminate the work that a ZOHO CRM consulting company will charge significant dollars to do.
The Discovery Phase is an important opportunity for a company to take charge and dictate the direction of the whole process. Most companies are surprisingly passive during this phase. Often, they’ll let their consultants determine every aspect of the Discovery without question.
But a company can do a lot of pre-work to cut the costs of this phase and control the CRM implementation path. The information gathered during Discovery will dictate the nature of the business processes that are built into ZOHO CRM, the roles of each of the users-as well as their security permissions, the nature and degree of customization, and which data gets migrated. And this all flows through to the end-user training and has an important impact on the number of licenses that are required.
One of the simplest and most crucial activities a company can do for itself is to properly document the processes that they hope their CRM implementation will capture. This should start with meetings with the relevant stakeholders and end users. It should reveal the smallest detail of each process. It should also be an opportunity to streamline processes.
Once these processes are documented, it will become apparent, among other things, what data needs to be tracked, which fields need to be migrated from legacy systems, what other applications need to be integrated with ZOHO CRM, which users need to have licenses and what security should be granted to them.
The value of the client-consultant relationship is usually based on the level of service that a consultant can provide. However, when companies believe that their consultant should present them with a ready to use CRM solution on their go-live date, almost like a Christmas gift, they do themselves a disservice. Their passive approach to their ZOHO CRM implementation will cost more and be less likely to succeed.