The Lean Approach to CRM Projects

December 10th, 2012 by

You hired a company to get your CRM project operational, a project plan was developed and you spent the money to install the CRM.  Now you are looking at the adoption reports and you have identified that you have a low adoption rate of the CRM. How can this be?

Many companies experience low adoption of CRM because the approach to implementing is based on securing project funds; and getting the CRM into the hands of the sales people prior to validated learning on what features will drive the adoption of a CRM.  The approach that POIM has taken to address these issues is a Lean CRM.

The Lean CRM approach is based on the Lean Start-up; this is a business approach coined by Eric Ries that aims to change the way that companies are built and new products are launched. The Lean Start-up relies on validated learning, scientific experimentation, and iterative product releases to shorten product development cycles, measure progress, and gain valuable customer feedback. In this way, companies, especially start-ups, can design their products or services to meet the demands of their customer base without requiring large amounts of initial funding or expensive product launches.

Basic Concepts of a Lean CRM Project:

Minimum viable product– A minimum viable product (MVP) is the “version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.

Continuous deployment– Continuous deployment is a process “whereby all code that is written for an application is immediately deployed into production

Split testing – A split test or A/B test is an experiment in which “different versions of a product are offered to customers at the same time.

Actionable metrics– These are in contrast to ‘vanity metrics’ – measurements that give “the rosiest picture possible” but do not accurately reflect the key drivers of a business. Actionable metrics can lead to informed business decisions and subsequent action.

Pivot – A pivot is a “structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth.

A CRM is a great tool that will drive productivity of your sales and marketing operations, but to ensure you achieve the productivity gains companies must approach implementation with measured approach to identify what is required to get the desired results.

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