CRM, a Change Campaign: You’re Done. Now What?

CRM, a Change Campaign: you’re done, now what?

You are done?! Yes, “live” on your CRM! Now what? You want to be more than just “technically” live on CRM – you want people using it in targeted, high-value ways that grow your business.

Today’s topic is your “post go live” operations and process. First, though you should have all this outlined, resourced, communicated weeks before go live. In fact, to be most effective, create your staffing plan and process for post-implementation before you even begin your CRM project. With the proper resources in place, you can achieve practical success (in addition to technical success) through proper communications and expectations management.

Go live considerations:

  1. CRM philosophy. As your business stakeholders if CRM serves “the greater good” vs “cater to every whim” vs “something-in-between.” A clear philosophy will facilitate easier decisions and the proper staffing to meet your organization’s needs.
  2. End-user support. There are many models you can adopt. Make sure your end users know who to call for what and, when they call, what to expect. By this I mean, what is expected of them before they call and what solutions may (or may not) be presented upon their inquiry.
  3. New feature requests. As I always say, not all ideas are “great” ideas but it’s encouraging that people are engaged enough with the system to request new stuff (or even report problems). You need a process to prioritize and implement the high value requests and say “no thanks” (in the nicest possible way) to the low value requests. You also need a definition of what could constitute a “high value” request. In the end, all new features should impact how your business plans to grow its business.
  4. New feature roll-out. As your roll-out new features (or improve existing configuration), how will you communicate with your end users? What is the intersection between training, documentation and end-user support?
  5. User groups. Users groups are a great way to communicate and feel the pulse of end users. Continue those relationships you’ve built with your key stakeholders and give them the time and attention they deserve. Remember, they were all part of “go live” and you can’t abandon them now that technically, you are live on CRM.
  6. CRM settle time. Socialize the end of the project at the onset of the project. While you don’t know what you don’t know, you do know that not everything will be perfect. Give your CRM time to settle.
  7. Recognize and reward those users doing outstanding things with the CRM. Take advantage of the fundraiser’s competitive mindset – publicize your organization’s own newly created best practices (you’ll hear them through your user groups)– this encourages others to think creatively and get on the “cool kids” list.
  8. CRM use vs. adoption. Adoption is not the right conversation. You first have to know how you want to use CRM to help your staff meet business goals. Identify the 3-5 high value outcomes / benefits in advance and talk about those through-out the project.
  9. Finally, the work is never done. Your CRM and associated processes will settle but you always want to evolve in a strategic manner. Keep blooming. After all, Spring is on the way. Because it always is.

    Lisa Fay Wellek

    About Lisa Fay Wellek

    Lisa Fay Wellek has worked in the nonprofit sector for 20 years with focus on integrating CRM with fundraising. She is the owner of Philanthropy361 LLC, which consults with non-profits about how to best implement and strategically use CRM. She is a frequent project member with build Consulting. She was with JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) for 10 years in various roles including Chief of Staff for Development and most recently, National Director of CRM Strategy. With Lisa Fay’s leadership, JDRF launched LuminateCRM - a Blackbaud product that uses as its development platform. She believes that in today’s fast paced tech-focused world, non-profits must invest in the right infrastructure and staff in order to be sustainable (let alone grow). Previous posts include: Stevens Institute of Technology, KPMG Consulting and University of Connecticut Foundation.

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