The Importance of the Discovery Phase in Your CRM Implementation

The Importance of the Discovery Phase in CRM Implementation

The discovery phase of your Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) implementation is particularly important as all of the information gathering you’ve been doing up until now, the systems inventory, existing process documents, and more that we’ve covered in our CRMready Workshop, finally comes together.

We spoke with Lisa Fay at JDRF after they successfully implemented a new CRM, and she had some great tips for those just starting the process. When JDRF started their discovery phase, they thought of it as a treasure hunt as they were trying to unearth everything about their current systems and processes.

Information you will need to gather for the Discovery phase:

  • Systems Inventory
  • Sample Reports and Lists
  • Business Processes
  • Investigate Data Sets
  • Existing Process Documents
  • Interviews with Staff

One of the most important pieces of information gathering will be your staff interviews. Sometimes the problems you are identifying in this phase are ones that the staff already have great ideas on how to solve. Many times your staff have just not had the opportunity to talk about the problem or they have not had the right processes in place to properly solve the issues. With these staff interviews, you might be able to clean up some of your legacy processes before you even implement your CRM.

JDRF was able to humanize the Discovery phase by involving their end users and department heads early on, which was a key part to their change management strategy. The Discovery phase provided the team with guidance on their priorities and the employees took ownership of the process.

Results of the Discovery Phase:

  • Frames the CRM Design
  • Clarifies Your Priorities
  • Defines Phases
  • Identifies Gaps and Risks
  • Resources and Timelines

Another benefit of the Discovery phase is the ability to communicate with employees about the fact that there might be a few bumps after implementing your CRM and that is to be expected. It is also a great time to communicate what the CRM can and cannot do.

On paper, the Discovery phase may look drab, but JDRF really enjoyed this process as it can be creative, collaborative and fun as well, like a treasure hunt!

Watch the CRMready webinar now!

For more information and details on CRM implementation, please check out our CRMready webinar workshop where you can qualify for a FREE CRMready assessment and review our case study with JDRF.

Monika McMahon

About Monika McMahon

Monika joined Heller Consulting after spending 8 years in the Boulder technology startup scene. She is an expert in Social and Digital marketing, adopting and implementing new (and old) platforms for organizations ranging from ecommerce, SaaS, and nonprofits. Monika not only understands how these platforms work but how to use them to meet business objectives. When she is not educating and sharing her online talents, she can be found enjoying the music scene in Denver.

One comment

  1. Another great benefit of the Discovery phase is that it often acts as a forum to get stakeholders and project team members talking for the first time. I have noticed that a lot of great ideas are communicated between team members during discovery sessions, and stakeholders begin to get an idea of what a new system, could do for them.

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