What makes CRM successful in professional services firms?

Following this series of blogs discussing the Implementation of CRM systems within professional Services Firms, we look at the second key to success.

The second critical success factor is being really clear about what CRM means to your firm? 

For some CRM is no more sophisticated than a place to store their business contacts’ names and telephone numbers, whereas for others it’s about identifying and exploiting the most profitable opportunities. 

Neither of these is necessarily wrong.  However where things to tend to go awry is where users expect they are getting the latter and the project team is aiming to achieve only the former in the first 12 months.

Once you have identified and agreed where your firm is aiming to get to on the CRM continuum, then it becomes possible to define the processes that need to be in place to support that objective.

The diagram below aims to show the dynamics that are often in operation in a firm in relation to system purpose and business processes.  

Generally speaking those firms that are clear about the purpose of the system (and have communicated it effectively) and have well defined business processes to support CRM, are much more likely to succeed than those that lack clarity or have informal processes.

In the next blog we’ll discuss the role that technology can play to support a successful CRM programme.

Blog 1- Explicit Management Support 

Blog  3- Clear understanding of the role technology plays

Blog  4-Clearly articulated data managment strategy