You are an excellent gifted and enthusiastic CTO / CIO to whom the management has just proposed THE strategic project of the year : The deployment of the new CRM ?
Now, comes the real challenge ! You must work with Richard, the amazing gifted sales manager. Richard has a clear vision of what he wants and what he doesn't want! On the CRM question, it's simple, he wants Salesforce! It's the best and it's simple. Problem : You already discarded this solution because it did not answer your technical constraints.
You think about all the ways to avoid this battle, in preparation : Gifts, compliment him on his new tie, or just avoid him at all costs...
Come on, don't waste anymore of your time, follow the guide and our trusted method called ICEMAP to make this CRM project a technical, functional and human success!
I as Involvement
A CRM project is a software project : You already took the time to benchmark the market, compare different solutions (Odoo vs Salesforce, SugarCRM vs Dynamics...), study question of scalability and server sizing. But don't forget the most essential part of the project : User Involvement.
Of course we say : "It's easy, everybody knows that. We know it's important to involve our users, ....". OK, but in the reality, it's not always taken into account. This can lead to disillusions and worst of all project failures.
A CRM project needs to have a real strategy for sales management of your organization. It's crucial. So before a "forever" CRM project is officially launched, don't forget to involve Richard and the other sales managers. THis will result in excellent change management!
C as Communication
Richard likes simplicity, flexibility, efficient and all sort of gadgets. On the other hand, your interests are in the technical aspects : you want a high performance server which is the least energy consuming in terms of network, resources, and maintenance... Richard and you aren't on the same level of requirements as you don't speak the same language : Communication will be complicated.
So take the lead and listen to what really motivate Richard in order to quickly have him realize that there are other alternatives to Salesforce. Really care about his needs : ask him about his stakes, the way he works, what he wants to improve... The "How", It's you who will do the proposal to him after these conversations. You can also help him go further and answer his needs, in proposing innovative functionality. Reassure him on the fact that today technique and functionality are not opposites.
E as Ergonomics
You know, Richard like when it's beautiful and playful... By the way, The CRM will become his daily work tool and work with AS400 like software, is not really motivating. It's mandatory for your sales manager and his team to have user-friendly software.
Ergonomics means the capability for the tool to evolve depending on time and sales method, but also to be customizable. Finally, the question of accessibility is essential.
M as Mobility
A sales representatives are on the move and you need to take that into account with your CRM project. Users must be able to use their CRM everywhere, anytime, and on any device. Users can be offline, but they need to be able to work. The CRM must be usable offline and work easily updated when they have internet access again.
A as Autonomy
Helping Richard is a good thing ; but limiting him his daily use would be a big mistake. Richard is a quite a rebel and he need to have his freedom! For example, Richard needs to create his own customizable sales and activity reports.
It's really important to allow Richard to do this. He will appreciate the CRM quickly and this will allow time for everybody to adopt. Prepare the software to avoid big mistakes and let him get involvedt.
A as Post-Project
Your CRM project must be able to evolve over time to new needs, new uses, and new sales strategies. You must see the sales leadership regularly to update your knowledge on the needs and update the CRM.
CTO : Make your sales manager happy !