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The Importance of a CRM Communication Plan During Implementation

Having a CRM communication plan is crucial, especially during implementation. To promote user adoption, try communicating “Up, Down, and Out.”
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Customer relationship management (CRM) system implementation and upgrade projects are exciting but sometimes challenging for organizations. Change isn’t easy, so clearly communicating CRM updates is imperative if you want new processes to stick.

Consider These CRM Communication Plan Tips

Business Technology Solutions professionals at FORVIS have years of certified experience with various CRM systems. Throughout this experience, our professionals have seen that communicating “Up, Down, and Out” can help promote user adoption. Including the tactics below in your CRM communication plan can help you cater to different needs.

Communicate Up

Communicate successes, milestones, and budget updates to executive sponsors, managers, and other senior-level stakeholders. You’ll want to highlight project scope updates to this group and emphasize what accomplishing each task means to the organization. Manager meetings can be a good time to share this information.

Communicate Down (or Across)

Schedule update meetings at appropriate intervals throughout the project timeline with the people who will be using CRM the most. Use this time to have your CRM project manager work with CRM users to identify pain points, debunk misconceptions, and emphasize CRM benefits. Knowing that the system can help them with their day-to-day activities can help bolster user adoption.

Communicate Out

Maintain regular communication with your implementation partner. Your implementation partner is an external consultant or vendor company that provides the technical ability to set up the CRM system. It’s better to over communicate than under communicate with your implementation partner—because you probably know your business much better than they do.

Communicate Before, During, & After

How you communicate with CRM users before, during, and after your CRM project also is important.

Communicate to your team before the project kicks off. This could be done with pre-planning meetings, project update emails, or even by hosting a project kickoff party to engage the team.

During the project, communication will be critical. One of the communication tactics we use is a project newsletter sent twice per month. The project newsletter can include training tips, case studies (which may be provided by your implementation partner), and process communication to help define what business areas or processes will be impacted.

After the project launches, it’s important to maintain consistent communication. Consider emailing CRM tips and user experience surveys on a regular schedule to keep the momentum going. There is no endpoint; only continuous user adoption and education.

Open and consistent communication throughout your CRM implementation or upgrade project can help to keep the project in scope, on schedule, and within budget. For more CRM communication plan tips or if you have questions, use the Contact Us form below. The Business Technology Solutions team at FORVIS is ready to assist you with your CRM projects and goals.

Related reading: Six Roles to Assign During Your CRM Implementation Project

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