How to Determine if Your CRM Deployment Is Complete

By Geoffrey James

Is your CRM system up to snuff? According to GCCRM, an independent CRM evaluation organization, there are 17 key parameters that define a truly robust CRM implementation.

1. Loyalty. The system increases the number of customers who want to do business with you, results in referrals from existing customers to new customers, and increases the overall customer satisfaction level.

2. Intelligence. The system helps you define the what, why, how, when and where of your customers’ needs. Customer data is managed with accuracy and completeness and updated as necessary.

3. Value. The system increases customer revenues through up-buys, cross-buys and referrals; adds to customer profiles with demographics or industry codes; increases customer profitability; and adds customer lifetime value.

4. Experience. The system maximizes customer satisfaction by exceeding customer touch-points and expectations at critical moments and is aligned with your company’s desired brand values.

5. Vision. The system is part of a vision that is aligned with your company mission and values and appeals to all stakeholders. This vision is concise, verifiable, feasible and inspirational, and appropriately reflects your company to customers and prospects.

6. Strategies. The system helps your company learn more about customer needs and values and changing customer behaviors. It builds better customer relationships and leads to higher loyalty, revenue and profits. Interactions with your company are meaningful and valuable in the eyes of customers.

7. Objectives and Performance Metrics. The system has clear objectives and performance metrics, including customer loyalty, customer value and customer process efficiencies that are aligned with your company’s vision and strategies.

8. Change Management. The system has been installed and upgraded using a change management strategy that helps manage employee resistance to using the system. A motivation and reward system is in place to encourage system use.

9. Employee Buy-In. The system’s users are equipped with the proper software and hardware combinations, along with the skills and attitude required to use the system effectively.

10. Communications. The company’s CRM vision and strategies as well as the supporting rewards and performance measurements have been communicated clearly to all employees.

11. Organizational Structure. The system is supported by an effective organizational structure that enables different departments to work as one team to serve customers with a common language and goals.

12. Information Flow. The system tracks the entire customer information flow, from prepurchase marketing to after-purchase, and supports the whole customer process cycle in a way that is customer-focused, inter-connected and fully integrated.

13. Organizational Alignment. The system’s functional requirements are mapped in accordance with the business and technical requirements of the participating organizations.

14. Requirements Mapping. The system’s technical requirements are based on the sales and business process requirements as delineated by the company’s overall vision, strategies and objectives.

15. Integration and Compatibility. Customer-oriented systems such as marketing, sales, fulfillment and service are well integrated and compatible with other front-end and back-end systems.

16. Vendor Selection. The system’s technical requirements have been communicated to both vendors and the in-house IT team, with proper negotiation, reference checks and pilots. Evaluation is made from both end-user and customer perspectives.

17. Evaluation. The system includes quantitative measurements, such as total costs of ownership, timeliness and return on investment, and qualitative measurements, including user-acceptance, problem-solving capabilities and other direct and indirect benefits.

The above is based on a presentation provided to SellingPower by GCCRM, an independent CRM evaluation organization founded in 2001. They can be reached at