Replacing your CRM/CMS? Steps for success.

Replacing your CRM/CMS? Steps for success.

You know you need to modernise your CRM system and your website needs to be refreshed, aligned and integrated but where do you start?

As you embark on this journey, you are not alone. Many organisations within this sector and outside are on this path – so we have pulled together a series of blogs with a few hints and tips to help steer you in the right direction.  We will start this series by creating your business requirements.

Member engagement and CRM continue to be amongst the top challenges stated in Memberwise digital excellence survey 2019.  Of those organisations surveyed, Memberwise cites 40% think they have inadequate integration between web and CRM, that’s 4% higher than last year which is concerning. A single view of your members’ activity is a critical element in member engagement and therefore retention, to achieve this you need to get a handle on the siloed database sprawl.

What’s next?  The Discovery Phase

The first and most important step in this journey is a full review of your business requirements; this will ensure that you have fully scoped and defined the outcomes you are aspiring towards.  It is vital this is done in isolation of what the latest and greatest technology out there may promise.  The technology must fit the business requirements not the other way around, this trap is all too easy to fall into and is often the main contributor to an unsuccessful CRM/CMS project.

You have the business buy-in, but do you have the commitment from all the key lines of business and do they understand their role?  This should be a programme that spans many lines of the business, IT/Marketing/Finance etc.  The business needs to own this programme and be accountable to ensure subsequent success.

Start with a clear understanding of the current state, this will enable you to assess improvements and measure success.  Don’t underestimate the importance of assessing all the databases you have across the entire organisation.  To achieve that single-member view, you need to see where all this information is hosted, with a full understanding of what needs to be pulled together.  The hosting of data across email, social marketing accounts, web forms, help desk, events, training, surveys etc all have to be evaluated.

When reviewing business requirements, create a team from across the business at all levels, new systems require a cultural shift, so to ensure that it is a fit, not a force, include users as key members of this team.  This will give you the end to end view, from user’s needs through to senior management team and board level.  A sub-set of this team will also be critical in the interview panel when the tender process starts.

During this discovery phase, you will most likely identify some quick wins, they are key in a project such as this.  The majority of this project will happen behind the scenes, therefore being able to show ‘demonstratable’ progress to the business can sometimes become quite challenging.  Remaining agile and addressing some of these quick wins can add real value back to the business.  These can be anything from small process changes to resource realignment – but can return real benefits.

Remember changing your requirements once the project is in flight will not only impact the time scales but the costs too – potentially resulting in a sub-optimal solution.  Don’t put your head in your hands, it may be daunting but not as challenging as you may fear.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help, while this process is not complicated it does take time.  Investing now will, of course, save you time and money during the project life.

If you want to read some more of our thoughts and advice on your digital journey we have created articles designed to focus on the key areas.

Planning and running the tender process
Supplier Selection
Managing the project from end to end
The Last Mile
Data empowers decision making

Chrysalis Digital provides a digital transformation service designed to help build a more agile, efficient and innovative organisation. With its broad cross-sector experience Chrysalis has helped many organisations map their digital path and through careful planning and assessment, choose the right technology partners. Chrysalis Digital is 100% agnostic when recommending CMS and CRM suppliers to its clients.

If you need any help with the next steps in your journey please call Ben Sturt on 07469 768990 or email

20 November 2018

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