Technology change management customer experience projects

The importance of Change Management in Customer Experience Management projects is widely underestimated

Whenever a CRM project is less successful by not realizing the planned benefits it is commonly accredited to a poor software solution or data inconsistencies. Those factors are undoubtedly prerequisites for making any IT project successful, but they cannot solely ensure the project success. Even the best-in-class CRM solution is pointless if the people in your sales department do not understand the reasoning, benefits and the proper way to utilize the system most effectively.

Today bad or non-existing change management is one of the main reason why CRM projects fail.

Tailored change management approaches are key
Change Management methodologies are a dime a dozen these days. Every company has its own methodology and claims to have the ultimate approach. Indeed by taking a closer look they are very much alike each other across all industries, processes or technologies.

Considering that every project has a unique reason and specific impact on the target group it is inexplicable that those approaches are not particularly shaped for their individual purposes. Especially in areas of CRM projects it requires a specifically tailored change management approach to effectively manage the change, ensure business continuity and realize the project benefits.

Characteristics of the target group in CRM projects

The basis for all change management activities within a CRM initiative is a detailed analysis of the target group namely marketing and sales employees. It is crucial to identify their characteristics, analysis the respective challenges and derive the proper question to be addressed by shaping the ideal CRM change management approach:

Focus on Selling the company’s products and services is the core objective for everybody involved in sales. Sales people are measured and incentivized against their sales figures and they will only achieve their sales target by maintaining a close and reliable customer relationship. Any activities that are not directly contributing to those two objectives in a positive way will not receive much attention.

Especially in sales, people have very limited time. Be it a request from the customer, a deadline for the next offer submission or preparations for the upcoming internal sales call. Sales persons are very limited in their time they can spend besides their core working activities.

Sales Performance can be easily measured against sales figures, but it is very difficult to measure process compliance.

With this condition in mind, sales people will always prioritize closing a sale at the expense of process compliance as secondary objective.

Even in globally organized companies sales people have a regional focus due to the customer proximity.

This implicates not only the geographical aspect, but also the culture and regional processes variations.

Sales people are very mobile and spend only a minor part of their working time on their desk. Internal sales meetings, customer meetings as well as travels make up the major part of the working time.

Accenture helps tailoring your CRM Change Management approach

Having identified the main characteristics and challenges specifically for CRM projects it is essential to define appropriate means to cope or ideally take advantage of those factors and integrate them into the overall change management approach.

CRM specific change management plans are based on a detailed analysis of the change and target group, decision makers and influencers. Accenture reverts to an extensive set of experience in CRM projects.

Communication throughout all channels must be short, precise and role specific to attract sales people. Reducing the distraction from daily work to a minimum and simultaneous deliver all important messages and benefits in an effectively and appropriate manner is key for a successful CRM project and ensuring business continuity.

The Accenture Training capability network with highly skilled training experts offers a broad range of different types for short and precise communication.

Process compliance is very much correlated to the company culture and how this is affected by the change. Even if it is not visible at a first glance, every change is affecting the culture and processes of a company. Especially in CRM projects with direct customer interaction it is crucial to measure, consecutively sustain and ideally improve the process compliance. Accenture Change Tracking tool offers predictive capabilities, helping executives set a more successful course for change, monitor progress and take corrective action as needed.

Both in communication towards the target group as well as gathering feedback it is crucial to establish a regional network of change agents. In combination with a strong leadership support it is one of the core factors for the success of a CRM project. The Accenture Global Network, the largest and most diversified group of technology, business process and outsourcing professionals in the world.

Leveraging mobile and social media to seamlessly integrate change management into the daily work of the sales person must be an integral part of any CRM change management approach. Mobile learning applications as well as social networks guarantee access to vital information as well as an effective help and feedback channel everywhere at any time. Accenture is a specialist in developing concept, layout and content for applications for the target audience and helping clients leverage collaboration technologies to help drive successful change.

The holistic change management approach

The previous elaboration of characteristics and means is not exhaustive for a tailored CRM change management approach and always subject to a detailed analysis on the specific targets at project start.

Nevertheless it summarizes the most important challenges and focus areas that need to be addressed within the scope of Accentures’ holistic change management approach:

For the Planning Phase (1) Accenture is providing highly skilled experts, valuable experiences as well as methodologies and tools to set the base for a CRM project specific change management approach.

In the Execution (2) Accenture is ensuring that all planned activities are prepared and executed according to the tailored change management approach while minimizing business disruptions.

Finally and equally important is the Post-Deployment (3) to sustain the results of the change. Accenture ensures that plans and targets are continuously revisited, appropriate actions are derived and executed by establishing an ongoing capability to manage change throughout the organization.

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