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When it comes to rolling out CRM, you need to “think big, but implement in stages,” says John Johnston, eBusiness Marketing Manager for Volvo Construction Equipment .

As you’re building out your integrated CRM strategy for your whole organization, think about what your database is and the inputs you create. Will they or will they not integrate with your CRM system? You want to integrate with as many systems as possible. “The goal is to use CRM to compliment, not replace, your existing data,” Johnston explains.

“Next step is to identify your key deliverables/key performance indicators (KPIs) and synchronize them with your CRM application to make your customer relation campaigns measurable,” Johnston adds.

Got the “big picture”? Test it out with a small group of people and then roll it out in stages to others.

“Realize that when you implement your CRM not everything is going to go the way you want it to go at first,” admits Johnston, speaking specifically of a stumbling block his team had with data integration.

Volvo Construction Equipment discovered that certain data couldn’t match with their existing content. They had to replace the source and the data feed, which slowed them down and forced them to regroup.

In his closing advice, Johnston suggests that if you’re interested in a CRM solution, you need to get a team together to determine what your short and long term solutions are. Figure out what you can and can’t do. Ask lots of questions now, because they’ll be a lot easier to tackle before you start implementing.


Thank you, John, for sharing these tips! To hear more about Johnston’s experience with implementing a CRM application, check out the rest of our interview.

Tags : B2B / CRM / Strategy