CRM Implementation Best Practices – Part 5, Impact and ROI

For our last post, we shared CRM Implementation Best Practices – Part 4, Data Management. This is the last of our CRM five-part series:  1) Getting Buy-In, 2) Planning and Budgeting, 3) Implementation, 4) Data Management, and 5) Impact and ROI.

This is Part 5 – Impact and ROI

Full implementation of a CRM system can take considerable time and effort. It’s important to track and measure impacts along the way, so you can determine ROI, demonstrate benefits, and celebrate success. This will increase buy-in and help you maximize the effectiveness of your system.

The following is what our peers had to say about the differences CRM made in their firms.

Kim Hafley comments:

We’ve seen three main impacts from CRM. First and foremost was the amount saved in printing and postage by cleaning up the data for all the mailing lists. That in itself was in excess of six figures.

The second was that, instead of entering data three times and having it take 24 man hours a month, it’s down to about 4 man hours. Over a year, that’s a huge chunk of somebody’s job, so we’ve freed up that time.

The third has to do with Christmas. We send out cards to a large list and run a huge event — a dress rehearsal with the Grand Rapids Ballet. By using CRM, we were able to reduce the time all this  from 300 man hours to 50.  We now have a great system that uses the Mailing List Manager, and the attorneys update their lists. We are able to email out invitations, and participants are able to sign up. We have their tickets waiting with their attorneys when they arrive so they get a personal greeting from their attorneys. It’s made the event a huge success.

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CRM has also enabled us to make sure our messages get out to the right people, as well as to print out reports that help our attorneys with cross-selling opportunities. They love that!
— Barbara Joseph

 

Barbara Joseph comments: 

We’ve received the most positive feedback and praise for how ContactEase has enabled us to be more proactive. For example, our data steward will use the system to run a report and give it to our client and industry teams with a note asking them to identify contacts to remove or add for a specific client or organization. It has also enabled us to make sure our messages get out to the right people, as well as to print out reports that help our attorneys with cross-selling opportunities. They love that!

CRM has saved us money, too. When I started, we were publishing and mailing about 8,000 copies of a glossy magazine three times a year. Some people were getting more than one copy, and that was expensive. By using CRM to de-duplicate and massage our data, we cut our mailing list down to 5,000. That’s a huge savings! Now we’re able to build up the list with the right people by using CRM to identify contacts who should be getting the magazine. It’s a great tool.

So is Mailing List Manager, part of our CRM system. We have an annual tent party at a West Virginia University football game and send out 5,000 e-invitations. We used to have to look through our old database, run a separate Excel spreadsheet for every attorney and
circulate it. They would mark it up and return it, and   we would then have to go in, change the data, enter the information, print it out, and send it to the printer for the mailing.

This morning it took me less than 30 minutes to update my Mailing List Manager and send an email to our attorneys saying “Here’s a spreadsheet with all your contacts. Please mark who should be invited to the tent party.” As the attorneys mark the spreadsheets, Mailing List Manager automatically updates the information in our database. When I need to, it will take me 15 minutes to pull an Excel spreadsheet for the mailing and send it to my printer. Mailing List Manager will save me 20 to 30 hours of work, just for that one event.

Joy Long comments:

For me, the benefit of using CRM is just amazing. For instance, we were able to get rid of six-figure printing, postage and mailing costs. Also, before CRM we were able to send out only two or three things a month because of the incredible time involved. Now I’m able to work with the different industry and practice groups and expand our blog platform. So today we have eight blogs and seven newsletters, and we regularly send out seminar invitations and special client alerts — all without having to increase staff!

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Before CRM we were able to send out only two or three things a month because of the incredible time involved… Today we have eight blogs and seven newsletters, and we regularly send out seminar invitations and special client alerts — all without having to increase staff!  — Joy Long

Because we’ve gained so much efficiency with the CRM, it’s easier to send out things.  Something that would take two or three days is now down to a matter of minutes because you’re putting the tools in everybody else’s hands. It’s just so much more efficient!

For the full white paper visit our website – http://colevalley.com/Resources.aspx

 

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CRM Implementation Best Practices – Part 4, Data Management

Last week we shared CRM Implementation Best Practices – Part 3, Implementation. This is our CRM five part series:  1) Getting Buy-In, 2) Planning and Budgeting, 3) Implementation, 4) Data Management, and 5) Impact and ROI.

Part 4 – Data Management 

Inconsistent, inaccurate, duplicate, and incomplete data can cause chaos even after a successful implementation. The more effective CRM implementations have made a focused effort on data integrity. Some firms use a data steward who assumes the primary responsibility for managing the accuracy and reliability of a firm’s data.

Hear from these panelists how, if you practice good data management and implement a constant cleansing process for your CRM, you will be able to actually realize its full potential. That’s when your CRM data is really an asset!

View More: http://benjamindavidphotography.pass.us/foster-headshotsKim Hafley comments:

We use CRM as a broad data management system. We have in it not only clients, but also referral sources and people who attend our events or subscribe to our newsletters or blogs.

Before CRM we had seven databases and knew that people were getting multiple copies of mailings. So we focused first on getting that data cleaned, because we knew that from a business-case perspective, we’d be able to show that we were providing better client service, saving money on printing and postage, and ultimately getting the materials to people on a more timely basis. That was phase one.

We also knew that each of our attorneys has a business development account, and we had a system where the data was getting entered three times, which was obviously very ineffective. So we worked with Cole Valley on using the tracking module to come up with asystem that enables the attorney or the attorney’s secretary to enter a business development expense, get reimbursement and create a report.

We also helped marketing use the module to create a tracking system that shows how much we’re spending on entertainment versus individual corporate sponsorships. So it’s been a win-win all the way around. We’re actually working on phase four right now.

“If you spend time on the front end making sure that your data is the best it can be, you’re going to be a lot better off. The data stewards aren’t going to have much in the way of cleanup.” — Kim Hafley

Joseph_Barb_PP (1)Barbara Joseph comments:

Having a data steward really helps us get the most from CRM. She can run all kinds of reports, and see changes or updates to the data that have come through. Particularly when a new attorney syncs his or her data with the database, the data steward looks at it and notices if there are any process errors. If so, she goes in and tries to correct them. Otherwise, it’s that junk-in, junk-out issue. The reports she runs at different intervals really help, and ContactEase has all those reports built in so you can easily get them. That’s been very helpful.

It’s easier to manage shared contacts if each of our attorneys doesn’t have 2,000 of them in the system. CRM enables our attorneys to choose whether to share an Outlook contact, or keep it personal. We’re not asking them to delete anybody from their overall contacts, but just to choose which to share with the overall system. If they haven’t had any contact with someone in the past five years or can’t verify that the person is alive or dead, we ask them to make that contact personal or delete it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJoy Long comments:

When I did the audit I mentioned, one key question was “Where does all the data in the firm lie?” I’m not just talking about the mailing lists, but also Outlook data, Excel spreadsheets and maybe industry lists or other mailing lists.

I wanted to look at that from the get-go and determine where the communities of data were and what made the most sense in how to bring it in. It’s very easy to end up with garbage in, garbage out, so you essentially get one shot at this. Finding and cleaning the data took six to seven months, because it was like building a layer cake. How do you bring in new data so you don’t put garbage on top of clean data? That was really a huge challenge for us.

If you spend time on the front end making sure that your data is the best it can be, you’re going to be a lot better off. The data stewards aren’t going to have much in the way of cleanup, and it won’t take as long as before. It’s still critically important, because once you let it go, it goes downhill really fast.

Stay tuned for next week’s article – CRM Implementation Best Practices – Part 5, Impact and ROI. For the full whitepaper visit our website – http://colevalley.com/Resources.aspx