You are an excellent gifted and enthusiastic CTO to whom the management has just proposed THE strategic project of the year : The deployment of the new CRM ?
Now, it's a big challenge ! You know you must work with Richard, your amazing gifted sales manager. And Richard has a clear definition of what he wants or he doesn't want. On the CRM question, it's simple, he wants Salesforce. It's the best, it's simple. Problem : You already discarded this solution because it don't answer to your technical constraints.
You thank about all the ways to avoid this war in preparation : Gifts, congratulate on his new tie, don't cross his way by all means...
Come on, don't loose your tine anymore, follow the guide and our celebrate method called ICEMAP to make this CRM project a technical, functional and human succeed
I as Involvement
A CRM project is a software project : You already took time to benchmark the market, to compare different solutions (SugarCRM vs Salesforce, SugarCRM vs Dynamics...), to study question of scalability and server sizing. Well! But don't forget a essential part of the succeed : User Involvement.
I heard you, you say : "It's easy, everybody know that. We know it's important to involve users, ....". OK, but in the reality, it's not always take into account. This explain disillusions and fails.
A CRM project needs to have a real strategy for sales management of your company. It's crucial. So At the beginning of "for ever" CRM project is officially launch, don't forget to involve Richard and other service managers. The change management will be great!
C as Communication
Richard like simplicity, flexibility, efficient and all sort of gadgets. While you, what you are interested by is all about technical aspect : you want a performing server witch is the least energy consuming in terms of network, ressources and maintenance... Richard and you aren't in the same level of requirements et you don't speak the same language : Communication will be complicated.
So take the lead and listen what really motivate Richard in order to quickly bring him to realize that there are other alternatives to Salesforce. Really care about his needs : ask him about his stakes, the way he works, what he wants improve... The "How", It's you who do proposal to him after these exchanges. You can also help him to go further and to answer to his needs, in proposing innovative functionality. Reassure him on the fact that today technique and functionality are not opposite.
E as Ergonomics
You know, Richard like when it's beautiful and playful... By the way, The CRM will become his daily work tool an work with AS400 like software, it's not really motivating. It's mandatory for your sales manager and for his team to have a user-friendly software.
Ergonomics means the capability for the tool to evolve depending on time and sales method, but also to be customizable. Finally, the question of accessibility is primordial.
M as Mobility
A Sale move a lot and you need to think about in your CRM project. Users must be able to user the CRM everywhere, every time and on every devices. Users can be offline but they need to work. The CRM must be able to use in offline mode.
A as Autonomy
Help Richard is a good thing ; but limit him in this daily use, it will be a big mistake. Richard is a quite rebel and he need to have his freedom ! For example, Richard needs to create his own report as he wants.
It's really important to allow Richard to do this. He ill appropriate the CRM quickly, but also you will gain time for everybody. Prepare the software for avoid big mistakes and let him do it.
A as Post-Project
Your CRM project must be evolve every time. New need, new use and new sales strategy. You must see the sales manager regularly to update your knowledge on the needs and update the CRM.