A crucial aspect of a startup on hypergrowth stage is scaling processes and building a CRM adapted to your key needs. I had the opportunity to implement a CRM from scratch for Nubelo using Salesforce.
It is not an easy decision for a company to jump from pre-defined CRM to a customised CRM. It is hard because prices jump from two-digit monthly subscriptions to 5 digits yearly licenses, development costs and in most cases a need of adopting new technology in your tech stack. Stuff to consider:
Do proper research on providers: functions, pricing, reviews, success cases, etc.
Take into consideration not just capabilities, but marketplace extension and future connections with other tools.
Spend time planning the project. Designing the base is one of the most important steps.
Don’t be cheap hiring an agency to develop the tool if you don’t want to kick-off your CRM already with legacy.
What did we learn?
If you want to challenge your project management skills, try to build a CRM for +50 salespeople in 2 continents and 6 countries that have been using tons of spreadsheets because the current CRM doesn’t work (familiar story, right?). Some key learnings that may be useful:
Map the current process, even if it is the craziest one that you have seen and doesn’t make sense at all. It will help to understand how to migrate the team to use the new tool and process.
Define phases. The Sales team will escalate to high complexity very quick, looking to include all ‘what if’ cases from the beginning. If this happens, the adoption will be much harder.
Collaborate with the Sales team from the beginning, and get their feedback and sign-off at each step.
Plan the launch like another product. Can you launch it for a micro-team first? A specific region? Test and validate small, and expand to the rest after.
In this case, the product team led this implementation, but in some cases, it is ignored by Product as it is ‘a Sales problem’. Defining ownership and development of third-party tools could be determined differently depending on the company, but Product should always participate as a stakeholder, as ‘a Sales problem’ not resolved is ‘a Product problem’ because it will impact your product.