That first step – it can make or break you. In sports, that first step can launch you into the lead of the race, or help you beat your defender down the field. A good first step often puts you in position for success. It’s no different in business, especially when it comes to technology.
Gleanster’s recent marketing resource management (MRM) benchmark report says “every initiative that is funded has a risk and a reward…as the project champion for MRM, you need to demonstrate that the reward is tangible and more importantly, the risk of failure is negligible. Safe investments get funding.” There’s no better way to mitigate your investment risk than taking a good first step. In this case, that first step is an easy, successful deployment. Here are five keys to making sure deployment of your MRM system puts you in position to succeed.
- Find the right partner
Your vendor should “own” the launch plan. They should be actively asking for materials and information, scheduling calls, asking questions, setting up the proof of concept, etc. Your vendor should also keep in mind that you are the expert in your business – they should listen to your processes and set up your MRM system around those processes. Ideally, your vendor should also have some domain expertise as well. For example, highly regulated industries have unique requirements, so partner with someone who has experience in that environment.
- Take a phased approach
Gleanster stresses ease of deployment: “Implementation phases should be carefully chosen so the scope of each step is limited and still lays a foundation for future change.” Start with a beta group to learn what users want and what questions they have so you can improve in the next phase of launch.
- Engage the user-base
Weekly status calls with stakeholders mean engaging reps from marketing and sales, as well as those operating within different levels of the technology. This ensures the system is not just set up for corporate use, but for better usability among end-users everywhere. Weekly calls should continue for some time after the beta and company-wide launches.
Your vendor should be highly engaged in the training process. Vendors know how to launch and train appropriately – they do this a lot! Effective training increases user adoption which means success for both you and the vendor, so this should be a priority for them. Vendors should provide training materials such as slide decks, FAQs, videos, webinars, etc. with input and approval on your end.
- Ongoing support
Deployment is not a 90-day-and-done process. Vendors who abandon you after their initial 90 day launch are not investing in your success (or their own, for that matter). Lines of communication should remain open and ongoing to ensure the system is evolving and scaling with your business.
There’s no one formula for a successful deployment, but adhering to these principles will help you get out of the gate and take that all-important first step in making your investment a worthwhile one.