Most banks have implemented CRM systems with varying degrees of success, often replacing old systems. The following guidance applies to the selection, implementation and remediation of CRM systems:

Have Clarity of Vision

Be clear on what you want your CRM system to do. As banks are now distributed across many channels, the CRM system must break down silos to share information about customers with those that need it, in real-time. This saves the customer  repeating themselves or replicating data if using an ‘unassisted’ channel. It should also be easy for staff to use.

Select the Right CRM for your Needs

This means involving the ultimate users in the selection process. It is crucial to involve users in the system and process design projects.

Look at it from the customer’s eyes. While not advocating that the customer is involved in the buying process, employees who interact with customers should be involved in the specification and selection process.

Lean CRM

This is only building and releasing functionality that is necessary to avoid overwhelming users with information and training that they’ll never use.

When operational, only ask users to collect data if it is to be used – because 50 per cent of what many users are asked to collect is not used!

Deploying functionality in phases builds up users’ skills, experience, and confidence, and that helps adoption.

Executive Sponsorship and Leadership

This isn’t only visible leadership; the project must be championed by someone who is recognised by the users. They not only need to promote it but also visibly use it.

CRM Champions

These are CRM ‘superusers’ who promote and mentor adoption and best practices and are involved in selection and implementation.


Integrate and streamline marketing and sales processes. Automation should remove unnecessary administration tasks and help them do a job better. More time with customers. Nearly two-thirds of an employee’s working day is spent on unproductive work.

Communicate the Benefits

Successful implementation depends upon ‘winning hearts and minds’. Local and recognised CRM Champions and the Executive Sponsor play an important part in winning the battle.

Training and Accreditation

When choosing a new CRM system, ensure that it is easy to set-up and easy for employees to learn how to use.

Accreditation ensures that users feel recognised and competent following training.


Align CRM processes to customer journeys, to improve efficiency, but allow flexibility as no customer journey is linear.

Measure Success

Having identified the problems of underperforming CRM systems, offered solutions, we must consider how to monitor success.

  1. Employee adoption – measured through data, aiming to achieve at least 80 per cent, focusing on the lowest unit possible. Involve leadership and champions;
  2. Features used, not used – an obvious marker of the adoption rate;
  3. Increase in sales – from a baseline before the new or replacement system or remediation of an existing system;
  4. Improvements in customer satisfaction scores – a used CRM system should help improve customer satisfaction scores – from a baseline before the new or replacement system or remediation of an existing system;
  5. Reduced customer attrition (improved retention) rates, from a baseline before the new or replacement system or remediation of an existing system.