We get asked all the time, can you tell me the number one thing we can do to ensure that CRM is successful at our bank? The answer is easy, executive buy-in! But what exactly is executive buy-in and how do you know when you have it? Now those are hard questions.
What Executive Buy-In Is
There is something important to understand about executive buy-in if you are ever going to get to the heart of what it is. Often we assume executive buy-in for projects like CRM result from meetings where we get the “go-ahead nod” from executive leadership to proceed with the process. But often this first approval is seen by the executive leadership as a low risk way to explore options, understand potential benefits, and to learn costs. It’s a great first step, but it’s not the type of buy-in you will need to ensure a successful implementation of CRM, nor the type of buy-in you want. Even if you get the final purchase approval or agreement to “cut the check”, you still may not have true executive buy-in.
The buy-in you are looking for is the type that comes from doing! Your executive leadership needs to have sweat equity in the process to really buy-in and to have the genuine authority to demonstrate that buy-in to others in your organization. Buy-in comes from doing, not just talking. Walking the talk, as they say. So, give your executive leadership specific tasks to accomplish through each phase of your CRM search, selection, implementation, and go live. If your executive leadership seems unwilling to follow through on these tasks, then you can rest assured that you don’t yet have the right type of buy-in you are looking for. Executive buy-in is doing!
Here are suggestions and tips for gaining executive buy-in through various CRM milestones.