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 Is Executive Buy-In?
Often, we assume executive buy-in for projects like CRM results from meetings where executive leadership gives a “go-ahead nod” 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 learn costs. It’s a great first step, but it’s not the type of buy-in you will need to ensure a successful CRM implementation, nor the type of buy-in you want. Even if you get the final purchase approval or an 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 have the genuine authority to demonstrate approval to others in your organization. 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 type of buy-in you are looking for.
Here are suggestions and tips for gaining executive buy-in through various CRM milestones.