Measuring Your Advancement CRM Project Success: Going Beyond Time and Budget


Your Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) platform impacts every facet of your organization. Because it is so deeply ingrained in everything you do, you must have ways to measure its success. Measuring the long-term success of a CRM implementation must go beyond time and budget.


This is because advancement CRM platforms are starkly different from legacy systems, and there should be additional, dynamic measurements of success. 


Here’s what to consider. 

Decision Making 

When it comes to your CRM, the efficiency of your decision-making is more of an indicator of success than people tend to focus on. Stalled decisions are likely because of a gap in understanding. Often these gaps in understanding may be harder to detect users may be afraid to tell someone and appear inadequate. 


This is why efficient decision making is a key indicator of your CRM’s success. If you’re experiencing delayed decision-making throughout your CRM implementation, you must get to the root cause.


Evaluate what you are trying to accomplish and why—specifically, what is the big picture? Ensuring your team has a keen understanding of your goals and objectives helps them overcome uncertainty and empowers better decisions. 

Stakeholder Engagement

Implementing a new CRM is a huge transition for most institutions. It’s also a significant investment in time and resources. And because of the commitment required, an essential part of a successful CRM adoption is the level of engagement from your stakeholder population. 


CRM implementation success comes with stakeholders being exposed and engaged during the early phases—not just at the end. Measuring your stakeholder engagement throughout the project helps you identify issues sooner rather than later. 


For example, project forums are commonplace in a CRM implementation. These forums assess the progress being made to date. Sometimes these forums demo the platform to garner stakeholder excitement. But if your stakeholders aren’t showing up, there may be a need for more commitment to this process. 

Project Communication

CRM project communication should be assessed in the same way as a marketing campaign. Specifically, identify your key performance indicators (KPIs) to precisely measure performance, allowing an evaluation of the strategy’s effectiveness. For example, KPIs for a marketing campaign may include market share, profit, revenue, or percentage growth. 


Marketing metrics to consider for measuring CRM project communication success include: 

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates 
  • Bounce rate
  • Cost per lead (CPL)
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA)

These measurements can help you assess project communication effectiveness and identify challenges in your messaging early on.

Project Roles

When implementing a CRM, it is rare to have staff who fit entirely the skills, capabilities, and experience required. A measure of success during your CRM project is the flexibility and willingness of your team to expand their roles and learn new things. 


Otherwise, a rigid set of stakeholders, users, and staff members will make it more challenging to adopt your advanced CRM. Are your team members saying, “I don’t have the skills, but I’m willing to do what it takes.” If so, this creates an opportunity for success rather than rigidity.