Deepa Patel’s book: Beyond CRM Basics, provides a great look into what a CRM project entails, and emphasizes the primary role of a CRM Business Analyst. Whether you’re a newcomer to a CRM project or a multi-year experienced professional, every chapter has insightful tips regarding how a CRM implementation can be completed successfully and what your role as a Business Analyst plays in each step along the way.
Additionally, the inspirational success stories provides a reader great examples of how others have taken their CRM career from knowing very little about CRM to a high-level professional career using Salesforce as the primary application.
I recommend reading the book in its entirety to get the full breadth of understanding and value. Below are my top 10.5 key takeaways to get you started:
1. Discusses the most essential functions of a BA such as determining how requests impact the entire business, and why the request should be done, not just the how.
2. Highlights the importance of documenting the business process up front, along with the tools to make this process effective.
3. Provides a summary of all the various phases of a typical CRM project lifecycle along with all the parties that are involved.
4. Emphasizes the most important skill of a BA such as listening and being committed to having an open dialogue with the business by asking open ended questions while challenging assumptions.
5. Articulates the core philosophies of an CRM implementation life cycle:
Emphasize the ‘keep it simple’ principle
Do not try to replicate the existing system, rather investigate revamping and enhancing the current processes
Have the BA define the test scenarios as the users may not know enough about the application yet
Place adequate emphasis on user training (pilot program recommended)
6. Recaps that project failures are often due to improper business analysis in the following ways:
Incomplete requirements gathering
Lack of strategic alignment
Poor solution design
Gap in meeting business needs leading to lack of user adoption
Poor change management and governance
7. Demonstrates that project success metrics can be measured with some of the below examples:
User Reports: Logins, record creations
Data Quality Reports: Incomplete records, stale leads
Business Performance Reports: Opportunities with No Activity, Cases with past SLA’s, Lead Conversions, Pipeline by Owner
8. Discusses how to better market your skills using some of the below methods:
Be specific as possible, employers do not want a generalist
Key words to use: Responsible for, led, accomplished, expertise in, hands-on
What is the ROI you provided: Money saved, users served, time reduced
Social will continue to differentiate you: LinkedIn, Twitter, blogging, sharing, liking
9. Shows key ways to progress your career by using others success stories, for example:
Recommended for everyone to try consulting in their careers
Getting involved with local Salesforce communities, if there is not one near you, start one
Look for opportunities in demanding situations by highlighting Salesforce’s capabilities
Answer questions that are posted on the Salesforce community page to help increase your skill-set
10. Summarizes the career progression of multiple Salesforce professionals providing examples of how they all started their Salesforce journey.
10.5. Provides great references to additional material to help you continue to learn more about how CRM projects are correctly implemented along with the capabilities Salesforce offers.
This book can be purchased on Amazon.