Best Practices Blog User Adoption

Why you need an elevator pitch for your CRM project

We often will walk into an organization’s large meeting room for a project kick-off meeting to discover that the people in the room fall into two camps.

“What is this CRM thing? I’m new!”

CRM Veterans:  They’ve used a CRM before and it’s been a relatively positive experience. They know that this will (mostly) impact their lives in a (mostly) good way. Maybe it will this time, too. Who can say, really? Let’s get talking.

 Newbies:  They really don’t know what CRM even stands for and surreptitiously look it up on their phones. (Come on. Who doesn’t do this in meetings?) They have no idea why they are being brought into the room to talk about a…looks like some sort of Database Project. Hmm. That sounds suspiciously like a nerd thing.

See, this is why you really need an internal elevator pitch for your CRM project. Because if you can’t describe it, they can’t get visualize it. And if they can’t visualize it, they can’t get excited about it. Quite frankly, they probably don’t even know what “it” is. This virtual “thing” that hasn’t even been built yet but looms in the distance. Watching. Waiting for it’s moment to strike. Okay, I’ve clearly been watching too many movie trailers lately but you get my point.

And if that’s not enough, your pitch also provides consistency in communication outside of the project team to the board and the rest of the staff. This can be a key part of your entire CRM communications plan.

The Pitch

  • You need to tell your team what you are doing.
  • You need to tell them why you are doing it.
  • You need to tell them how it will impact them.
  • You need to give them a rough timeframe.


We have brought in Bigger Boat Consulting to help us implement Salesforce. By the end of this project, we will have all of our contacts in one place, we will have a 360 degree view of the services our clients are receiving, and we will be managing our donors through the one organizational database. Program managers will have a complete view of clients including case notes, medical notices, and any daily alerts. Fund dev team will have a full view of donors including whether or not a donor has a family member in one of our programs. We will be rolling this out in two Phases. Program Managers will be using the system by the end of the year. Fund dev team will be using the system for donor management by the end of Q1 2014. If you have questions, please talk to Sammy Bodean, our project lead.

Notice that the pitch doesn’t tell them what the interface will look like. It doesn’t tell them all of the painstaking work that will go into the Fund Development data migration. It doesn’t tell them exactly how they will be trained on the new CRM. But it does give them an overall understanding of what they will use the system for including addressing some very specific pain points for both the Program Managers and Fund Development team. You can also put this pitch  on cards and hand them to people at the door. Or put the cards in the middle of the table resting atop a pile of candy. We are not above bribery here.

You can even tack on the bigger stuff that you hope to eventually get from this. Like improving your clients’ outcomes and delivering bigger, better, and bolder on your mission. The good stuff.

Improve the success of your implementation. Increase your user adoption. Get your team excited so they can start discussing implementation specifics. Make the pitch.


Ready to embark on a pitch-worthy project? Contact us to learn more about how we work with nonprofits on custom Salesforce solutions.