48 hours. That’s how long it took our team to convert a high-profile, high-visibility House of Representatives Member to IQ. At the height of a historic election season. While working remotely. During a pandemic. With no room for error.
Surveying the landscape
We got it done not out of luck or even by virtue of old-fashioned elbow grease. We expedited a process that can take some vendors weeks (if not longer) first by understanding the office’s unique needs. The Member in this example is a frequent guest on national cable news programs, active on social media and an influential voice in national politics—not to mention quite popular in their home district. Our team’s situational awareness and ability to read between the lines allowed us to see clearly that this conversion needed to happen quickly and without any errors or delays. While all of our clients deserve a seamless transition, some offices prefer to convert to IQ gradually, taking things slowly and working through the conversion at a moderate pace. We understood right away that would not be the case in this situation.
Planning for action
Once we understood the stakes and expectations, our team sprung into action, creating a custom project plan to meet our objectives on this accelerated timeline. While we have done it literally thousands of times, converting to a new CRM system is a complex process with many moving parts and unique processes to map for every individual office. Auditing and converting web forms, mapping casework processes, converting data, transferring form letters and email formats, training staff—there’s a lot of balls to juggle during the transition. Our experienced project managers were first to act in developing this plan based on their knowledge of the office’s specific requirements and their intimate experience working within the House environment as well as internal Leidos practices. Newer, smaller vendors simply don't have access to the institutional knowledge that helps us avoid roadblocks while working within the House framework.
One thing offices realize once they choose to partner with us is that our customer-facing staff are backed by a virtual army of project managers like this, plus developers, coordinators, engineers, trainers and designers who are essential in our unique ability to help our clients succeed. Clients may never meet these people or even know their names, but once new offices come “under the tent” of Leidos and IQ, their presence is immediately noticeable.
Not all heroes wear capes
Now that we understood the objective and had an aggressive (but realistic) plan in place, it was time for the boots to hit the ground. Another thing we take pride in during conversions like this is that, while there are many moving parts and tasks to manage, the process is minimally disruptive to day-to-day office operations. In fact, besides some simple paperwork to complete, there’s not much that converting offices or staff need to do at all. We ask new IQ offices to share availability for initial user onboarding/training sessions and other than that, we handle everything. Conversion, implementation, quality assurance testing and training planning—it all happens behind the scenes while office staff carry on with their normal processes. We even work directly with your old vendor to make sure we have all your assets and data right away.
Adding fuel to the fire
Most effective comms teams know that even the most sophisticated messaging campaigns are only as effective as the audience list. In this case, the office in question did have an expansive and clean database but they wanted to do better. When you work with Leidos and IQ, you also get access to a vast ecosystem of communications providers with whom we have developed and nurtured partnerships over the years. In this case, we went to our partners and friends at L2 Data to talk about a database supplementation plan for the office. Because of our close relationship and years of successful partnership, we were able to convey the office’s timing expectations and get thousands of new, verified contacts into the office’s database by the time their IQ system was up and running. In fact, our relationship with L2 is so close that we actually developed an integration together in 2018 so that our platforms are digitally linked, allowing IQ users to access L2 data directly from within IQ.
While our engineers and techs were hard at work transferring data and configuring the office’s systems, our knowledge team was busy interfacing with staff to arrange both 1:1 training sessions and going over the regularly scheduled courses found on our Congressional training calendar. We’ve recently overhauled our methodology for user onboarding with a role-based approach that shows staff exactly how they can leverage the platform to complete their tasks and focus on their priorities. IQ is in fact an intuitive, task-based solution so not much training is needed but we make sure both new and existing clients know that how-to support is available at no extra cost. Some vendors provide only responsive support when there’s a problem, and do so only by chat. Other vendors have eliminated proactive support altogether. Of course, we also have in-app chat for support issues and also do provide responsive help. But we feel it is our responsibility to proactively help get users ready to be successful on day one.
Experience and Innovation. Stability and Energy.
While this success story was extraordinary for its 48-hour turnaround and other circumstances including the remote factor, it’s hardly unique. In fact, we’ve managed dozens of conversions to IQ in the last several months and official House surveys say our customers have never been happier.
Because of our longstanding position as the leading CRM vendor on the Hill, we enjoy the ability to constantly re-invest in our own platform and improve the product yearround with roughly four new releases per year. And our parent company, Leidos is one of the largest cybersecurity and defense firms in the world, so you know security and stability are our top priorities.
Your dedicated IQ Consultant will become a true extension of your staff and quarterback all IQ initiatives like the one described in this story. But don’t forget that they are backed by a team of professionals who you may never meet, but we’ll be thinking about you and working hard to make your office successful. Meet us!