If customers are the lifeblood of business, then customer relationship management (CRM) is the daily checkup to ensure that the heart is still pumping steadily and that the entire body is in good health. Metaphors aside, CRM describes the processes, tools, and activities that companies employ to understand their customers and respond rapidly to their ever-changing needs and preferences. Given the importance and widespread use of CRM across today's businesses, it would be natural to assume that CRM implementation is a fairly straightforward and routinely successful process—but rarely is this the case. This raises the question as to why—and more important, as to what your company can do to ensure that your CRM efforts pay off. In this infographic, we address those questions by distilling input from vendors, users, and experts into eight best practices that your company can follow to help deliver a successful (and ultimately, fruitful) CRM implementation.