6 Tips for Successful CRM Implementation
CRM system implementation is surely a daunting and overwhelming task. Your CRM system not only should meet the requirements of your business but it also has to provide the best features and quality support to help you stay on top of the process. If not chosen or implemented well, your CRM becomes just an expensive mistake instead of a useful tool.
The revenue of the whole CRM industry has grown to $39.5 billion worldwide in 2017. This shows the rapid growth of CRM culture.
But what exactly CRM means and why it is important for your business? Let me shed some light on it.
What is CRM?
Customer Relationship Management [CRM] is a strategy which helps to manage all your business’s relations and interactions with your existing and potential customer. CRM is an efficient business strategy, which helps improve your profitability.
Not just customers, CRM allows your business to focus on the individual relationship with the salespeople, colleagues, and suppliers. Embedding the CRM system beyond sales and marketing, such as in the HR field, help you in improving productivity.
Usually, when people are referring to CRM, they are talking about a CRM tool which helps in managing different tasks for sales and marketing team such as contact and sales management, productivity and workflow process.
In a nutshell, the CRM system is not just a tool limited to your business’s sales and marketing team but it provides much more benefits than that. Let’s see why CRM matters for your business.
Importance of CRM for your Business
Apart from having a clear strategy and goals for your business, you need an in-depth, reliable information in order to measure your progress towards achieving goals. This flow of information comes from various modes such as customer support team, sales team along with social media monitoring team. How can you assess all this information and use it for business advancement?
That’s where CRM comes in. CRM tools allow you to manage all your data at one place in a simple and customizable dashboard. It tells all about your customer’s history including the order statuses, outstanding customer support issues, social media activity such as likes and dislikes and a lot more. All this information is used to make buyer personas, which are securely saved in your CRM tool to use.
CRM also allows you to understand the prospects of work that is coming in and help you with simpler and more accurate forecasting. You get clearer visibility of each lead as well as the opportunity, which gives you a clear understanding of every operation. This is the reason 91% of the businesses having 10 or more employees have a CRM at their end.
As I said earlier, the CRM system is helpful not just for customer management but also focuses on improving productivity by reducing efforts by other teams of your business.
Apart from that, CRM brings better integration of communication channels and provide you an opportunity to maneuver from one to another with ease. Let’s say a query is raised on Twitter. The customer support team, through CRM system, is able to switch to telephone or email mode in no time for resolution without losing its track.
There are important reasons why you need a powerful CRM system for your business to get the best assistance. However, there are few things you always need to keep in your mind when it comes to adopting a new CRM system at your end.
What are these things? Let’s figure it out in detail.
Before beginning to discuss an ideal process for CRM implementation, it is important for businesses to understand a few factors.
Configuring and selecting the best CRM system to manage workflows and the specific needs of an organization is vital for an organization.
Unlike the popular assumption, an organization does play a significant part in CRM implementation and the responsibility does not fully lie with the technology experts. CRM helps you combine the technology with your business rules and as only the business possesses the complete idea about its rules, it is important for businesses to work together with their technology experts for the better results.
It is important that you invest enough time in determining your requirements and then choosing and implementing the best CRM system. It is better to make a thoughtful decision than making the whole process a bit tricky and time-consuming in the long run.
There are 6 important steps, which goes into the successful CRM selection as well as implementation. These are,
- Review and selection
- Project management
- Software licensing and vendor contracting
- Data Migration &
- Training and support
Let us figure out every step in detail.
⇒ Step 1 – Review and Selection
Honestly, there are tons of CRM solutions available to choose from but only a few of them offer features and support that your business requires. It is better to get a thorough knowledge of the features every CRM system is offering and their ease of working. Choosing a better CRM is critical as it involves time and cost management.
Confused? Well, the best resource you have to get information about getting the best CRM is the organization doing the operations similar to yours. These organizations must have gone through the whole process of selecting and implementing CRM so that you can get the valuable feedback about the systems they used.
Various associations, reviewers, and industry experts often suggest best-fit tools and technologies according to your industry. This helps in getting information about new products in the CRM industry and knowing their potential.
Centra Hub CRM, which is a fully automated customizable CRM product suitable for small and medium businesses. Its ability of customization as per the requirement and integration with top quality helpful tools makes it one of the best and useful CRM for your business.
⇒ Step 2 – Project management
Project management along with a detailed communication strategy is helpful in informing all the participants of their duties. For seamless operation, you need a qualified project manager, who can efficiently do the following tasks.
- Keeping track of all the major projects including the final launch of a CRM system along with the members involved.
- Managing work plan, which basically includes all the specifications provided by the vendor such as support system, time and cost information as well as both vendor and organization’s obligations.
- Budget information
- Task lists
It is important for the project manager to manage all these details along with proper communication with the vendor in case of technical issues or organizational questions. Maintaining a formal communication on a weekly basis is also a great idea to keep the organization updated about all the happenings. It’s mandatory to follow all costs closely to ensure the project is financially on track.
⇒ Step 3 – Software Licensing and Vendor Contracting
The next step after choosing the best CRM for you and assigning a project manager to handle the whole operations is contracting and licensing. This step plays a vital role in the process of CRM implementation. Underestimating its importance may result in growing cost for the product or missing deadlines.
Contracting part covers the agreement between your business and the CRM vendor for proper implementation of the CRM channel including services as well as support. An ideal contract is not just an agreement but the detailed guide on the plan of action on the implementation and running of the system.
While some organizations may take the support of third-party unaffiliated vendors for CRM setup, for many organizations with skillful and experienced staff, CRM system can be implemented on-premises without any external technical support.
After contracting comes the licensing part, which is a written agreement of responsibilities and limitations of an organization for the use of CRM system along with the rules for costs and fair use for the CRM vendor. While many CRM systems are open source, some organizations would keep the exclusive rights to themselves in order to acquire the full license of the product. It’s critical that you properly understand the licensing terms of your CRM vendor and have everything in writing.
- Things to keep in mind for CRM contracting and licensing
- Negotiating a contract is a key. Begin a contract with the proper agreement and clearly mention what are your needs and make changes accordingly.
- Recognize the delivery date and time of the project in order to get a complete idea.
- Get information on all costs of proper implementation as well as contracting and licensing.
- Ask for the proper quality control and testing to the CRM vendor after the implementation as CRM systems may require urgent modifications and updates.
- Get complete clarity on communication. Get information about the modes of future updates and its impact on cost and features.
⇒ Step 4 – Customization
It’s critical to use a CRM product according to your requirements and for that, you may need a basic or the substantial customization before implementing the system. Your business should clearly communicate with your CRM vendor about what are your requirements.
Also Read: Why Your Business Needs a CRM Software
Getting a summary of the whole implementation process is also important in order to make sure the task is being completed with satisfaction.
For better customization in CRM remember the following key points.
- Maintaining conversation with the developers and clearly communicating what features you want in your CRM plays a significant role and protects your business from growing costs.
- Involvement in the developing operations helps you in reviewing the features, which are being developed.
- Accomplishment tracking let you know what is being accomplished in every operation. This allows you to be informed about the specific cost of the feature being developed so that you can mold is according to your requirements.
⇒ Step 5 – Data Migration
Relocating your existing information stored on different platforms to a new implemented CRM is critical when it comes to adopting a new CRM system. Focus more on data migration strategy in order to ensure the seamless transfer of the data.
For better understanding, it’s also important that the organization as well as the vendors work hand in hand, Ensure that you are following the key points given below for smooth data migration.
- Get all the data, scattered at various organizational platforms, at one place and then populate the new CRM system with it.
- Ensure and improve the data accuracy before transporting it into the new CRM system in order to save your business from possible problems.
- Take the help of tools provided by CRM vendors in order to migrate the whole data into the CRM framework. It is important that you understand all these tools and make use of it for proper transportation of data.
⇒ Step 6 – Training & Support
CRM system comes with all the tools and support guidance to learn and master the software. Your team may require a proper documentation and How-Tos in order to gain the complete knowledge of the new CRM. Some CRM vendors provide the study material such as videos and guides to train your team in handling the new CRM.
Follow the important points while training.
- Get thorough knowledge of the tools and the training course. Identify the premium and non-premium content. Review the training of your team and prepare your users for the training.
- Provide the real-time training to the trainee in order to help them understand the system quickly and with complete ease.
- Keep the data generated after the training of your staff and use it to train the future team member.
Follow these important steps in a proper channel in order to successfully implement the new CRM system at your end.
CRM system is surely one of the most important tools for your business. Statistics suggest that 64.2% of businesses rate CRM tools as impactful for their businesses.
However, to ensure a successful implementation of a new CRM, it’s important that you understand and follow a few key points to make the most out of your CRM tool as buying a new CRM system is a huge investment for your company.
Take the help of the points covered in this piece in order to successfully implement and confidently use the new CRM system.