Implementing a CRM system is an important business venture for your company. There are a lot of different factors that should be taken into account when implementing a new CRM system. In this blog I will examine five that are critical to implementation success:
- Understand your strategy: CRM is a business strategy that uses IT and a Business Practice Solution as an enabler and driver to satisfy customers and grow customer relationships. Therefore, the most important factor to consider when implementing a new CRM system is to understand how you plan to use the CRM system to interact with and satisfy your customers.
- Plan, plan, plan: The CRM strategy and implementation plan is every bit as important as your original business plan and needs to be treated as such. Make a plan and follow it. The plan should be clear and concise. Have a schedule for implementation and know ahead of time what is going to be done and when. Plan the implementation in phases to achieve a higher number of smaller successes and shorten the time frame of the implementation.
- Eliminate distractions and show results: Minimize disruptions to your current business plan as much as possible and show results as soon as possible. Few things will insure a successful implementation as much as quick results will.
- Talk to your customers: Get customer input. You will want to get as much information from your current customers as possible. This could include surveys or other outreach programs. It is a good idea to leverage the comments, complaints, and recommendations from clients to help formulate, redesign, or process improvement areas that your CRM solution will address.
- Implementation costs money: Be a realist when it comes to finances and total cost of ownership (TCO). While software as a service (SaaS) implementations generally cost less, many costs apply whether the software is hosted or installed on site. Make sure that the cost of implementation is accurately forecasted, budgeted, and within corporate means. Recognize that during the implementation the CRM software cost will likely represent about one-third to one-half of the implementation costs and that post implementation recurring costs will include the soft costs of user training, support, customization, and software management.
CRM success is a journey. Continual training, upgrades, new releases, and new methods to leverage information will present constant opportunities to evolve the CRM strategy.
by Nexus Tek