If you’ve decided to
Here are five rules that will save your business time and expense on your
1.) Be realistic
It’s nice to think that you could maintain all your present business processes and customize a CRM solution to match. That’s unrealistic. It’s also unrealistic to expect you to scrap all of your business processes and just let the software dictate to you. Choose a “happy medium” approach. Select a software solution that has adequate configuration capabilities considering your current practices and future growth plans. Next, consult with your power users who know what processes could or should not be changed. For time and cost savings, avoid overcustomization. Approach your implementation in steps that include at least one pilot phase to make sure that the final deployment will accurately reflect your organization’s and users’ priorities.
2.) Beware the shiny penny
For example, CRM is designed to gather and organize your customer data. But you need to define how that data will be used. Collecting data just for the sake of collecting it is a waste of everyone’s time; collecting data to improve your marketing, sales, and customer service processes will greatly improve your team’s efficiency and productivity and will benefit your organization’s bottom line.
Also, before moving your collected data to your new CRM system, determine if any of it is outdated, irrelevant, or faulty.
3.) Set your strategy and stick with it
Have clearly in mind, and preferably in writing, the goals you hope to accomplish through your new CRM. For example, do you plan to track your customers’ buying habits so you can make informed decisions regarding marketing and sales, inventory and ordering, customer service, and projections for the future? Once you’ve defined your
CRM is not a magic bullet for business priorities; rather, it exists to support critical process changes in sales, marketing, and customer service. Don’t spend money on CRM until your vision forward is crystal clear.
4.) Get user Buy-in
Your CRM deployment will be successful only if your employees will use it. New technology represents a big change, and some on your team may be resistant to learning something new. Essential to user adoption is having buy-in from the top. Senior leaders in your firm should be involved in planning, testing, and deployment. It is their responsibility to let everyone know what changes are coming, how their jobs will be affected, and that adoption of the new system will not be optional. They should start by extolling the benefits that the new system will have for all.
Next, identify individuals to act as CRM ambassadors. These “power users” should be involved early and often in the deployment process and work closely with the CRM vendor. They will be advocates for CRM adoption and can help with users’ questions or concerns.
5.) Don’t forget the training
All users will need training, even if they’ve used technology before. Provide multiple channels of instruction, e.g., classroom, online, or in office, to help employees learn not only how the software works, but also how it will impact them personally. Make sure they master fundamental tasks before moving on to more complex functionality. Success early on will encourage them to keep going and realize the full benefits of the new system. When hiring new employees, include an introduction to the CRM system to equip them with the tools they need from the start.
Set your organization up for a successful CRM implementation by giving them the support they need throughout the project.
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