3 Key Steps to Planning a Successful CRM Implementation

Are you struggling to get the most value out of your CRM? Or are you wondering what a CRM could do for your business? This article will outline the importance of a CRM, what it can do for your business, and how it can increase ROI with a successful implementation.

Knowing a CRM will enhance your organization is the first step, but knowing how to successfully implement the new system is the real difference. Here are the 3 steps to take to ensure a successful CRM implementation.

1. Identify the Pain Points or Problems You Are Experiencing

Identifying pain points will help you determine how implementing a new CRM can solve those pain points, and ultimately help you reach your business outcomes. Then evaluate how your organization has evolved over time and outline your goals to achieve in the future. Document your teams’ processes, both what’s working well and where there’s room to increase efficiency. Start by answering the following:

  • Compared to previous years, how are we forecasted to grow over the next year?
  • How will I measure a successful implementation?
  • Are our processes defined and documented well?
  • How do we need to improve our process documentation?
  • What processes work well?
  • What processes could be improved/streamlined? How much time is being wasted?
  • Who oversees these processes?
  • What technology are we using?
  • Which areas/processes/resources will be affected when implementing a CRM?
  • How do our team members respond to change?
  • How did our last technology implementation go? What went well/what didn’t go well with that implementation?
    • Make sure necessary changes and preparations are made for this implementation to run smoothly.
  • What customer data do I want my CRM to manage?
    • Create a list of integrations or migrations of existing data and other technologies.

Answering these questions will give you a better understanding of how current business processes can evolve to become more efficient. After you have asked these questions, you will be able to clearly define success measures. These success measures will show the CRM implementation is going well and leading to optimal business outcomes.

Some examples for these success measures could be:

  • Increase process efficiency
  • Increase revenue by focusing on higher-quality leads
  • Decrease cost by automating tasks and reporting
  • Document customer satisfaction
  • Preventing risk and security issues

2. Evaluate Who Needs to be Involved for Your CRM Implementation to be Successful?

Sales, customer support, marketing, C-suite and more may be utilizing the CRM, depending on your organization. Do people in your organization understand the value, and what’s in it for them by using a CRM? Communicate to the entire team the “why” you want to do a CRM implementation, what’s required of them, and how they will determine its success. You have to have a clear message on why the CRM system will transform their roles and processes in the best way.

Deciding how your team will be impacted by the CRM system will lead to them receiving proper end-user training. As they document what processes will be most needed, and account for all those impacted by the new CRM, the more prepared you will be for implementation.

One major reason for an unsuccessful CRM implementation is the lack of support from leadership. Sponsors and C-suite need to be bought into the vision of what a CRM platform can do for their specific business. For successful adoption, leadership must be aware of each of the steps to be taken, assign access to members and teams as needed, and provide accountability. If team members have leadership support, they are driven to uphold their responsibilities as part of the implementation team, which leads to the successful adoption of their CRM system, and optimal benefits gained from the system.

3. Understand the Components that Influence Your Plan

When creating your CRM implementation plan there are 3 key areas to consider:

  1. Scope – What are all the changes you feel are required in the CRM implementation?
  2. Schedule – What is your expected timeline?
  3. Cost – What is the budget you have prepared?

Having a plan prepares you for the ideal implementation. If the unexpected arises, you’ll be able to pivot accordingly without endangering your implementation. Given the size and complexity of CRM implementations, there will be changes, challenges, and aspects of the project that you may not have considered in the beginning. Planning for the unexpected is part of the implementation plan. Make sure that you leave room for adjustments.

Ready for Your Implementation?

Now that you know the 3 steps for a successful CRM implementation, you’re ready for the next step: choosing an implementation team. As your organization navigates what would bring the most impact to your business, feel free to contact us. JourneyTEAM is a Microsoft partner that has done hundreds of CRM implementations and will act as a guide in finding the right solution for your organization.

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