CRM Implementation: Try Experts’ Tips in Action [Part 1]

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CRM Implementation: Try Experts’ Tips in Action [Part 1]

Regardless this effectiveness and high ROI, many CRM initiatives fail due to various factors and shortcomings - nearly 57% of businesses faced it in 2014 (according to C5insight research). The main problem lies not in software but an underplanted CRM project is rolling out.

That’s why we prepared a two-parts post with experts’ insights that will cover the urgent and shared issues concerning CRM system for business. The first part is going to provide constructive pieces of advice for choosing a solution, CRM implementation, and a rational user adoption process.

How to Choose the Right CRM?

Today the business world has changed, and according to Denis Pombriant, an executive of Beagle Research Group, in the choice of CRM vendors should be ready to ‘the great shift from transaction oriented business to process oriented business’.

Each company has different objectives, and Chad Stewart, a founder and chief software adviser at Smart Thoughts LLC, says that there are lots of reasons to explore a CRM. But the most challenging decisions should be made when you face the need to change your CRM. Chad emphasizes the following characteristic to consider while you are searching a new system:

  • 5 Years or More,
  • 2 Versions Behind,
  • On Premise Only,
  • Lack Mobility,
  • Can’t report on the data,
  • Lack of Segmentation,
  • your organization suffers from Disparate Data Syndrome’.

On-premise, cloud, hybrid, mobile, traditional and social - the variety of CRM types is growing. So, Michael Lager, founder and managing principal of Third Idea Consulting LLC,  says that ‘not every business needs a full suite of CRM apps — choose tools that solve problems, not ones that sound interesting’. He also offers a short-list of features you need in your CRM:

  • communication tools
  • multichannel marketing
  • social monitoring and engagement
  • contact management
  • extended integration abilities

David Waring, a co-founder of FitSmallBusiness.com and Marc Waring Ventures, suggests to completing this list with such options as

  • prospect (lead) management
  • correspondence storage
  • pipeline to track the deal flow process

Experienced marketing manager Gareth Cartman, a director of digital marketing at Clever Little Design, emphasises the importance of marketing automation,‘We [marketers] just need one single view of our customers, with data flowing in from all directions’.

As it follows, you should build your requirement list to a CRM system grounding on your business strategy and tools you need to accomplish the interim goals and ultimate milestones.

Workable Tips for CRM Implementation

The implementing process of a new CRM seem cumbersome at first sight. It has a number of pitfalls and hidden issues that may arise unexpectedly. Juan Conde, CRM expert and project manager, says that ‘the best advice is that before doing anything carefully plan the business process, the implications of the various partners of the company’.

The founder of Service Push LLC John M Perez has enumerated the list of the common issues and solutions of CRM implementation.

#1

John says that companies don’t clearly define what they want to use CRM for beyond contact management and don’t invest in the further development of their potential. So, you should

  • take the time do some consulting on both your CRM selection and mapping your business processes to how you will satisfy them in a CRM platform.
  • Avoid the itch to hire a developer immediately and customize your CRM platform.
  • 3 to 4 weeks of consulting can help you save months of development costs and frustration.
  • Take the time to hire a person who knows CRM with demonstrated business experience in it.’

#2

The second problem that companies are hurrying to apply new functionality without the clear understanding what are the benefits of making the enhancements. John advises business owners

  • Create a roadmap of CRM enhancements & prioritize by applying the business value.
  • Take the time to document what it is you want.
  • Document the ROI of each of the enhancement.
  • Quantify it with how much more revenue you can achieve or how much more time you can save.
  • Agree across the organization on what is important before you dive in and develop.

#3

Many vendors await for ROI during the third or fourth month, thus CRM implementation doesn’t boost their sales performance. While using the technology campaign and lead management, as well as reporting tools will result in income growth. That’s why you should

  • Create a culture of CRM within the organization and establish key performance indicators to measure the success of your CRM program.
  • If they are sales driven KPIs like increasing conversion rate, make sure you have both a process and a report in CRM to track your conversion.
  • If it is achieving more efficiency like improving customer churn, make sure you utilize CRM for effective outreach programs.

Deal with End-User Adoption Effectively

Obviously the problems of a new CRM implementing have their next sequel part in the way your team uses CRM. So, the value of training should be underestimated.

Nick Baggott, a managing director at Navigate Consulting Ltd., suggests that ‘A good CRM consultant will help you through the process. However, getting results is not about using the software effectively it is about having a clear customer focused business strategy. Businesses need to invest in training their staff in understanding customers, generating insights and using digital inbound channels more effectively as well as user training to help them to adopt the software package. People will invest time to learn how to use the software if they can see that the business is getting results’.

In general, all your employees that work with the solution require teaching. You may ask - “What part of management should be the first?”. To Juan Conde opinion ‘It’s really not that important ‘who’ is in front but rather ‘how’ it does. You must have a visible head, responsible, knowledgeable business and company, with decision-making and judgment to decide correctly’.

John Hoebler, a managing director of CrossCountry Consulting, advises using the ‘online training videos that cover short specific topics’ to the owners of companies with the high employees turnover. He also says that ‘this [mode of training] will allow the learner to access them anytime and anywhere’. Moreover, ‘for new employees, joining a company and learning processes and systems is overwhelming. By allowing them to learn at their own pace and “just in time” when they need to know a certain skill or process will help with the transition process. Also as new employees come on board, they should contribute to a running knowledge repository and FAQ document’.

Zipping out to the main issue of CRM implementation, we should highlight that all processes are interconnected. If you want to succeed with your CRM, make sure that you selected the right solution, took care about adoption and trained your team.

P.S. In case, you are considering about CRM migration, you have to plan it and be aware of all the tricks. This free ebook ‘Best Case CRM Data Migration Scenario’ will come you in handy, so download it right way!

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