A good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can do a lot of good for your company. It can help you track sales processes, automate marketing emails, manage business contacts, and much more.
But it will all be for naught if you don’t nail the implementation of your new system. Studies have shown that nearly 1/3 of CRM projects fail. Nobody wants to spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of working hours adopting a new system, only for it to fall into disuse and irrelevance.
To be effective at all, your CRM needs to be an essential part of your company’s workflow, addressing your most pressing needs with buy-in at all levels of the org chart.
Here are some useful tips for making sure your CRM implementation goes smoothly.
Clearly Identify the Problems You’re Trying to Solve
I’ve been in meetings with companies shopping around for a CRM that can’t answer a simple question: Why do I need this tool?
Before purchasing a CRM, it’s important for your company to identify its weak points. The more you pinpoint the actual problem, the better solution you can find. Rather than just saying, “sales are flat,” is it that the current system for tracking the time and workload of the sales team is insufficient? Could that be impacting productivity?
That’s a problem I can help you solve with a new CRM. We can tailor the software’s features to your company’s needs, making sure you have the tech that’s right for you. But that starts with knowing what you need in the first place.
Nail the Platform Architecture
Most common CRM systems are highly customizable, with features that apply to businesses across industry sectors. So, it’s important that your system has the platform architecture that’s going to be most useful to you.
If, for example, your company leases vehicles, your system needs to factor in the lease as the product, not the vehicle itself. This would impact the quotes your system generates, the audience for tracking potential sales leads, and more.
Having a system that’s structured according to your business model is crucial.
Ensure User Adoption
Your CRM is only useful as long as your workforce uses it.
We can build you the perfect system, but if there’s no internal support, no buy-in from mid-level managers and frontline workers, it will go nowhere.
We see it all the time: executives have the idea to implement a new system, and somewhere along the line, employees at the end-user level judge the new system to be too much of a hassle on top of their daily responsibilities, and the system is gradually abandoned.
Senior executives have to be the biggest champions of the system, implementing measures to ensure compliance by the broader organization, not only at the beginning, but throughout the life of the system. Operations staff need to lay down standard operating procedures, outlining how to use the system, for inclusion with onboarding materials for new employees.
Maintain the System
A CRM is not something you can build and forget about. If you fail to maintain or update your system, it will eventually become more of a liability than a useful tool.
As with any digital tool, CRM software needs to be updated as tech companies roll out new versions of the product. This isn’t just so businesses can take advantage of new features – software updates often include important security measures that protect the data stored in your system. Failing to update leaves your company more vulnerable to cyberattacks and could become a serious security risk.
If you’re looking to implement a CRM, you should put together a regular maintenance plan and set aside money in the budget for updating or changing the system according to the evolving needs of your business.
Our technology team is well versed in selecting, implementing, and maintaining CRM systems for a variety of industries. Reach out to us today to learn more.