An introduction to CRM ROI

So your CRM is finally in place. After much planning, research and hard work, you have access to a fully functioning CRM that should save your company much time and money. However, as well as ensuring that the system is doing its job as it should, calculating your CRM’s ROI is also essential if management are to be sure of the fact that all organizational objectives have been met.

There are things that you can do post-implementation to ensure that CRM ROI is as it should be. As well as ongoing support for users and comprehensive training, plans will have to be continually reassessed in order to guarantee that all users are fully engaged and using the system to its full capability. Failure to do this may result in a very disappointing ROI from your new CRM.

Here are a few pointers in the right direction:

Use the reporting features to provide a rundown and give feedback

Good system utility is paramount to ROI so ensure that your tracking is up to speed.  Are your reports showing the data they need to? Are they customised sufficiently? What is the feedback from end users showing? If the report function is not being fully utilised then action needs to be taken promptly.

Recommended reading: find CRM systems that will deliver a good ROI in our completely up-to-date CRM vendor directory

Evaluate your CRM

How is your CRM software performing? Look at any downtime or bug fixes that have occurred.  Ask yourself questions about the usability of the data and its accuracy and completeness. The system needs to be totally reliable and the provider of valid information so always have an eye open for solutions to any data problems. The utility value of the CRM system along with user engagement can be severely disrupted if data issues constantly occur, having a negative effect on your CRM’s ROI. This is therefore to be avoided at all costs.

Review the needs of your system

Assuming that your system was a bespoke one made to suit your needs and not an off-the-shelf package, is it performing according to your expectations? Look again at your original Needs Analysis; are there any features missing? Have all the features you asked for been included? If so, are they being used correctly?

You need to be immediately aware if there are any missing facets relating to the new system. Ask yourself whether the compromises you made to get the system up and running were the right ones to provide ongoing ROI.

What about your CRM communication strategy?

This may have been a priority just before the system went live but are you continuing with this in the right way?  Keep your communication messages flowing out, informing all potential users about any system issues, upgrades or must-see functions and abilities. The constant marketing of the new system through email broadcasts, newsletters and presentations will keep it at the forefront of the minds of users and ensure its thorough use.

Check out your engagement strategy

Are you communicating sufficiently with the end users of the CRM? They can give you immediate feedback on the good and the bad points, no matter which department they are located in.  Engage with staff in the sales, accounting and finance departments and find out what they think of the ready-made processes. Do amends need to be made? What do they think of the new system?

As you can see, once the new system is in place and up and running, there is still much work to be done if good ROI is to be achieved. Management of the CRM system is absolutely essential so that evaluation is carried out fully and users engaged via ongoing communication strategies. This way, a good ROI will be achieved and can be measured in a much more accurate way.

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Jane Tareen

About the author…

An MBA-qualified professional, Jane specializes in all kinds of copywriting and creative content production. With many years spent working in advertising and publishing, she is also skilled in editorial production and proof-reading. Whilst writing, she has a constant companion in the form of one very large Fox Red Labrador!

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Jane Tareen