Three best practices for implementing CRM systems
Some businesses believe that all they have to do is find a CRM system that seems suitable, get it installed and ‘Hey Presto’ – the company will be super-efficient, and the monetary returns will start to pour in. If only this were the case. One of the leading reasons for a company’s failed CRM project is that they do not take into account a CRM implementation strategy or follow CRM best practices. In reality, a CRM can only be as good as the people who are using it and if they have a system that does not fit their needs, the two are not going to gel.
The benefits of any CRM software can also be dramatically damaged if user adoption is not absolute. In order to prevent you from making basic mistakes, here are three best practices for implementing CRM systems that you should account for.
Three best practices for implementing CRM
- Choose your implementation partner with great care. Whilst they can be either in-house or outsourced, they need to be skilled at what they do. Larger businesses with a bigger budget may look outside of their own pool or resources, but if your own team have applicable knowledge, you may not need to do so. If you do go down the managed service provider route, they should have a pool of experts as well as ample resources to deploy in your direction. Regardless of your business sector, they would be expected to have knowledge of dealing with clients spread across multiple industries. There should be no doubt in their mind as to what a successful implementation involves.
- Once you are ready to go live, don’t stop. All CRM users should be excited about the go-live date and geared up to give their best. For this reason, once you are ready, go live. Don’t delay or backtrack as this can only result in loss of motivation. Have a manageable action plan in place and follow each step strategically. Be proactive and ready for anything but don’t put on the brakes once systems are running.
- Be crystal clear about your goals. This is something that you should have dealt with at the very beginning, being certain about what you need the CRM to accomplish. It is only by clearly understanding your business’s needs that the choice of your software will be accurate. Questions such as, “What do you need to accomplish?”, “What systems and processes need to be improved?”, and “What problems need to be eradicated?” should have had substantial and proven answers long ago. If you are still tackling issues like this shortly prior to implementation, then something is wrong.
Whilst your implementation goals should be manageable and realistic, it is essential to identify them well in advance. This way, metrics can be set in order to monitor the progress of the new system in a scientific way. If your CRM is of poor quality or even worse, the wrong one for your business, your bottom line will be shot through. It is only by considering the points above and adhering to CRM implementation best practice that you will see a substantial return on your investment. Get your CRM implementation process running smoothly and it should only be a matter of time before you begin to see substantial rewards.
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