Three mistakes to avoid when implementing CRM

You have already given a lot of thought to decide which CRM to purchase for your business, but what about the implementation process?  Many buyers spend the largest percentage of their time on deciding what to buy but don’t always consider how the CRM should be implemented.  Getting this part of the activity wrong is nearly as bad as choosing the wrong system. Errors made can cause difficulties that will remain with you for a long time, resulting in more problems than benefits.  

We have looked at slip-ups frequently made when implementing this type of software and have pinpointed three of the most common CRM mistakes to avoid.   

1. Lack of user training

One of the keys to successful CRM implementation is to get users actively involved during the early stages.  It is also crucial to build in an allocated amount of time and money for user training, either carried out in-house or by your CRM provider.  Many companies get so caught up in the buying process, focusing on it being an executive affair, that the people who will be using the software get forgotten.  Even before training begins, users need to be absorbed into the experience and shown not only how the software will help the business but also how their own tasks will be made easier and far more enjoyable.  By providing them with in-depth training at the very start of the implementation process and focusing their interest on the positives, you can ensure that your team will be on-board. Where the CRM is going to be used on mobile too, this must be an essential part of their education.  At the same time, both sales and customer service staff need to understand how the CRM will benefit the customer, as well as improving their role.

2. Not having a solid implementation plan

Ignore a sturdy implementation plan at your own risk as, without it, your CRM has no chance of success.  The outcomes that you thought you would see will just not materialize and management will want to know what went wrong. The project manager, sales, marketing, and customer service personnel, and management will need to be involved as well as someone taking care of the data cleansing and migration, system customization and QA testing.

Check out our complete guide to planning your CRM implementation

Consider each person’s key role within the implementation procedure.  The advocates will need to get involved if there is any resistance as it will be their job to push the idea.   Fail to win over key user groups and you can have a mutiny on your hands with people not using the system correctly and falling back into their old ways.  Your advocates need to convince everyone that the new CRM will revolutionize their working lives as well as benefit the company.

3. Allowing employees to use old legacy processes/CRMs

This is what advocates must avoid.  Everyone must use the CRM as a lack of user adoption is one of the biggest problems you may face.  Instruct all employees that old legacy processes and CRMs are now taboo. Introduce the change gradually and, if warranted, take a hard line. By focusing on the benefits for everyone and including this as a part of the training, bring your employees into line slowly but efficiently.  Get them accustomed to the new system, showing them how workflows will improve efficiency, making attaining targets so much easier.

Implementing the best CRM for your business in the right way can make an amazing difference, dramatically boosting the bottom line.  In the same way, get it wrong and the negative impact will be as severe as the positive should be.

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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

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