Three ways to plan a successful CRM implementation

CRM implementation is all about setting up and running your new software. Without careful planning and correct alignment with the company’s goals, things can go wrong very quickly.

Many people jump into the CRM implementation pool without having a detailed plan in place. A much tougher task than it may seem at first sight; this is why many businesses fail.

So how can you make your CRM implementation successful?

Many businesses have been there and done it before, and failed. Because of this, it is now not difficult to find processes that have been tried and tested or to follow CRM implementation best practices. Do this and you should avoid major disasters. 

Here are just three ways of planning a successful CRM implementation

  1. Put a team together. This should include everyone that will be involved in setting up and using the system. As well as a project manager, application analyst, QA test engineer, and application developer you will need to include a representative from all key teams: sales, marketing, and customer service. The thing to remember here is that you need the user groups on your side. Fail to obtain buy-in and hurdles will begin to manifest. Your team needs to be behind you, enabling the business to attain the goals set when the CRM was purchased. A recent CRM report shows that more than 60% of businesses implement a CRM to boost efficiency and gain improved functionality. It’s up to the team to make sure that this happens.
  2. Put together a change management plan. This underpins the CRM implementation process and will vary according to your type of organization. Carefully assess your team and identify the advocates, specialists, and workhorses. The advocates are most essential as you can never underestimate the value of buy-in. Think about current users and how tech-savvy they are. How will you deal with the changes brought about by the new CRM implementation? Room for feedback is essential as is allowing people to put forward their own suggestions. The rollout will need to take place slowly and with the full understanding of the staff. Rush it and panic may ensue.
  3. Forecast your CRM implementation budget. Avoid overspending on software or wasting staff hours to add bespoke features you don’t really need. Look at cost-effectiveness before rollout. Allow a sum of money for everything, including consultancy fees, training, staff overtime, travel, temporary loss of productivity, and data backup/storage. Always keep your ROI at the back of your mind and put a cost on everything. Think about things that may go wrong and include a detailed risk assessment. This way your budget will be an accurate and realistic one.

CRM implementation may not be an easy process but if you are going to invest a lot of money and benefit from it, it has to be taken seriously. Don’t think of it as hard work but small steps on the way towards getting your project off the ground correctly and in a way that will build long-lasting and effective ROI.

 

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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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