Follow these steps and you and your company will see a successful and seamless CRM implementation, no matter which CRM solution you select to adopt.
1. Determine a budget for the project
Having a solid CRM strategy is important for building long-term success with your clients, make sure you allow enough budget for your CRM strategy to flourish. Without a CRM system in place, you may lose touch with your clientele your company would have otherwise secured with a CRM system.
Allocating the necessary budget to adopt a CRM system will create a strong foundation and make it easier to generate sales. Don’t lose money by neglecting the budgeting needs of a solid CRM system—or worse, avoid setting up a CRM environment altogether. And don’t be afraid to “go big or go home.
With a proper, budgeted CRM interface, your company will improve internal communications, observe marketing trends, and pursue leads. It’s a no-brainer.
2. Ensure you have high-level corporate sponsorship
The CRM strategy chosen by your company must be utilized throughout your infrastructure, meaning all levels of management need to adapt your CRM strategy and use the services it provides. A company-wide acceptance plan of your chosen CRM solution will ensure a high return on your CRM investment. Consequently, if your CRM implementation is not adopted by every department in your company, your CRM strategy won’t work. Without high-level corporate sponsorship, you run the risk of your team not applying
themselves to the system as much as they should. Fortunately, using a CRM system actually makes your work life easier.
For example, let’s say your company has three department heads, representing Finance, Sales, and Marketing, respectively. Suppose each of these department heads has a preference towards a distinct software program for communicating with their staff, e.g. Excel spreadsheets. That’s fine—until the Finance department has information that could be valuable for the Sales team but it’s not on the spreadsheet. Using a CRM system unifies the company, all teams enter their specific information, which allows everyone to see the same customer data. Also, an often-overlooked benefit is if one of your salespeople decide to leave your company, their clientele information remains in your system for the next sales rep who takes on the customer. They will be able to see the customer’s information, getting them up to speed much faster.
3. Create an internal CRM team (not only during the project but for after Go-Live)
These are specialists from each of your teams who will help plan the CRM strategy, implement the CRM system, and remain in place after your CRM system is active becoming champions. The Internal CRM Team’s objective is two-fold, ensure your new CRM system integrates smoothly with your company and help resolve any concerns company personnel might have after the CRM implementation takes effect.
For instance, suppose John in the Sales Team is having trouble accepting the new CRM. He keeps his client records in his own spreadsheet and whenever he needs to report to his boss, Jane, about his earnings, he sends her an email. In a case like this, the Internal CRM Team will help John integrate his sales data into the new system streamlining the way he communicates with Jane, which she can now pull-up anytime without having to ask John to forward her his spreadsheet. They’ll walk him through the steps necessary to help him take full advantage of the system, which will, in turn, improve his company’s communication infrastructure.
So you may be asking yourself, “Who should make up the Internal CRM Team?” Ideally, this team should have at least one individual from the following areas:
E. Customer Service
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