CRM can transform any modern business by offering a wealth of powerful features, functions, and insight. But to reap any real long-term rewards from your CRM solution, getting your implementation right is essential.
Implementing CRM can prove challenging, as there are so many aspects to consider—from data and system integrations to training and processes.
While this may be the case, with the right approach, you will not only select the right CRM but also create a long-term strategic solution that will offer sustainable growth and success.
Here, we’ll look at how to get your CRM implementation right.
But first, let’s consider the most pressing concerns businesses have when it comes to implementing a customer relationship management solution.
What bases do you need to cover when it comes to rolling out your new solution? For most businesses they are:
Considering all of these aspects will empower you to make the right decisions and roll out the right initiatives at the right time.
Now that we’ve outlined the most pressing CRM implementation challenges, let’s take a look at some of the solutions.
Before you start any implementation initiative, it’s vital that you gain a clear understanding of your existing pain points, as well as your key objectives and outcomes. You have to understand your “why.”
To implement a CRM system successfully (and earn long-term value from your investment), you have to know why you need it in the first place. Armed with this information, you will connect with a CRM partner that understands what you need from your new system to tackle any organisational roadblocks and achieve your goals.
For instance, you might need a more dynamic, streamlined data analytics system coupled with features that will help you understand your customers better, improving your communications and service in the process.
Whatever your business’s issues and objectives, defining them from the start will lead your implementation efforts in the right direction.
Ideas and people also form the foundations of your CRM integration efforts. By working in partnership with a CRM vendor and involving a number of key stakeholders in the project, you will create a solution that works for everyone in the business.
Once you’ve mapped out your main CRM aims and objectives in detail, you will gain a clearer understanding of whom to involve in your CRM project.
Gathering the thoughts, opinions, and feedback of various end-users within the business will empower you to work with your CRM provider and tailor the platform to serve the needs of everyone within the business while providing direct solutions to your existing aims, objectives, and pain points.
Involving a mix of key people within the business from the offset and asking for their feedback will also have a significantly positive impact on user adoption and buy-in, ensuring a smooth transition to the new system.
Circling back to working with the right CRM partner, when you’re looking to invest in a new customer relationship management provider, making the right choice is vital.
The success of your implementation efforts will largely depend on your provider and their buy-in. When you’re looking at prospective vendors, it’s essential that you consider whether a provider will team up with your business, working cohesively to offer consultancy and training and ensure your system is tailored to your business (rather than a one-size-fits-all solution that offers little ROI).
Another key driver of CRM implementation success is gaining executive buy-in and trust from the offset. If the senior decision-makers believe in the project and understand its value, they will lead while offering everyone involved the right level of autonomy and authority.
Once you’ve gained buy-in from the top, assembling a core CRM implementation project team made up of key stakeholders in various departments will help ensure that every initiative is smooth, successful, and beneficial to the business.
When you’re putting together your project team, it’s important to choose a cohesive mix of people with a range of skills, talents, experience, and competencies. This broader perspective will foster innovation while increasing your chances of meeting the needs of everyone within the business.
One of the most important aspects of any CRM implementation project is keeping the momentum going at all times.
With your objectives mapped out, your CRM partnership secured, and your project team firmly in place, you should schedule regular meetings, workshops, and video calls to check in with everyone’s progress while making sure everyone stays on the same page.
If your communication efforts dwindle, you will lose momentum, missing important information or opportunities in the process. You will also be less responsive to any potential changes or issues that arise during implementation.
For CRM, implementation is as important that the technology itself. Follow our key advice, and you will reap the business-boosting rewards of your new CRM system long into the future.
For additional CRM insights, advice, and information, watch our full webinar called CRM implementation: How to do it right or download our whitepaper: How to guarantee a successful CRM implementation.