Thinking About Implementing a CRM? Consider These Tips First
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Customer relationship management, or CRM, software is essential to the growth of the software industry and is one of the most pervasive types of business software. But according to Merkle Group, 63 percent of all CRM projects face adoption issues and, consequently, fail. How can you ensure successful implementation of your new CRM software and, ultimately, the success of your project?
Here are six useful tips to help you implement a CRM in the best way possible to get the maximum return on investment.
1. Determine what you want the CRM to do for your company
If you’ve decided to implement customer relationship management software, it’s essential to set goals. Before implementing CRM software, ask yourself and your team:
- What drives my need for a CRM?
- What do I want to accomplish with this CRM?
- What CRM features do I need?
- What problems will the CRM solve?
By defining your goals in advance, you’ll have established metrics for measuring progress. That’s why it’s vital to identify your company’s needs clearly before implementing a CRM.
There are different types of CRMs, and each offers specific features for achieving specific goals.
Types of CRM software
Operational – An operational CRM simplifies business processes for sales, marketing, and service automation. This type of CRM generates leads and then converts them into contacts within the CRM, picking up all details at the same time.
Analytical – The main purpose of this type of CRM is data analysis. An analytical CRM looks at customer data and offers insights to management regarding the current status of the business. This type of CRM is suitable for organizations that need to gather and analyze large volumes of data.
Collaborative – This type of CRM is developed to increase the customer experience. Collaborative CRM functionality simplifies communication between customers and your company and between stakeholders and different departments within your company.
2. Conduct internal marketing
This CRM implementation step is sometimes underestimated, but when implementing customer relationship management software you need to share your plans and goals with your employees. Your colleagues need to know why you're making changes to the business process.
Before CRM implementation, make sure that you and your employees have a clear understanding of the business processes that will be supported by the new system. Your employees need to understand why the new system is being implemented and what results you hope to achieve. When employees have a complete picture of what’s happening, everyone can work as a single engine, leading to more efficient work. To mark the launch and create enthusiasm, you can write a cool article, hang a poster, give out a launch t-shirt, throw a launch party, or do something else.
3. Provide ample training
To achieve good results with a new CRM, all employees need to be in sync.
There are a few different approaches to training. Training can be:
- role-based to allow employees to easily understand what they need to do in relation to their job function;
- a combination of official guidelines and personal involvement;
- bespoke training or fixed agenda training;
- ongoing and provided in small doses to increase retention.
Don’t forget to select a person who will run the project properly to reach all your company’s goals. A good project manager and good internal communication are the way to success.
4. Gather feedback
Allow users to leave feedback and suggestions for future improvements to the CRM system. This CRM implementation strategy will lead to continuous upgrading of the software and keep the system relevant. Implementing a CRM is just the beginning. To make your CRM implementation process more successful, you should be ready to continue evolving to meet the constantly changing needs of your business.
Here are some ways you can gather customer feedback about your CRM system.
Sales and support teams. Ask your account managers if their customers have repeatedly emailed or called about a particular feature that worked or didn’t work for them. Similarly, ask your customer support agents for the most commonly asked questions and most commonly reported problems.
Surveys. Customer surveys are easy to create, send out, interpret, and analyze. Use a combination of short surveys (one- or two-question polls) on your website. To get the highest possible response rate, ask your customers to rate their experience on a scale from 1 to 10, not using simple yes or no questions, and don’t burden them with too many questions. Aim for five to fifteen direct questions at most.
Usability testing. When building your CRM software from scratch, you can take advantage of usability testing to get more insights into how users perceive the system they interact with. Usability testing reveals things people sometimes don’t know they’re thinking about or struggling with. Generally, this approach allows you to get a complete picture of how your product is going and provide a clear path to make the user experience better.
5. Bear in mind not only core features but also something extra
Before we dig into further functionality for CRM software, let’s consider the most used CRM features.
As a study by Capterra shows, the most used functionality of CRM software is calendar management and email marketing. But in order to make your software as efficient and profitable as possible, you need to add some other extra features as well.
Capterra surveyed 500 CRM users to get an overview of what features are most desirable. The results of the poll show that people want more social media monitoring capabilities (25%) and the ability to pull in prospect information from social media (24%).
Don’t forget about some special features that will not only help you better understand your customers but also boost sales – for example, mobile support. A survey by Nucleus Research has shown that sales reps can increase their productivity by 26.4% when adding mobile access to a CRM system. Mobile access is crucial. When your next sales meeting starts, an employee may be out of the office or on the road. In this case employees can use their mobile device without any obstacles. Moreover, make sure your CRM works as well on mobile as it does on a desktop since 48 percent of CRM users now access CRM software from a smartphone and 45 percent access it from a tablet.
Providing your employees with access to your CRM via mobile devices will improve productivity and give them access to information anywhere and anytime.
6. Implementation is not once and done
Successful implementation is good, but implementation process shouldn’t end there. Always watch what’s trending in the market. You can’t meet your customers’ expectations if your CRM software has outdated functionality. You should constantly add new features to your system.
You’ll get successful results with your CRM system if you take the following steps:
- Follow a Build-Measure-Learn cycle. It’s normal to try new features and fail. The key business rule is the faster you fail the sooner you understand what works best for you.
- Review your setup from time to time. Trash the old reports or dashboards that don’t work for you anymore. Create new workflows as necessary.
- Gather feedback. Regularly meet with your employees to learn what works well and what challenges they meet when using your CRM. Collecting employee feedback is crucial for future improvement.
Planning of delivery is the key to success. It’s important not only to use modern technology but also to know exactly what steps to take to smoothly implement it.
Follow these simple steps and you should be well on your way to successful CRM implementation. Remember that if you’re in doubt or need a comprehensive CRM solution, you can always get in touch with us and we’ll solve your business problems using modern technology.
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