When you’re about to integrate an IT software into your team’s daily procedures, then the whole company needs to be in line. This whole process has to be a combination of a set of official guidelines and personal involvement. A good project manager is essential and one of the keys to success is represented by good set of internal communication tactics. A Customer Relationship Management software isn’t just a new technological tool, it’s a system that needs a purpose and a strategy.
How hard is it to implement a CRM in the company?
We totally get it, trying to convince your staff to change their ways and use elaborate work tools isn’t an easy task. When we first started out using the CRM that we actually vend, it wasn’t all milk and honey. We were pretty apprehensive, we thought that just by using Excel spreadsheets and taking some paper notes would be just about enough to deal with the whole sales process, but, Lord, we we wrong. It took us a while to get used to it, but now we can’t live without all of the advantages that our CRM presents itself with.
With the rise of the internet and especially social media era, customer behavior has become more and more empowered, thus shifting the perspective on how to address customers as the main business asset. Given all this, the CRM developers also had to step up their game and they’ve created such products that:
- are able to raise customer satisfaction beyond developing good products and services
- help retain existing customers to maximize efficiencies, up and crosssell to them and reduce the cost of acquisition
- ensure customer satisfaction and a significant brand experience
- improve the overall relationship between the business entity and specific audiences
So it’s pretty obvious that the CRM is a powerful tool as long as it’s used to its’ maximum capacity, but in order to achieve this it’s necessary to make sure that some golden rules for implementing the software are being respected.
1. Select the right CRM for your company
Choosing the right CRM system is essential to have a complete understanding of your business goals and needs. First, ask yourself what you would like to accomplish with the CRM.
Are you looking to advance your current relationship management strategy? Is the implementation of the CRM meant to organize your many contacts in one place or enhance your customer segmentation for marketing purposes? Ask your team members what they expect from a new CRM system and analyze the CRM market.
And never forget that choosing a user-friendly CRM will make for a smooth transition and quick employee adoption.
2. Present the benefits of incorporating a CRM in the company
The strength of the CRM resides in its’ capacity to hold a lot of client information that’s readily available for every employee, both at the office and outside of it. With that information, your sales reps can generate reports and even automate their repetitive activities.
Get senior management to embrace the idea of CRM first. Work both with field staff and office employees who are respected and can act like influencers, and gather their opinions because on the long run you need them to be happy with the new tool.
3. Have an implementation plan
Implementing CRM software requires both you and your team to be prepared for each stage of adoption. The first component should be to ensure that you have a sufficient data backup before you start the implementation plan, so that there’ll be no important lost information during the transition.
Before making the transition, you should also create a plan of action that takes a strict timeline and budget into consideration. You can then schedule training sessions, reducing the change impact and cutting back on eventual human errors.
Your new CRM system will not work until your entire staff has been properly trained. However, with enough training and hands-on demonstrations in place, you will be able to avoid unnecessary complications down the line.
4. Create an implementation strategy
The CRM software shouldn’t, as previously mentioned, be considered just technology but a company philosophy.
When you implement a CRM solution your whole organization needs to rethink all the daily activities and routines and each individual needs to change their work pattern.
Another thing that you might have to tackle with is the idea that the CRM is exclusively a sales tool. Try to deal with that prejudice from the get go. Every employee can benefits from its use, even if not using it to its full potential.
5. Turn top managers into supporters
As mentioned previously, it’s important to gather the support from every person that you think might have a positive influence on the speed of implementation.
Reputable management figures drive the opinion and culture in the organization and their early adaption gives a synergy effect on the whole organization.
6. Offer complete training
Take us for example, we’ve learned along the years that it’s extremely important for us to make sure that every new work mate is presented with the software that we use, even if at first they’re just going to watch people use it or hear about it. We ask our most skilled sales reps and customer service workmates to help us in the induction phase of our new employees.
You should do the same with your employees, the only difference being that you’ll need to organize training sessions with a representative from the company who sold you that software.
At Nexus, for example, we offer online support after the purchase for the person that’s going to use our systems.
7. Ask for employee feedback
And not just from the influencers… As soon as you begin training, be sure to continuously request feedback from your employees, no matter if it’s positive or negative, and act accordingly if it’s feasible.
Ask them about their experiences. What’s working? What needs improvement?
8. Identify important metrics and make the necessary adjustments
After you implement your new CRM system, set specific metrics and analytics to measure the progress of your new initiative.
It is important for your CRM to provide you with measurable data. By capturing and analyzing activity, it should give you a deeper understanding of the relationship dynamics you have with your clients and prospects in real-time. Whether they’re positive or negative, these insights will show you which adjustments need to be made and how you can maximize efficiency within your business.
Make the transition to new customer relationship management a seamless and painless process. Before the launch of your new CRM, evaluate how you run your business. Then ensure that your new CRM solution fits into your existing processes and infrastructure.
9. Turn the CRM launch into a big thing
Get your marketing department onto this, because you’re going to need it when implementing a new tool like a CRM system.
Make a cool article on your intranet, a poster, a special launch t-shirt, internal launch party etc. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but something to mark the launch and create enthusiasm.
So, as you can see, implementing a CRM solution isn’t the most difficult thing you’re company will go through and the advantages are several. soon after the moment your employees buy into it, they won’t stop using it. You just need to pan out an adequate strategy.