Do you know what you need to consider when deciding whether to implement a CRM system? Implementation of a comprehensive CRM solution requires proper preparation. It´s important to take into account various aspects and follow given recommendations to avoid unnecessary complications.
1. Define your basic requirements on the CRM system
Selection of a suitable CRM system does not take one day. Before making a final decision, it´s crucial to write down what you expect from your new CRM system. Do you need a solution for management of teams, tasks, orders, customer records or email marketing? Thanks to the CRM system, you can manage sales, customer service, marketing or other areas such as HR, predictive service or retail. Company mobility provides you with constant access to relevant data from anywhere.
It´s important for you to choose only those functionalities which you will truly use, and which can be connected to your current internal processes. Within internal brainstorming, summarize your expectation from the CRM system. The more detailed they are, the more efficient your communication with a potential supplier will be.
Why is definition of your requirements beneficial?
- quicker implementation of your requirements – you get rid of unnecessary communication and can proceed to discussion about real options regarding the solution;
- you know from the beginning what are you expected to – what you need to deliver before the implementation itself;
- you will save both money and time – the earlier the project is launched, the earlier you can meet your goals.
2. Give a green light to Proof of Concept
Thanks to the initial analyses, you can get a broader view of the implementation process. Before deployment of the CRM system itself, it´s good to carry out an analysis, so called Proof of Concept (PoC).
It means an analysis of customer environment, business requirements, IT infrastructure, necessary system integrations or solution costs. The main aim of the PoC is mapping the current customer situation, selection of the most suitable technologies and setting a more detailed project plan to make sure that implementation will be successful.
The PoC should be a part of at least medium or large projects. Even though innovative companies are aware of importance of initial analyses, a lot of customers still require quick deployment of the CRM system without any analysis of their environment. However, such an approach bears certain risks.
Example: Outdated and slow systems which employee are working with on daily basis, do not fulfil their purpose anymore. That´s the reason why a company decided to implement a new CRM system. Since it´s going to be a complex project, a supplier recommended to begin with a Proof of Concept. However, the customer insisted on implementation without an initial analysis, since he did not consider it to be important for the CRM system development. As a reason he stated unnecessary price increase and lack of time. As a result of the company´s decision, the implementation process took several weeks longer what significantly increased its price.
3. Use the benefits of the agile project management
Large projects often require gradual development of their individual phases. For implementation of a comprehensive solution with gradually developing requirements, we suggest selecting the agile methodology. Using this methodology, CRM development is divided into short parts, so called spurts, during which the final form of the CRM system is gradually developing.
Continuous testing is a part of the agile methodology, so it´s possible to respond flexibly to potential changes and eliminate imperfection in due time. During each spurt, all relevant information about current project status and implementation outcomes are at disposal. Among other things, the agile approach requires close cooperation between a CRM supplier and a customer. The fact that the customer has the possibility to continuously track the outcomes of each spurt, his feedback can influence direction of another cycles. At the same time supplier´s recommendations need to be considered, since he knows the best what can be implemented.
The agile methodology is focused primarily on work effectivity, quality outcomes and, at the end of the day, customer satisfaction. The customer doesn´t need to wait until the last phase of the project, but quite contrary, he helps to achieve it step by step.
4. Don´t underestimate the significance of CRM adaptation in a company
Implementation of new systems into well-running working routine is often accompanied by concerns from the employees´ side. Since CRM system implementation brings numerous changes affecting fundamental employees´ routine and change way of work of each and every one of them, some level of internal education is crucial.
If you want your employees to successfully adopt the CRM system, you need to communicate the following issues:
- changes of working procedures brought by the newly implemented system;
- benefits that the system will bring to employees;
- trainings for employees – how to work in the CRM system.
Success of the CRM system often depends on the level of employees´ engagement. If you have already undergone the entire process of CRM implementation and you have finally launched the system which will not be used by the employees effectively, all your efforts can be wasted. To understand the changes and introduction of CRM not only as an ordinary system but also as a new strategic company concept, shall be an integral part of the entire process.
What are benefits for employees?
- 360-degree view on customers;
- data centralized in one system;
- a possibility of effective tracking of the whole business process;
- constant access to data from anywhere and via any device;
- notifications on planned activities;
- elimination of manual data inputs thanks to automated processes.
5. Motivate your employees
For successful progress of your business, you need to have your CRM filled with relevant data not only at the beginning, but continually throughout the year. It´s important that work in CRM is seen as standard.
It´s good to have in mind so called motivation plan. When setting personal goals for the next year, give your employees criteria to fulfil. Individual goals can be determined by rewards. Fulfilling the goals can be tracked directly in the CRM system via transparent dashboards.
Example: Sales representatives have a possibility to track their KPI´s, number of new clients or closed deals. Thanks to the CRM, they have an overview of what they need to work on to get rewarded. It also reflects in their motivation to deliver better and better performance.
The quality filled CRM system represents background for strategic decision-making of the management, what may influence the future direction of the company.
Do you look for an experienced supplier to help you with the CRM system implementation? Do not hesitate and contact us for free consultation.