Implementing a CRM system is a serious challenge for any company because it brings changes at all levels and affects all employees. Any change is difficult, but in this case, it is definitely worth it, because the benefits of the CRM system have been repeatedly proven over the years in hundreds of studies. Like these, for example:
When considering the implementation of CRM in your business, you should ask yourself the following fundamental questions:
- What are the goals and benefits of implementing a CRM system?
- What resources does it require?
- What organizational changes do you need to make?
Their answers will help you realize exactly what you need.
In case you have already decided to do so, the first step is to choose the right provider that will not only offer you a functional and practical solution covering all your requirements, but also a first-class support that will help you with smoother implementation, get to know the system better, as well as for advices assistance and support, both during implementation and afterwards.
Speaking of implementation, it's a good to prepare your company for the organizational challenges ahead in order to make the CRM system work 100% for your business.
To help you make this happen faster and easier, we're going to give you some helpful tips for a successful CRM implementation, in 8 steps.
STEP1: Get the Management Involved
Let’s be fair - the implementation of a CRM system only works if all employees use it as intended. A variety of studies show that a lack of support from the senior management is one of the main reasons CRM projects fail.
Because CRM involves all parts of an organization, your managers must not only participate, but also build trust in the system among the other employees. Their involvement from the very beginning of the implementation has an extremely positive effect on the entire upcoming reorganization.
STEP 2: Appoint a Project Manager for the CRM Implementation
Choose an employee who you think has all the necessary qualities to manage the project. They will monitor and direct everything related to the system and will make sure that the necessary steps are taken on time and the goals are achieved.
This Project Manager does not necessarily have to be part of the management. The key to this role is that the employee is responsible, committed to the project, has 'contagious' enthusiasm, and an eye for detail to minimize gaps and maximize benefits.
STEP 3: Choose a CRM Manager
This role may seem similar to the one above, but it actually has a different purpose. While the Project Manager leads and observes the implementation process of the CRM system, the CRM Manager is the one who must know the system from the ground up - all its functionalities, advantages and capabilities.
This is the person who should be in closest contact with the support team of the system provider and should always be able to respond, if necessary. Also, they will receive information from the system’s support about changes, updates and bugs, the elimination of which is being worked on. In other words, it will be the connecting link between the provider and the users of the software.
STEP 4: Start with a Bang
First and foremost, utilize the "internal marketing" strategy and sell it to your employees. It doesn't need to be just verbal. Write a funny memo, create an attractive slogan or organize a festive "launch" lunch. Such initiatives are not only appreciated and positively affect the atmosphere in the office, but also incite enthusiasm in the team. It won't cost you much, but it's… worth it.
This is not enough, of course. After the fun part comes the more serious one. Talk to your people about how they feel after the change and offer them help if they need any. This will give them confidence and make them feel supported by the management.
STEP 5: Set internal CRM System Guidelines
A CRM system is as good as the data in it. This is precisely why it is important to set internal guidelines for this data. If some of the salespeople enter their sales into the system and others don't, this will create difficulties for the manager, both for their accountability and for which salespeople should be focused on what, as a consequence of the lack of complete and accurate information.
If your employees don’t know how to enter data properly, it will affect everything else - sales tracking, reports and analysis, marketing activities and most of all, the quality of the customer service.
The instructions must be precise, to-the-point and easily accessible so that it is clear exactly "what", "when" and "how" should be done in the CRM system.
STEP 6: Provide Sufficient Training on CRM Usage
People are different. Some of your employees will be bold and enthusiastic enough to start working with the system right away, others will be more skeptical and/or take a slower and hesitant approach.
A well-chosen Project Manager must have a strategy for both types. The common thing between them is that both need initial and follow-up trainings. Enthusiasm can sometimes lead to more mistakes, and skeptics need to be convinced of the benefits of the system.
Provide a suitable environment for regular trainings, and for new employees -- the onboarding process must include training on using the already implemented CRM system.
STEP7: Define a CRM Strategy and Your Own Philosophy
CRM is not just a technology, but a strategy and a philosophy. And by strategy we do not mean "Let's implement CRM", nor do we consider "From now on we will only work in CRM" as a philosophy.
To have a successful CRM strategy, you need to define how work processes will change, what steps you will take at each stage of implementation, what you want to achieve, how you will measure your goals and how CRM will complement your business development plan.
To turn CRM into a philosophy, you need to change your entire mindset. Implementing a CRM system means that you make the decision that your number one priority will be managing, developing and maintaining customer relationships and providing excellent service. In other words, you must adopt and develop a business model that is completely customer-centric.
STEP 8: Deal with the Negative Attitude
The biggest challenge in implementing a CRM system is the people who will work with it.
Since the implementation of CRM is associated with a number of changes in the work routine of each employee, it is possible that there will be negative attitudes that you need to deal with. These statistics prove why this is necessary.
You can expect to hear statements like, "We don't need a CRM in our department because we've established a certain way of working" or "I keep all my emails in my in Outlook and I know exactly where to find them even without CRM ".
You can point out that the system ensures that the entire database is stored in one place, and this information is owned by the company. Therefore, you, as a manager, have chosen to manage everything through CRM because it is more reliable and secure, and it’s beneficial for everyone involved.
Demonstrate all of the system’s functionalities to your employes, so they can see and understand its advantages, and how, thanks to them, they will become more productive, and the work process – easier to manage. As soon as they start using the system, they will see for themselves.
Implementing a CRM system is a process that requires preparation, dedication and cooperation from every department in the company. On your end, resources need to be allocated, people trained, a clear and consistent plan of action put in place, etc.
Above all, you must be ready to change your attitude and the style you work, because CRM will transform the way you do business. In a positive way, of course.
With CRM, the customer becomes the core of your business and all information will be stored in one centralized database. It is a strategic approach that brings together technology, internal processes, employees and data management across the organization to attract and retain customers.
If you are considering implementing a CRM system in your company, InfoServ CRM is the solution that will cover all your business needs. Furthermore, our team of experts will help your implementation run smoothly and be at your disposal whenever you need advice, help and assistance. For us, providing first-class support is every bit as important as the functionality of the system we have developed.
Get in touch with us to request a demonstration of InfoServ CRM’s capabilities and discuss together the implementation process in details.