Aligning resources for a great CRM implementation

November 17, 2014
November 17, 2014 Ken Jacobsen

Aligning resources for a great CRM implementation

CRM is a great business solution, but it has to be implemented correctly.

Customer relationship management software can help businesses make their sales and marketing processes more effective as well as collect more relevant operational data and provide visibility into that information. The benefits of CRM are many, so it’s no surprise that the platform has become something of a requirement in many different industries and market segments. Of course, something that powerful needs to be approached with the right attitude. A lack of coordination, planning and communication in implementation can lead to delays in launching and in return on investment. Conversely, a good strategy for CRM integration and the choice of the right CRM partner can lead to a very positive result.

Here’s a look at some important steps businesses need to take to align their resources and realize a great CRM implementation:

Get support from the top
The top executives of a company aren’t always the ones who make the initial decision to seek out new CRM options, nor do they often supervise the day-to-day process of implementation. However, executives need to be involved so that project leaders can acquire the right resources. This includes money for an upgrade, extra time in the daily schedule for training or a clear statement on how important a new CRM system will be for a business. For this reason, it’s crucial that the staff members driving the implementation keep the top leaders updated and involved and get a commitment to the project as early as possible.

Assess operations early on
The occasion of a new implementation is a great chance to assess current workflows and processes and determine if certain aspects can be streamlined or otherwise modified to be more effective. It’s important to not change existing structures for the sake of changing them or to institute unrealistic, wholesale alterations to long-held practices. With that said, identifying areas of operation and specific tasks that can be partially or wholly automated is important. CRM systems provide the tools to cut down on wasted time and realize greater efficiency, but businesses need to understand what they can change to better reach that goal.

Address needs first
Although it’s a simplistic approach, dividing potential new features for a CRM system into wants and needs is an effective method. It helps to correctly prioritize the construction of a new platform and the components located within it. Businesses need to make sure they’re addressing immediate and continuing needs first. Having this kind of prioritized list in place also helps when it comes to working with a CRM partner and choosing between different types of software. Having a clear idea of the areas that need to be addressed as well as the biggest non-essential additions that may be included will help make the budget for a CRM project provide more returns. Destination CRM reminds companies that they need to worry about needs and not the bells and whistles or cutting-edge features.

Work with your CRM partner
A top-flight CRM partner is a valuable resource in the implementation process. The partner provides the expertise and knowledge of helping many different companies successfully implement a new platform, and can help steer clients through the most difficult parts of the process. The resources provided by a partner, in terms of experience, helps improve the entire implementation process. The leaders of the implementation team need to consider the qualifications of potential partners during the initial phases of the selection process. By making the right choice, companies can get more out of their available resources and realize a truly effective, responsive and adaptive CRM system.

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