If you have decided your company can benefit from the advantages provided by CRM software, then you are responsible for ensuring the software is used in its desired capacity. Incorporating CRM solutions into a business can streamline data sharing, personalize client communications, create standards for quality control and assist a company in a variety of different ways provided that company is ready to implement.
Forbes magazine published an article on how companies are failing to use CRM software to its full potential. The article cited short-sighted initial planning and poor implementation team strategies as the primary reasons for CRM systems not living up to expectations. In order to get your best-possible ROI, here are some tips on how to make sure your implementation team is ready for the software adoption:
Put together a strong implementation team
Forbes suggested CRM systems are not supported by a workforce when they are seen as a tool for one group and a burden for another. Too many companies adopt CRM software with the sole purpose of rejuvenating their sales force and assign implementation duties strictly to IT staff. The data, communication tools and management strategies provided by CRM software can be used to benefit every aspect of a company.
When selecting a CRM implementation team, various departments of an organization should be represented. There should be a system administrator to configure existing hardware and install the software and operating systems. There should be end users, people from different areas of the company who will be using the system on a daily basis and who can best communicate their areas’ current needs. There should be a representative from management to provide leadership and guide CRM solution strategies. For larger companies, it is important to have an executive sponsor to demonstrate how seriously the company is taking the new system’s potential benefits.
Depending on the size of your company, you may also wish to incorporate some trainers into the team, people whose job it will be to help create practices and materials to ease company wide transition to CRM solutions.
Most importantly, though, you will need a project manager who will take primary responsibility for the implementation’s success. The project manager will have his or her own duties but will also be responsible for making sure each team member is meeting their objectives. The team should be made of individuals with defined roles and clear goals.
Microsoft Dynamics World news site reminded organizations incorporating CRM strategies is an ongoing experience. In order to make sure that process is managed consistently, though, a company should make use of clear objectives, timeframes and measurable results during the implementation process.
You want to have clear objectives in mind. Before you acquire CRM software, make sure you are aware of how you wish to use the technology to settle current issues and expand your capabilities. You should have a desired timeframe to see the results of implementation. Instead of strict deadlines, use a regularly scheduled check-in to ascertain progress. Make sure each implementation team member is aware of what specific CRM benefits they are in charge of incorporating and when they should be able to share results.
Share your objectives with your CRM partner. In order to achieve successful implementation, you should select a CRM provider that will work with your team. In the case of some much smaller companies, the CRM partner could serve as a system administrator during the implementation process.
As you work with your CRM partner and other team members, be ready for your objectives to change. If during the adoption practice you find new CRM features you hadn’t planned for but could be beneficial to your company, don’t ignore them in favor of just getting the work done. CRM software is very adaptable and your team should be equally so. Discoveries should be shared with the team, the company and your CRM partner.
Team members should come forward with a set of solutions and tools they wish to gain from the new software. Having team members working towards a system where they can see the immediate benefits will encourage participation and enthusiasm for the project. Investment from team members who will work hard and continue to support the CRM system is the key to a successful implementation strategy.