How to implement CRM at lightning speed
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system offers to companies such merits as improved customer retention and sales growth. However, the implementation process may become quite difficult for businesses looking to migrate data without disrupting day-to-day operations.
Here are tips on how to adopt CRM quickly and avoid many of the common pitfalls associated with data migration and business transformation.
Identify where you are now and where you want to be
You should start with identifying problematic areas in your business that either consistently fall short or require more time, which makes them financially unviable. You have to stay clear-eyed even about processes that the business has been following for years, and those involving many staff members. For example, if you used to store your company data across multiple systems, you may find you’re working from islands of information that have little to no consistency and can be difficult to navigate. Managing data effectively can be a real challenge in such an environment. What’s more, this means processes that could easily be automated with better data harnessing have to be performed manually, which is a waste of time.
Do not get discouraged, however, as the identified problems present an opportunity to set out your goals for CRM adoption and base your implementation around them. Some of the more common goals for CRM adoption include:
- Customer centricity — putting customer service and satisfaction at the forefront of all your business processes.
- Data harnessing — taking full advantage of the data you collect by storing and utilizing it intelligently, efficiently, and ethically.
- Seamless integration — ensuring consistency by integrating different areas of your business to achieve a single customer view.
- Optimized workflow — automating business processes.
Understand that data hygiene issues are unavoidable
Poor data administration is more than often a by-product of a failing or underperforming CRM. It is time to clean up your data.
You should expect to dedicate sufficient time to data cleansing, eradicating duplicate data, and identifying areas where data administration has failed. This will make data mapping far easier for your implementation team, as you can’t expect them to understand where and how your data is housed if you don’t understand that yourself.
Follow the best practices for speedy implementation
The first thing you need to understand is that CRM adoption is not an IT project, rather a business transformation process. It is a team effort, and you need everyone to be involved. Without true buy-in from everyone ranging from an administrative assistant to a CEO, you run the risk of merely adopting a very expensive spreadsheet.
We suggest establishing regular communication to set out the implementation roadmap and update the team on any changes to timescales. It’s a good idea to appoint platform ambassadors – individuals who will drive adoption by showcasing good data administration practices and work with team members who have issues with the new system.
While involving your existing staff is essential, you also need to be realistic about the skills you have in-house and which professionals you need to bring in to ensure the implementation is a success. Along with experts who will build the foundations of your new system and seamlessly integrate the different areas of your business, you also need to engage professionals who can train your staff to use the new system, particularly if you are adopting a custom CRM solution.
As mentioned above, choosing the right implementation partner is important. This isn’t going to be a two-week project, and therefore it’s essential you select a CRM consulting partner with experience in your industry.
Be ambitious and learn as you go
If you want your CRM implementation to be quick and painless, define the pain points in your business processes and aim at eliminating them. And to make your CRM a real success, you should invite professional consultants to integrate the developed solution with your internal business systems and help you ensure a viable adoption strategy.