Everything You Need To Consider For A Successful CRM Implementation

Successfully implementing a new CRM system can be a challenge.

Regardless of how big or small your business is, investing in a new CRM, or upgrading an existing system, can lead to disruption at every level.

You’ll need the technology and infrastructure in place to support it. You’ll need the policies and procedures in place to govern its use. And you’ll need to ensure your users can get to grips with all its features and change their ways of working.

While a well-implemented CRM offers many business benefits, you’ll need to carefully consider all the angles before you decide to invest.

The stark fact is, around 75% of all CRM implementation projects fail.

It’s usually not the software that’s at fault – most major CRM systems on the market are powerful tools that can transform a business when used in the right way. The problem usually lies with poor implementation and user adoption.

If you don’t understand what your CRM is capable of, optimise it to make the best use of all its features, and train your team to use it most effectively, then your CRM implementation is destined to fail.

Here, we look at some of the most important things to consider to ensure your CRM implementation is a success.

Define your approach

When it comes to embarking on a new CRM implementation project, defining your approach at the start is essential. There are a few key questions to ask yourself at this point, including:

  • What are your objectives for your new CRM?
  • What are your budget and timescales?
  • What additional IT or other resources does your business need?
  • Do you need to make any organisational changes?
  • How many user licenses do you need?
  • Does your new CRM need to integrate with any other software or processes?
  • Do you want an on-premise solution or Software as a Service?

Answering those questions will help you identify and define your requirements, so you can work out precisely what you need your new CRM to do for your business.

Gain buy-in

The success of your CRM project hinges on how widely adopted the system will be once implemented.

Your new CRM system will likely touch every part of your business and, in most cases, will help make your teams more effective and improve your service delivery.

But, to drive that success, everyone needs to buy into your CRM strategy and take ownership of the role they play.

You’ll need buy-in from your senior team to steer the direction of the project and build credibility. Meanwhile, you must also encourage your users to adopt it and start using it in their day-to-day roles.

Select a project manager

When it comes to implementing a new CRM system, selecting the right project manager is crucial.

They’ll be the one running the show, liaising with all the project stakeholders and ensuring all the key milestones are hit.

If you don’t have the in-house expertise to project-manage a CRM implementation, then Koa Consulting can help.

Our expert team has many years’ experience in implementing CRM systems for organisations of all sizes and providing training and support to help them get the most out of their CRM, regardless of the software or supplier.

Appoint some CRM ‘champions’

While your project manager is there to keep the implementation running smoothly and ensure each stage is a success, your CRM super-users, or ‘champions’ are the ones who will road test your new system, help identify and iron out any issues and show others how to use the system properly.

If you run a small business, you may only need one super-user. If you’re a bigger enterprise, you may need one in each department or team.

Your CRM champions will be the go-to people for information about the system and will help administer it daily, so select them wisely.

Define your processes

Your CRM system will only be as good as the way it’s used and the data it holds.

So, creating a handbook or document which governs best practices and common usage guidance is essential.

The finished document should be issued to all staff using the CRM as part of their training, to show them how to use the system and its features most effectively.

Provide training and support

It’s no good making a significant investment in a new CRM system if your staff don’t know how to use it. And if they don’t understand the impact it will have on their day-to-day roles and how it can make their job easier, you can’t expect them to adopt it fully.

So, make sure you offer the right training and ongoing support to ensure all your users can get the most from your new system and use it in the way your business needs them to.

Your project manager and your CRM champions all have a role to play here in equipping your users with the skills and knowledge they need to use your new system to its full capabilities.

Overcome negativity

As we alluded to earlier, the biggest challenge in any CRM implementation is your people.

If you get them on board right at the start, show them how to use your new system correctly and highlight how it makes their lives easier, it should help improve adoption.

However, if your users don’t know what they are doing, are reluctant to change their way of working or simply see your new CRM as an additional hassle, it can completely derail your implementation project.

So, make sure you are ready to counter any negativity or reluctance you may receive from your staff to help encourage its adoption across your business.

Again, your CRM champions will have a huge role to play in promoting the benefits of your new system.

Let us help you

Koa Consulting can help ensure your CRM implementation is a successful one.

We are vastly experienced in most major CRMs and have helped many businesses get the most out of their powerful features and benefits.

We can help manage your entire CRM implementation, translate your business needs to your CRM supplier and provide ongoing review and improvement support to help you maximise the returns on your investment in this business-critical area.

We can also review your customer journey to help you ensure you’re offering excellent service and providing long-term value to your clients, with a clear strategic plan to help you maximise your relationships and get more from your customers.

So, if you’d like a free consultation to discuss how we can help you unlock the benefits of CRM for your business, get in touch today.