CRM (customer relationship management) implementation involves installing CRM software to manage existing and potential customer relationships. A successful CRM implementation can facilitate customer interaction analysis, lead tracking, and process streamlining for businesses.
There are 7 crucial steps that you need to take to ensure that your CRM is installed correctly:
- Choose the Right CRM Platform
- Set Realistic and Actionable Goals
- Put Together a CRM Team
- Plan Regular Meetings and Check-Ins
- Migrate and Integrate Your Data
- Train Your Team and Test the System
- Rollout the CRM System Across Your Business
CRM systems are extremely complex, and you need to make sure that you have an agency or an expert assisting you in the process. As long as you keep the seven important steps in mind and avoid the fatal CRM implementation mistakes, your CRM implementation will be a success.
Important Steps to Follow When Implementing a CRM
The CRM implementation process is one of the most crucial elements to adopting a CRM. If you want to ensure that your CMR is being used properly and you’re getting the most out of this powerful system, then correctly implementing it is critical. The majority of CRM implementations fail, which often puts business executives off trying to adopt these systems again in the future.
1. Choose the Right CRM Platform
For many businesses, the first mistake in CRM implementation comes before the process even starts. Choosing the right CRM system based on your business needs and goals is incredibly important.
Every CRM system is unique, which means that some are easier (and more affordable) to implement than others. This is one of the factors that you should consider before you commit to a specific CRM. Oftentimes it’s best to consult with someone who has knowledge and experience in CRMs before you land on a final decision on which CRM to choose — this can prevent a whole host of headaches in the future.
It’s also a good idea to do thorough research on your shortlist of CRM systems to ensure that they meet your standards. The deeper you dig into the details of each system, the more you will learn about how they work and which features appeal most to you.
2. Set Realistic and Actionable Goals
Once you’ve landed on the perfect CRM for your business, the next step is to set realistic goals that you can take action on. We all know about SMART goals — this is the time when you should be using them! CRM implementation projects need time, but you need to make sure that you are setting achievable timeframes for each stage of the project.
The goals that you are setting for the implementation process need to be actionable. This means that you need to be able to achieve the goals that you set out for your team. Make sure that you have the expertise and knowledge on-hand to action the tasks that you have set out.
3. Put Together a CRM Team
Installing a CRM and getting it up and running is no easy task. You’re going to need to have a specialised team put together to get the job done. It should consist of the following team members:
- Project manager (implementation leader)
- Systems developer (installation processes)
- Data analyst (data migration specialist)
- QA engineer (CRM testing)
- Champions (department representatives)
It’s crucial that you find the right people to put in place. You need to have team members who are skilled and have the knowledge required to get the tasks completed in the best and more efficient way. With the goals that you have set in the previous step, your team’s job is simply to meet their deadlines and execute each phase of the project properly.
The department champions are representatives from each department in your business. These champions will act as the leverage point between upper management and the rest of the team that will be using the CRM. It’s essential that your department champions are involved in the process because they will give you insights into what each department needs, and it will help you to address any questions or concerns that they might have.
4. Plan Regular Meetings and Check-Ins
Throughout the CRM implementation project you need to make sure that things are always on track. Your team needs to meet deadlines, and everything needs to run smoothly. A small delay in one phase of the project could result in a compound effect that would delay your implementation process even more further down the line.
If you’re constantly checking in with your implementation team, or at least with the project manager, you can be assured that your CRM implementation is still on track. If there are any hiccups then you’ll know about it, rather than checking in on the project later on only to find that it’s not where you expect it to be.
No matter how well you plan, there’s always a chance that something goes wrong and a project can be delayed. It’s normal for obstacles to arise and things to go wrong. However, if you have consistent meetings to regroup and adjust your goals, then you can keep your implementation project on track.
5. Migrate and Integrate Your Data
The data migration process is like an entire project on its own. This is also one of the most important elements of the implementation process because data is vital to the success of your business. Whether it’s customer data, contact details, or financial data, you need to make sure that all of your data is carried over to the new CRM system extremely carefully.
If the data migration process is not done correctly, you will be stuck with corrupted or lost data, which will affect your business in the future. Overall, this is a process that you should never underestimate, and even if you’re feeling just slightly unconfident, make sure to get in touch with someone who has the experience and knowledge that ensures a successful data migration process.
6. Train Your Team and Test the System
Many CRM systems are complex and difficult. Some of them have an incredibly steep learning curve, so it’s vital that you get your team trained and up to speed with the system before you implement it.
The key to training your team in using the system is to make it easier for them to understand. Make sure the CRM system you choose has learning resources available for your team to use. You also need your upper management to have a full understanding of how the system works, which will instil confidence in the rest of your team. It will also give your team a chance to ask any questions about the system and how it needs to be used, which will give them more confidence and peace of mind going forward.
7. Rollout the CRM System Across Your Business
Finally, it’s time to roll out the CRM system across your entire business. This process involves getting your entire team signed up to the CRM system and up to speed with their own profile and workspace on the CRM.
You also need to ensure that your whole team is comfortable with using the system. It’s the perfect time to check up on each of your team members to see if they have any additional questions or concerns that need to be addressed.
You should also use this step to do a thorough investigation of the CRM system to see whether everything has been installed correctly. If there are any issues, you can get them fixed early on before they cause disruptions to your daily business operations.
It might sound simple to successfully implement a CRM, but if it’s not done correctly the system becomes unusable, leading to money, time and effort being wasted. If you need a CRM implemented, it’s always best to work with an expert team that has experience in getting CRM systems up and running.