Yearning for a successful CRM implementation? Consider These 8 Tips for Guaranteed Success

Implementing a CRM is one of the surest ways to transform your organization’s operational efficiency and potentially increase your revenues. However, as noted by the Merkle Group, up to 63% of all CRM implementation projects experience issues right from the start, and in most cases, fail. That’s not a great statistic. There are certain issues that, if not handled properly, will result in the whole project’s failure. So, what exactly frustrates teams and cause failure while implementing CRMs? Here are a few that are clear from the start.
  • There’s a lot of manual input in regards to lead details, which is time-consuming.
  • Until recently, most CRMs couldn’t support sales teams in analyzing customer behavior to deduce data-driven decisions.
  • Most CRMs are designed for sales managers, ignoring the people on the ground (sales team). As a result, reporting and collaboration features either take up too much time or are too basic.
Is it possible to successfully implement CRM software? The answer is a resounding yes. At Plumlogix.com, we’ve helped many companies implement CRMs (Salesforce) and realize huge ROIs. [Want more of these in your inbox? Sign up now]
If you are ready to get started, consider these 8 secrets to a successful CRM implementation.
  1. Determine what your CRM goals are beforehand

In business, every investment must be preceded with an objective or goal along with a plan to achieve it. The same goes for your new CRM. What do you want it to do for your company? Are you looking at improving your customer experience or do you just want to streamline your workflows? Interrogate your company to determine why you need a CRM, what you want to accomplish with the CRM, what the features should be, and what problems you want the CRM to solve. CRMs also come in different types, and they are targeted to achieve specific goals. Operational CRMs are designed to simplify business processes in marketing, sales and service automation. Analytical CRMs help with data analysis: providing insights on customer data. Collaborative CRMs are meant to improve customer experience by simplifying communication between your company and the customers, and between stakeholders and the different departments in your organization.
  1. Design and implement an internal marketing process

It doesn’t make sense to be the only one in your organization who understands why the company needs a CRM. If you acquire one, it will be used by all the employees, and therefore everyone needs to understand the need for the CRM and the problems it’s going to solve. Internal marketing before acquiring a CRM is often overlooked, yet it’s a very critical step. It’s imperative that you share your goals and plans with all the employees in your company, and help them understand your reasons for making changes in the business process. Educate your employees on how the proposed CRM will support the different business processes it will interact with, why it’s needed, and the results you hope to achieve. That way, you can be sure the whole company will be ready and able to work as a single-engine, which is essential for the success of your CRM implementation.
  1. Provide ample training

Now that you’ve done enough marketing within the company about the proposed CRM, it’s time to offer ample training to all your employees and stakeholders who will interact with the CRM. This training can be role-based, bespoke training, fixed agenda training, or a combination of personal and official guidelines. You can also deliver the training in small doses for better retention.
  1. Gather feedback for future improvement

Business needs and processes change with demand. It’s important to allow your intended CRM users to provide feedback and suggestions that will be used for future improvements. CRM implementationThis step is particularly important because it sets the ground for continuous upgrading of the CRM software, keeping it much more relevant to your business needs. Implementation is only just the beginning. You’ll need to keep upgrading the features and functionalities as your business needs demand. If you are not sure how to collect the feedback or building a CRM from scratch, you may want to look to your sales and support teams, conduct surveys, and perform usability testing.
  1. Remember that it’s not only the core features that matter, leave room for something extra

It’s good to start with what functionalities people value most and understand what they lack so you can make it more useful to your users. While implementing your CRM, consider the following features that most people quote as what they start within their CRMs.
  • Calendar management and email marketing
  • Social media monitoring capabilities
  • Mobile access
  1. Artificial Intelligence is a must

One of the key drivers of CRM trends in 2020 and beyond is the use of AI to automate most processes. Forms of AI such as machine learning, natural language processing, and predictive analytics should be integrated into the CRM development so that tasks such as gathering and analyzing huge amounts of data in real-time, ranking and prioritization of leads, sending emails to potential clients, and recommending next steps to sales professionals can be fully automated. Automation is key for having an efficient and reliable CRM. Through automation, you unlock more time for your sales representatives to foster new relationships or seek new opportunities to replace performing routine, complicated tasks.
  1. Remember to add Collaboration Features to transform the sales process

Although by now you’ve added most of the features that will make your CRM efficient and reliable, it’s imperative to add features that allow collaboration so that users can be more effective in working on projects. [Watch how Plumlogix is helping organizations like yours achieve their digital transformation goals]
Collaboration functionalities can include data sharing, synchronizing workflows within teams, communication via email and calls, the ability to provide updates on key sales activities, and the ability to receive notifications on time. Most of these collaboration features are aimed at offsetting routine manual work from your sales team, limiting misunderstandings within common teams, and synchronizing teams so that a higher performance can be achieved.
  1. Keep in mind implementation is not once and done

Finally, you’ve successfully implemented your CRM. Don’t stop there. Otherwise, with time you’ll realize you have outdated functionalities that offer little service to your customers. The best thing to do is to watch out for new CRM trends that make work easier and improve your customer’s experience and implement them. As soon as new features are released, add them to your CRM provided they add value to the overall reliability of the CRM. To be successful and enjoy real, measurable ROI on your CRM, follow a build-measure-learn cycle. Even if you fail in trying out new features, you will have learned a few things that work and a few things that don’t work. In addition, learn to review your CRM setup from time to time. Get rid of all the old dashboards and reports and create new workflows as needed. Lastly, remember you need feedback. Make a habit of collecting it from your employees and use it for future improvements.

Wrap up

CRM implementation requires adequate planning and thoughtful consideration of key elements that can make the process a success or a failure. Having modern technology is good, but it’s meaningless without understanding how to smoothly implement it. Make use of our secrets to a successful CRM implementation and enjoy a seamless CRM adoption process. If you are in doubt or not sure how to go about everything, reach out to Plumlogix.com for help. We are a fully certified body of experts in CRM implementation (especially Salesforce) and will walk you through your process to help you realize your goals and objectives.