Posted by Patricia Jones
We are all aware that CRM is good for business. In fact, the truth is, while CRM adoption increases sales by 29% (SalesForce), according to Nucleus Research the average ROI of any CRM is $8.71, for every dollar spent on this platform.
Therefore, as cost-cutting measures are the need of the day, in order to survive in businesses companies has no other options but to outperform their competitors without inflating their budgets, which has made CRM more important than ever nowadays.
To improve productivity and fine-tune business processes several small businesses and enterprises have accepted the gaining widespread popularity of CRM for retaining and finding new customers, as cloud-based CRM software applications are pretty simple to use.
However, having said that, one fact we cannot choose to ignore, is that not all CRM implementations are successful.
The main reason behind lagging implementation of CRM is poor user adoption rate.
Employee resistance, insufficiency in funds and time, lack of preparation and planning are certainly other reasons that escalate the poor adoption rate of CRM.
Moreover, as many CRM vendors have done a good job of touting the simplicity of their applications, many customers have taken the user-friendliness of CRM implementation of their Customer Relationship Management platform for granted.
But, just because something looks apparently simple and easy you must not take it for granted. Since, if you do not learn to implement and neglect the best practices, it will almost inevitably lead to a failure in reaping the maximum benefits from your CRM.
For an example, although brushing your teeth is relatively simple, but if you neglect to brush or do it altogether in the wrong way, this can lead to several maladies and even tooth loss.
Similarly, using your CRM software inefficiently or not using it consistently can cause detrimental consequences for your business.
Ineffective use of any CRM may not only lead to failure in follow-up on scheduled tasks and appointments, but it can also mismanage customer relationships, fail to capture important customer data and insights and in severe cases end up with the loss of potential customers in your business.
Here are some of the crucial low adoption rate statistics on CRM:
Hence, before you buy a CRM, remember employees of your business organization may always have different preconceived notions and perspectives about CRM system. While some may love it, others may hate using it too.
Therefore, before most of your employees get reluctant towards CRM, it is best to make them understand the benefits of this software and show them how it will make their work a lot easier every day.
Here are 7 awesome golden tips to make your CRM implementation a success story.
Give value to business needs and requirements
To make your CRM implementation worthwhile for your business, you must not only possess a good understanding of your business but also understand how your business interacts to satisfy your potential customer’s needs. CRM is more than a mere software solution. Rather Customer Relationship Management is a process of dealing with your customers through intelligent communications that call for a holistic approach. CRM consists of people, processes, and technology that combine to manage business relationships with your customers.
Involve employees from the beginning
Your employees are the ones who are going to use your CRM, and so they play the most significant role in successful implementation of your CRM platform. Hence, it is always wise to involve your employees from the very first stage of your CRM implementation itself. Exhibit to them how the new system is going to diminish their workload and make them understand how CRM is going to take their work on the upbeat.
As an additional gesture for early adoption of your CRM, encourage your employees to provide their opinion and feedback on the system. This will not only help in trimming down uncertainties of the software but also help you to acquire necessary support for proper utilization of your CRM system.
Hire a CRM Project Manager
It is always a good idea to get a CRM project manager on board in your company, who will act as a technical ambassador and a problem-solver of your employees in respect to your CRM system. As your CRM project manager is the one who will be responsible for overall implementation and management of your CRM platform, the person must possess good communication and IT skills. It is the project manager whose steps your employees must follow, as he/she will drive the project and also measure the achievement levels of your CRM related goals.
Remain patient and move one-step at a time
Once you buy the software, do not attempt to achieve too many tasks with your CRM at once or implement the customer relationship solution in a haphazard manner. As it is very natural, like many other buyers of CRM you may always find yourself being carried away and find it absolutely exciting to implement the new system which is capable of streamlining all your business processes but don’t forget all complex projects needs to be broken down into manageable and measurable phases with achievable goals. Hence, for successful implementation of your CRM, go slow with the platform and implement the software without hurrying, one-step at a time.
Train your employees
As every employee in any organization has different capacity to understand and accept changes, it is always advisable that you must arrange training sessions for all your employees. Also, make sure during the course of the training you must train each department, like marketing, sales, accounts and customer support reps, on their specialized needs. Appropriate training on the CRM’s functionalities often brings forth positive momentum of enthusiasm among the employees, for implementation of the CRM.
Set guidelines for your employees
It is really important that you must lay down guidelines in consultation with your CRM project manager, on what kind of data (as per your company’s goals), your employees should input in the CRM. Since, for proper utilization of your customer relationship software, it is utterly necessary that you must manage all tasks and activities with proper reporting structure as a part of your guidelines.
Make the CRM available anywhere
Last but not the least, in case your sales team also includes sales reps working in the field, you must buy a CRM, which has a mobile application in addition to the web-based version of the platform.
User experience should also be taken into consideration while implementing mobile CRM app. As desktop and mobile environments of any app need to be different, the mobile version of your CRM platform should be intuitive and fast. It should also be data contextual, minimizing keystrokes and automating information as much as possible, to streamline workflow.
It is only when your sales team, see that the CRM helps them to sell, and there are little or no difficulties involved in using the platform, it will escalate the adoption rate of your customer relationship software.
Remember, CRM adoption is a journey and not a destination. By following the tips and guidelines given above, it will be easy for you to overcome the early hurdles to CRM adoption and make certain that your business reaps the best benefits offered by CRM.
If you have found this article helpful, let us know about your CRM adoption success story in the comments below.