What does success look like when you implement a CRM?
Many companies know that a system is needed to keep track of the important information they gather about their prospects, their leads and their current customers. Yet when it comes to defining what success looks like, there are many measurable outcomes.
Creating a new relationship or keeping an existing relationship takes a lot of effort and is not a trivial endeavor. The complexity is also compounded when more than one person manages that relationship and when the relationship evolves.
Here are seven tips to keep in mind!
- Commit to the right CRM
If you have not committed to a customer relationship management system (CRM), choose your CRM carefully. There are hundreds of CRMs on the market, so it can be difficult to select the best one. Once the CRM is selected and implemented, companies cannot afford to switch on a whim. Switching is expensive due to migration costs and adoption costs. And until you have a CRM, there are definitely opportunity costs!
Once you have chosen the proper CRM, commit to using it to run your business. Make no excuses and reinforce the use of your CRM daily – including at the executive level!
- Choose a good teacher and build a super user!
In the Toyota Production System (TPS), continuous improvement requires a teacher alongside employees to make improvement in an organization. A good teacher is also a business partner, so make sure to pick a passionate one. Your trainer and implementation team are often your best teachers!
We also recommend that you identify a super user in your organization and ensure they receive advanced training. The super user will in turn help others to embrace your CRM. They will become an internal CRM coach.
- Implement step by step
Do not overwhelm your team with a lot of features; keep it simple when you start. CRM solutions have many bells and whistles to drive benefits that will maximize the impact on your business. However, you do not need to start all those features at once. You may wish to start using your CRM to gather your accounts and contacts. Later you may decide to track opportunities then leads followed by activities, and eventually you may consider including customer service. As you mature further, you may include CRM in your digital strategy by adding campaigns and automations that feed back into your platform.
- Begin with the end in mind
Remember Stephen Covey? One of the seven principles of highly effective people is to approach a problem with the end in mind. For example, ask yourself what report you need to drive your business? What metrics do you need to have, and how will you measure progress? Being thoughtful about CRM reports will help you build the right CRM infrastructure, fields and potentially custom entities.
- Continuous improvement
Never stop getting better! Improve your CRM wherever possible. Continuous training, continuous enhancements like a new workflow or automation, a new integration, a new dashboard, or a new template will make your system easier to use, more friendly and more powerful over time. If deployed properly, your CRM will save you time!
- Use it!
If you are an Outlook user, you should have your CRM inside Outlook! If you use the web version of CRM, always keep your CRM on one of your screens. If your CRM is readily accessible throughout your day, it will be used more consistently. Additionally, make sure your CRM app works on your mobile device. The more you use CRM, the more valuable it becomes to you, to your organization and eventually to your customers, who will observe that you are more responsive and better in tune with their needs.
- Top Down
Successful CRM implementations most often include leaders who are committed to using the CRM system to manage their business. For CRM to be implemented successfully, you need a strong dose of accountability and motivation. Above all, it must be supported by the leaders in your organization. A committed champion at the executive level is a strong predictor of success in all our CRM implementations.
Software matters, but what matter most is your attitude and use of the CRM. Once a CRM is launched successfully and used consistently, it will become indispensable to your business operation. A great CRM is not a one-time effort, it will evolve to support your business strategy and direction. A well-used CRM will bring you success and help your company scale-up. CRM will become one of those tools that you’ll wonder how you did without. Applying the above guidance will get you there.
And to top it all off, research has shown that on average for every dollar you invest in CRM you will reap eight dollars in return! That’s an 800% ROI! We do more than wish you good luck in achieving that success, we are relentless about helping make your CRM a vibrant part of your business operation. Our goal is to help our clients run more efficiently and make more money. If your CRM is not meeting those objectives or you don’t yet have a CRM, then give us a call at 1-800-880-1960 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We thrive on your success!