CRM (Customer Relationship Management) further continue to develop and grow with massive backing and vendors supporting a constant flux of new features and functionality. Have a look at these best practises on implementing a CRM solution.

When a company or enterprise decides to purchase and install a CRM solution, the hope is that everything goes smoothly. However. With something this important. There are bound to be times when it becomes a little more difficult to implement the solution than we would like it to be. A CRM affects many areas in a company, and getting the implementation right is very important. Here are some ways in which you can ensure success.

Get Your Goals Right

Not every company is the same. Sometimes, when it comes to securing and then implementing a CRM. The goals of a company may be significantly different to those of another.

Some companies may want a CRM that allows them to simply have on file the details and the data around a client. This information is easily handled by a CRM, but it can do a lot more.

However, if a company just wants a CRM to handle contact data and facilitate good communication between company and client, it may mean that a simple set-up will be a good idea. This could even cost less than a full package, so it is worthwhile knowing what your goals are before you commit to a certain price point.

A good CRM works with the people who are going to use it too. If you are implementing a CRM. It is useful to have a session where everyone who is going to use it. From admin to sales, gets a chance to try the user interface. Time spent putting in elements of an interface that help everyone, with their differing needs around usage, will pay off when a company will be using it successfully in all departments.

Think Of The Future

Your needs around a CRM are going to change. And that isn’t just about growth either. In time, you may well grow as a company, and need to add more users and more functionality. On top of that will be the need to make actions and processes more intuitive and easier.

Take a look at this infographic by Salesforce on the average turn of investment for CRM systems by which every dollar is spent. That is around a 7x – 8x ROI increase in what a business is paying.

For example. Many CRM solutions are bringing in AI elements that allow users to get more done simply because of machine learning. This can be incredibly useful, but perhaps not so much at the start of the period of using the CRM. Implementation plans need to take into account the projected needs of the company in the future. As users become more adept at getting the best out of the CRM. They may want to simplify processes. Or allow machine learning to take up the bulk of the work involved in a particular operation. When implementing, take the time to plan out what might need to be added or adapted in the future, to ensure that the CRM grows with you.

Buy-In

Having a CRM implemented in an organisation does require some serious buy-in. Executives are the most important factor in this area. When a company has the full buy-in from executives, the roll-out of a CRM will be smoother and more effective.

This means executives being fully briefed and able to articulate to colleagues why it is important to have a solid CRM that is implemented company-wide. While this may not at first feel like a difficult task. Getting every aspect of a CRM clear for executives will make a huge difference when implementation comes around. Executive support is crucial for company-wide buy-in.

Automation

We cannot stress this part enough. When implementing a new CRM, it is absolutely vital that you focus on automation as soon as possible. All aspects of how a company uses a CRM can be automated to some extent. This is where the real value comes in for the users.

After a certain amount of time, a company will find that a workflow should have at least some kind of automation in it. The processes and tasks that employees focus on will soon be done a lot more quickly if they can be automated. Using machine learning. Like we mentioned earlier, and the automation processes built in to the CRM. You should find that you can cut down a lot on time wasting simply by making the CRM run in a certain way.

Learning how your teams work. A big part of successful implementation of a CRMs automating as much of the work and processes as possible.

Want to learn more about getting the best practises out of your CRM? Have a look ‘here’

Get The Training Right

We cannot take it for granted that every employee in a company knows what a CRM is and how to use it. It wasn’t that long ago that many employees will never have had the chance to use a CRM. So education is important.

A huge part of implementation of a CRM is education. Unless you have implemented a stringent and focused training period right at the start of the roll-out of the CRM, you run the risk of having an unskilled and unsure team. To get the best out of a CRM your users must be skilled at using it. If they are not, you will be facing a long period where problems keep cropping up, and usage is not optimised. Training is crucial in getting it right making it one of the best practises when implementing a CRM solution.

Commit To Changing As And When

The best CRM solutions are always changing. This is why you see so many updates and patches taking place with the software itself. Bear this in mind and make sure that you are fully aware of updates. At the start of implementation. Make sure part of the team is focused on maintaining updates and patches. So not only do you have a fully-working CRM, but also a CRM that changes with improvements and innovation in the area.

Those are just some of the ideas that we think should be taken into account when implementing a CRM into a company. Take them on board, and you shod have a smooth and successful implementation process.

Stick to these best practises on implementing a CRM solution mixed with the right vendor, team and also funding and you are onto a winning strategy.

Want to read more on Salesforce? Have a look at our previous blogs here ‘What Should YOU Have in Your Salesforce Toolkit?’ & ‘BEST Salesforce Features To Blast Your Knowledge’