By Mohona Dutta | Reading time 6 mins
So, what makes a successful CRM implementation? Implementing CRM is a daunting task. It sounds easy if you have a reliable Implementation team or a Consultant working with you to get it done. But trust me, there are so many factors that you have to check before you even begin the CRM implementation. I don’t want to sound too bleak, but the good news is, there are tried and tested methods and CRM implementation best practices which, if followed, should help you avoid any calamity.
There are a few items that have to be checked off first before you actually begin the implementation process. Of course, there is the assembling of the right team members, your Project Managers, Developers, QA Test Engineers within your company, or you could hire a competent CRM Consultancy to do the work for you.
Now, let’s talk about a few points that should be on your checklist before you begin the implementation:
Strategize, plan and develop
Before you begin, you need to get the priority straight. As to what is the purpose of the CRM in the company, what is the collateral effect, what changes need to be made for a seamless maneuver. You need to identify your KPI’s so that you can continue to measure the success of your CRM and adjust wherever required. Develop your objectives around the changes that the new CRM would foster.
Select the right CRM
The market is brimming with various CRM software all claiming to bring your workload down and helping you reap a huge ROI. Do your research, talk around, if you have time attend a few tech-summits to narrow down your choices and then go for the CRM which fits your bill.
Create an implementation budget
The cost of implementation can surmount unknowingly. You have to create a revenue strategy as there will add-ons during the process. You will have to purchase licenses, certificates and so on. And in case one of your Developers decides to leave, you will have to shelve the project or hunt for the next best one, which may include hidden costs. Create a section for contingency plans as well.
Educate your team
Remember it is your core team that is going to use the CRM and their usage will determine its success or failure. So, before you bring the Implementation squad in, speak with your team members, make them cognizant about the benefits of the software. Demonstrate with examples, presentations, make them see how easier their job is going to be. Instead of hopping from one application to the other, they can use a single platform for the information that they need to complete their job.
Enhance understanding about integration
Your CRM has to be integrated with your existing systems to be more effective. So, before you do that learn about your own systems, integration tools and the CRM that will be implemented. Try to find out if the CRM is compatible with your systems or whether the data import/export process has been streamlined. Trust me you will save a lot of hassle in the future if you check this off your list in the beginning.
Feature the essential features
A scalable CRM like Salesforce or Dynamics 365 has several inbuilt features to help increase efficiency. But all such features might not be required by your kind of organization. So, evaluate your requirements carefully and then incorporate the ones which are actually essential. Speak with your Implementation team and understand what works best for your business.
Create guidelines, schedules, training plans
Before the CRM is ready to hit the floor, prepare a user handbook for the team as they are ones using it. Schedule appropriate UAT testing sessions for your employees, of course, initial testing will be done by your experienced IT staff. Chalk out a training plan with the help of Implementation experts so that your employees can transition to the new system without a glitch.
For a successful implementation, you need to invest not only in terms of money but time and effort too. This checklist will help you gain most out of your CRM. But if you still have doubts about how to venture into the terrain, you can contact us, and we will guide you.
Mohona is a Content Writer for the Marketing team in AhaApps since 2019. When she is not busy attending to her creative, technical side, she likes to binge on sitcoms on Netflix. She loves writing poems and reading short stories when she wants to break away from the humdrum of life.