5 Steps to Effectively Implement a CRM

To create an optimal sales process, you need to provide your staff with a tool that captures information about each and every interaction with your leads and customers, integrates with existing systems, and is easily accessible and updateable. That's where a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system comes in. But the value of any CRM is directly related to how consistently it is used, and the implementation process is the place to start.

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Get your team on board

Start by reviewing what you currently do - do your team track leads in a spreadsheet? Do you use an outdated solution? Show your staff the benefits of a new CRM - things like ease of access, collaboration, reliability, the ability to customise. 

Sometimes people become set in their ways, and resist change - especially if it seems as though that change may be difficult, time-consuming, or frustrating, or a new system won't do what they want. So you'll need to overcome the potential objections:

  • It will be time-consuming to change - a managed migration means you don't have to spend that time putting your data into the new system, that's what we do 
  • It'll be frustrating or difficult - if people are concerned about learning the new system, your provider should be able to offer training (we do, for example). 

Have a "super user"

Aside from needing an administrator - someone who has complete access and control of the system - having a CRM evangelist in your midst will make implementing the system much easier. Give someone (preferably the person most interested in the system) as much training as possible, so that they become the go-to person for questions and comments from the rest of the team. 

Create guidelines

As with any compluter system, your CRM is only as good as the data put into it. It is essential that some common guidelines are set. For example how to include new company data or register a sale. Consistency is key, so make sure the guidelines are clear, and check up on things every now and again to verify that they're being followed. 

Prepare your data

When you implement a new CRM system, you'll inevitably have plenty of data that needs to be migrated from your existing logging methods. While we can manage that process for you, or you can involve a consultant or do it yourself, you should spend some time beforehand reviewing your existing data. 

There's no point spending time migrating information that's out of date, expired, or no longer relevant. Tidy up your data and you'll start with a new CRM full of useful information, rather than a repository of everything you've ever collected. 

Spend your time and money wisely

We've mentioned a couple of times that we happen to manage CRM migration and training - so this might be an obvious thing for us to suggest, but you'll find it on most lists of CRM implementation guidelines too. Implementing a CRM can be time-consuming, and it's often a false economy to try and do it yourself. As experts we know lots of the common pitfalls and can implement ideas and processes in hours that may take you days. 

 

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