Can implementing a CRM system streamline your business? The short answer is yes, but only if you use it to its full potential. Complications occur when companies don’t define their implementation process before they start, as well as by the time it becomes clear they need one, it’s too late. In fact, companies without processes see a mere 30% implementation success rate compared to the 70% success rate of those that do.
Make no mistake, implementing CRM takes careful planning, a solid understanding of your business goals, and a good helping of patience. So, before making any major moves, ask yourself if you can check off these five things:
What is your lead qualification process? When does a lead become an opportunity? What’s your process for services and warranties? How does the CRM you’re considering fit with these? Implementing CRM could catalyze some changes you’ll streamline and automate a lot more but for the most part, its main goal should be to help you improve on what’s already working.
As you search for a CRM, it’s easy to get caught up in the carnival of possible features. Avoid getting distracted by the shiny objects. Instead, organize your thoughts around how each function will impact your ROI potential. Step away from the feature sets and write down what YOUR company requests specifically. What functionality is most realistic to achieve your goals? How do you profile and market to your customers? How will that change in the future? Will the features support those changes? Which skin texture are must-haves and which are nice-to-haves? Use this framework to narrow down the essentials and rank your requirements.
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Too often during implementations do companies let integration requirements slip through the cracks. Integration is one of the most important aspects of CRM implementation. Think about how integration will affect your CRM. How will your CRM work with your phone system? Am I sorry? will happen to an opportunity after it closes in the system? Where will the quote be created? Is there a process to approve discounts? What information do salespeople need to see from other systems to make them more productive? If you’re not sure, ask your implementation partner for help identifying your integration factors.
Consider why individuals will be using the system and what levels of authorization they’ll need. Are there certain people who have limited access and others who can see everything? Giving your team too many data points to organize or asking them to enter too much information can deter them from wanting to use the program. Talk to your implementation partner about setting data rules inside your CRM and make sure you’ve established a set policy prior to implementation. In addition, think in relation to where these individuals will be accessing the CRM.
When I clean out my closet at the change of each season, it’s a cathartic experience. Everything is nicely organized and all the unnecessary clutter is removed. Think of this as a metaphor for your CRM. Just as you wouldn’t shove your dirty laundry into the closet with your fresh new clothes, you don’t want to throw all your dirty data into your fresh new CRM.