Implementing a CRM solution is a critical step in setting up your business for success. Having the right CRM system in place means your sales and marketing teams will be able to collaborate and work efficiently, and management will be able to have a clear view of the pipeline and current revenue. Collaboration is the key here. A good CRM system lets a group of people on the customer-facing side of your business know the historical and planned activities pertaining to a specific customer. This helps to avoid any miscommunication with the client because there’s a record of all of the interactions, issues, sales opportunities, and so on.
However, chances are if you’re reading this then you already know why you need CRM software to help your business.
Implementing a CRM Solution
Step 1: Identify Your CRM Requirements
If this sounds slightly intimidating, then don’t worry. We’ve already made a CRM Checklist to make your life a little bit easier. But some basic things to consider when identifying your requirements are do you want cloud software or on-premise, do you want just contact and sales management or an all-in-one CRM, do you need mobile support, etc.
Step 2: Create Your CRM Vendor Shortlist
This is as easy as a simple google search. There’s tons of CRM solutions out there, what we’ve learned is that growing businesses care about short and long-term cost, features, free trials, ease of implementation, and scalability. We’ve designed 1CRM to meet all of those needs for small and mid-sized businesses. 1CRM delivers sales, marketing, customer service, project management and order management. This lets growing businesses save on multiple software costs, while reducing the amount of time wasted operating and integrating separate solutions.
Step 3: Take a Free Trial
When you’re buying a car, you take it for a test-drive right? Same thing when it comes to CRM — Always take a Free CRM Trial. In fact take multiple. This helps you learn what you like or don’t like about all of the different platforms.
Step 4: Make a Decision
Once you’ve gotten all of your price quotes and taken all of the CRM systems on a test-drive, then it’s time to make a decision. Obviously you want to choose the one that you think has the best features, cost structure, and will have the highest rate of adoption by your team.
Step 5: Put Together an Implementation Team
The success of a CRM implementation comes from the planning and the team you put together. Typical roles you’ll see in your CRM implementation team will include:
- Executive Sponsor
- Project Manager
- Implementation Team
- Lead trainer
- Internal or external network administrator
- Finance Management
- Sales Management
- Sales General Staff
- Administrative Management
- Administration General Staff
Depending on the size of your company this could be 1,2,3,6,8, or over 20 people.
Step 6: Planning
I while back I was part of a CRM migration from Salesforce to Microsoft Dynamics. Needless to say the implementation team did not spend enough time on the planning stage of the implementation. Data was lost, timelines were pushed back, it was raining hellfire and brimstone. This can be avoided with careful planning to decide the roles of the key players, have initial meetings set up to discuss the scope of the work, creation of project phases, and figuring out the process for data migration and training.
Step 7: The Nitty Gritty
This all the backend work, customization, and data migration that needs to occur. Depending on how much sales and marketing data you have and where it’s stored, this can be as simple as an export and upload, or as complicated as organizing hundreds of spreadsheets and sticky notes.
Step 8: Check Please
No, not the actual check. If you haven’t been auditing your progress during the implementation, then now’s definitely the time before you go full launch. Make sure all of your data is in the new CRM system, all the field are mapped correctly, and all of the workflows are put in place.
Step 9: Training
Get all users trained on how to use the CRM, make sure they know the ins and outs. The more they know the more they’re likely to adopt the software, and the less they’re likely to complain.
Step 10: It’s a Go Baby!
Full Launch!! There’s no going back now.
Implementing a new CRM system is no easy task, but depending on the solution you can definitely reduce the headaches involved. As a growing business the key is to get a scalable solution that meets your needs now and will work for you in the future. We’ve found that 1CRM works perfectly for businesses as small as 5 employees upwards to over 100. It combines the best of both worlds with Enterprise Features at a Small Business Price.