Implementing CRM software isn’t easy. The size of the business doesn’t even matter. Every business struggles to a change in the system. This is partly why implementation has such a high failure rate. However, it doesn’t always have to be that hard. Below are key elements that you should pay close attention to when implementing CRM software to ensure its success:
You need support from your providers before, during, and most especially, well after the implementation. But, most importantly, you’ll need support from your higher-ups.
The senior management needs to set the tone for the rest of the company. If they buy into the new system, then the rest will follow through. The executive sponsor, especially, should be involved in every part of the process.
Before you even think about implementing the software, you need to have a plan that has everything detailed out. This should include why you’re implementing a CRM system in the first place, its goals, and what kind of metrics will be used to define its successful implementation.
For bigger companies, it will be necessary to ask stakeholders for their opinion on the implementation and what kind of changes or improvements they want to see. This way, you can create a list of priorities and take the necessary actions to make sure that the proposed changes by important stakeholders are included in the timeline of your project.
For your company to properly integrate a new system, regardless of whether it’s CRM or not, there needs to be three things in place all throughout: the right people, the right approach, and communication.
Without all of those, any project your company will try to handle will crumble.
When implementing, gather a team consisting of the main sponsors, stakeholders, and a supervisor in charge of handling the entire project. But, more importantly, the CRM vendor should also be part of the implementation and should be available for suggestions or answers when necessary.
Change is never easy, even if it’s for the better. Doing it slowly prevents overwhelming users. At the same time, you can ask for feedback on how to implement the system better, allowing you to make the necessary adjustments for a fruitful outcome.
Your staff members will be the first to use the system, and not training them on how to use it prior to implementation is just asking for a disaster.
By training your staff and taking the time to show them how the new system works, you not only help improve user adoption rates but also get a chance to avoid malpractices. More importantly, you show them that they play a key role in the success of the company, which helps boost employee morale.
Remember, a frustrated staff member can cause productivity and morale in the workplace to tank, and might even cost you a fair number of customers!
A successful CRM system implementation with meaningful results and measurable impact on your company is possible. Now, you know how to make sure that happens. You could go for a trial, perhaps, with a free CRM system prior to getting a permanent one to test the waters.