A customer-centric strategy supported by a CRM (customer relationship management) system has great potential to transform and grow your business – IF it is effectively implemented. Choosing the right CRM is important, but without a strong implementation process it will be money down the tubes.
Follow these steps for your own successful CRM implementation:
- Build a case for change. Your users are going to ask WIIFM – “What’s in it for me?” Be ready to demonstrate how they will benefit directly in addition to the whole company. CRM strategy must focus on people first. Prepare to communicate how it will make their work easier.
- Involve users in the design and pilot phases. Your people know best what they need. Your CRM will work more effectively and you’ll achieve more buy-in if you solicit and listen to their input.
- Communicate project progress. At every phase, keep people informed. Use pilot team members to spread the word.
- Create ongoing dialogue about the changes. Encourage employees to share ideas throughout the process.
- Allow time for the transition. Don’t rush or push employees to adapt. Provide ongoing training, not a one-time session with the expectation that they can take it from there.
- Serve up one piece of the pie at a time. Think of the “How do you eat an elephant?” proverb: one bite at a time. A successful CRM implementation is a cultural process. Too much at once will overwhelm it.
- Select and support a project champion. Identify a team leader or manager who is 110 percent all in on the benefits CRM will bring. In the pilot phase, allow the champion to test-drive every little component to their heart’s content. Give them a platform to share their enthusiasm with the rest of your staff, and equip them to be a trainer.
- Inform and involve customers. To create a customer-centric business strategy, be sure to ask your customers how you can improve their experiences with you. Then tailor your system and train your employees to give them what they expect.
- Promote sharing. No more silos. The new CRM, used effectively, will be the one source of information on your customers across marketing, sales, and customer service. Your employees need to understand how this contributes to customer satisfaction and business growth.
- Provide educational resources. Give employees multiple ways to access training, from introductory videos and demos, to group classes, to a web-based library of refreshers and FAQs. Make CRM training part of your on-boarding process.
- Audit and adjust frequently. Continually assess results weighed against expectations. Verify data quality and consistency. Make adjustments as your staffing, processes, or markets change. A low-code or no-code solution like Creatio will give you flexibility to adapt on the fly.
- Reward the power users. Some adopters will lead the way for their teammates. You’ll have more of them if you create metrics for CRM use that are tied to pay incentives.
- Celebrate every success. Big or small, give kudos where they are due. Acknowledge progress-makers publicly, and momentum will start to build toward ultimate implementation success.
- Partner with experts. Successful implementations are the result of teamwork. For over 30 years, Success with CRM Consulting has helped organizations of all sizes maximize their potential for growth. Our proven process for implementation has taken hundreds of our clients from good to great. We could do the same for you.
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