No matter what industry you're in, if you have customers, then customer relationship management software is an essential tool.
But having CRM is only half the battle. Your sales reps need to know how to use it if you're going to have a successful CRM implementation. So here are some tips for how to execute CRM successfully.
4 Tips For A Successful CRM Implementation
Fully Define Your Objectives Before Executing An Implementation
Many companies make the mistake of thinking that implementing a new software platform is the key to solving all their problems.
But CRM isn't a magic genie that grants you success just by owning it. You need to have a plan. What, specifically, do you want to achieve? How will this software help you achieve it, and what do you need to do with it in order to reach that goal?
Define these things right from the beginning, so that they can shape a successful CRM implementation.
Communicate the Benefits To The Sales Organization
Once you've defined your objectives, you need to make sure everyone in the company is on the same page in order to facilitate a successful CRM launch.
Often salespeople will be averse to implementing a new platform, especially one that feels like more work and installs a little more accountability. It's something different, learning to use it takes time, and it interrupts their workflow. So they refuse to use it, which makes the platform less effective.
In order to get everyone on board with this new software, you need to help them understand why it's important.
Questions to guide a successful intro:
- How does using CRM benefit them?
- What problems can it solve?
- How can it help them sell more?
- What are the benefits to prospects and customers?
- Once installed, how can it make their lives easier?
Show everyone in the company how it works, and how it can work for them. CRM can help their sales process by giving them access to all the important information about each customer or lead, at the touch of a button. Your sales reps need to know that this is for them, and not just a management tool.
Get Input From The Sales Team
Communication is a two-way street and when you involve sales reps and sales managers in the selection and execution of CRM, you're giving them psychological ownership. Doing this will increase adoption, guaranteed.
After you've shown your salespeople and sales managers how the new CRM platform will benefit them, ask them what they'd like to see in the software. What are some issues they have in their workload that CRM could help them address?
One of the major benefits of a good customer relationship management program is that it's customizable to meet both your needs and the needs of your sales reps and ultimately the needs of the customer.
So find out what they'd like to see and what will make their jobs easier, and implement those suggestions into the new CRM platform.
Ensure Proper Training
Nothing will prevent a successful CRM implementation more than adequate training on the in's and out's of the software.
Once you've implemented your CRM software, you need to make sure that everyone knows how to use it properly.
Hopefully, you've chosen a platform whose functionality is intuitive, and which can be configured to your existing workflow. But sales reps still need at least basic training, to show them the ins and outs of how the program works. Give everyone the training they need, and have someone available to answer their questions and help them with any issues they may experience.
CRM is an investment for your company and a successful CRM implementation plan is critical to leveraging this investment. Not just an investment of money, but of time, personnel, and other resources.
Everyone needs to be invested in the platform in order to have a successful CRM implementation. Everyone needs to know how to use it and know what they can get out of it, both individually and as a company. If you take the time to make sure your CRM platform functions the way it should, then you've got a great tool that can lead to tremendous success within your company.