Any relationship requires time, effort and constant introspection. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the same. Often companies feel that acquiring a CRM system will solve their problems altogether but do not really realize that it entails a significant risk. It is my duty to let you know that making money is not easy and acquiring a system that is interlinked with so many departments at all levels can be a challenging task.
Many surveys has been done on the acquisition and implementation of CRM systems and it is noted that almost most of the failures involving CRM systems happen at the very nascent stage due to either poor strategy or not knowing what do you want the CRM for? Companies feel that acquiring a system will start churning out money, however any system is as good as the person buying it for needs he understands that the system can meet. Here, I am going to put down ten tips to avoid failure in sales CRM and maximize your return on investment.
Developing Proper Strategy
Irrespective of systems and organizations the first and foremost thing that needs to be done is to carve out a strategy as to how you want to make use of the asset in hand? Every company buys CRM systems to implement a strategy that can range from data collection to analysis and from sales to after sales service. If you do not have a clear strategy in mind it is highly likely you will not know what to expect from the system
Making Employees Embrace Technology
Success or failure in implementing the CRM system will lie on the hands of those who are going to make use of it. If you do not have employees on board who embrace the idea of having a CRM at first place, then it is almost impossible to make it a success. Creating awareness about the system, it’s use and how It will benefit your employees in the short and long run is very important in ensuring that any fear that they may have regarding the system vanishes. You have to make them believe that the system is for them and not to replace them. Once you have done that you will see a better and greater output
Avoiding Complication As Much As Possible
As with any technology, the gimmicky features might sound “cool” to a select few but for most of them it is either an ignorance or a problem. If the CRM is overloaded with too many features than it will complicate things to an all new level. Employees would be unsure as to what works best at what given scenario. It becomes confusing for them and hence becomes even more confusing to the clients. Systems may or may not do all the tasks but it should never be overloaded with features that it becomes a distraction for everyone over a period of time
Once you have decided what you need CRM for and why you need it, the next question that will hound you is which CRM software to go for? Vendors will pitch you with a number of software that can be confusing and highly costly. It is also not practical to try each and every software before deciding on the one you want to work with. Let your vendors know your need and in the price you want to fit in. Success has no price, failure does. If you are unsure as to which is the best CRM software and want to try out a few before making your final decision than it is best advised to either try free ones or those that come at a cheaper price, may not have all the features but basic ones and with time you can move on to an advanced CRM
Review Your Process
You may have done all the right things while opting for a CRM however, you have to understand that client’s need and business climate and expectations change from time to time. Have a periodic meeting and review the functioning of the system with most of the key personals involved in the implementation and development of customer relationship management
Breaking Down Tasks
Anything you work on will have a number of challenges and may seem daunting while starting. Thus it is advisable to break down CRM implementation into smaller phases thereby making the problem at hand appear smaller than it initially was. How you break down your phases will largely depend on what you see as a challenge
Migration needs time. It cannot be done overnight and it has to be meticulously checked to ensure that data transferred is accurate and complete. If proper time is not given for migration than you either end up with data that gets lost or is duplicated
Announce Only When You Are Ready
It is a good thing to have your timelines in place to meet your deadlines but it is important to know that sometimes things that you have planned or is working on may not go on schedule. Hence it is advisable to take your time in implementing, training, and putting your data before announcing your plans to the world. It is not advisable to fail on your timeline but it is even more suicidal to sell a half-baked stuff. It is better to be late than to be sorry and should at all times be adhered to
Assign A Leader
Every team has captain and the concept of having one is not because people are incapable of doing what the captain can, but it is to have someone to look up to. Assigning a leader who understand CRM and its implementation goes a long way in helping the team and clearing any doubts about the software. A leader will encourage participation in planning stages of implementation of the software and will also keep the team members motivated and focused on the task at hand
Sticking To The Basics
The single biggest failure would be to neglect the CRM segmentation tools thereby neglecting customer’s needs. Every organization uses a strategy that fits their customers and keep updating and changing them as per their needs. CRM system is not just for acquiring new customers but also about keeping them. You cannot ignore what your customers want nor can you change their change in perception. It is thus advisable to be on the path where you take your team members, vendors and clients along keeping in mind their interest and stick to the basics
People see failures in different ways. For some it the end of their journey for others it is another way of deriving how it should not be done but these ten tips if kept in mind will definitely go a long way in avoiding a road block.