Too often I hear managers stating what a mistake it was to implement CRM or end-users complaining about how much of a hassle it is to use the system. This leads to people only partially using the system and then the data is not completely accurate causing the system to become even more problematic to use.
Many times when this is happening it is not because the system does not work for the business, it is that the implementation was not well planned out or did not address the actual issues that created the need for a CRM system.
Here are some tips to help you have a successful CRM implementation:
Make a clear plan and share it with everyone.
It is important that there is a clear reason why and how the CRM system will be used and it needs to be shared with everyone. Everyone moving forward with the same vision and understanding of why will make the implementation and overall adoption of the system smoother.
Select the right project champion.
Oftentimes, the person selected to oversee the project will be an IT person or mid-level manager that is responsible for several other tasks. Whether you select a single person or a team to champion this project it is important that they fully back the plan to use CRM and that they have the time necessary to invest in implementation and support of the system.
Design the system from the end user perspective.
I cannot stress this enough, do not design the system based only on what an executive wants to see. Generally, executives will not be the ones entering data on a daily basis. If you do not design your system to work best for the end users that will use the system frequently there will be a low adoption rate. The goal of CRM should always be to make it easier for your end users to do their job while gathering the data required for effective reporting.
Provide sufficient training and support.
Providing training, outlining expectations and post implementation support will help keep adoption rates high. When designing your system take the time to write a manual describing how your company will use CRM and the expectations of the end users. After implementation or when onboarding a new employee it is also important that there is a resource available to provide support for questions and issues that arise as they work within the system.
Plan for continuous improvement.
CRM is not a one-time project and if you treat it as such you will soon find yourself shopping for new software. Regularly scheduled meetings to discuss improvements and changes needed with representation and feedback from all departments utilizing the system will help keep the system aligned with current business processes.
A successful implementation will help drive high end-user adoption and that will determine the success of your CRM system. If you have already implemented your CRM system it is not too late to go back and take these steps to improve usage. If you need any assistance or would like a more guided approach please reach out and we would be happy to help you!
-Jerica Coleman, CRM and Power BI Consultant