How to manage your CRM implementation effectively
What’s a CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software enables business owners to consolidate and track all sales leads and customer communications and interactions. It provides businesses a single view of the customer, supporting business processes from marketing and sales through to customer segmentation and customer service.
How can CRM implementation benefit your business?
Implementing a CRM means having all your customer information in one place, rather than spread between emails, spreadsheets and other databases. Having a single view of the customer delivers numerous benefits, including:
CRMs pull together all customer interactions, contact information and other useful data in one place so that you have instant access to a complete view of every customer.
A CRM eliminates the need to switch from one platform to another to see all customer details. When you’re communicating with customers, you can access your CRM to see when they last contacted you, why they reached out and what happened next.
With all customer information in one place, you can see the exact journey a customer has taken with your company. All of this data can help you personalise marketing campaigns based on individual preferences and provide a unique experience for each customer.
Customers don’t want to repeat themselves when you transfer them to another rep or escalate a call to a supervisor. With a CRM, the conversation can be logged — everyone who’s interacting with customers has the context they need to show customers that your business cares about their experience.
Powerful automation capabilities free up your team’s time so they can focus on activities that actually move the needle. For example, rather than manually sending marketing emails, you can set up the email and schedule delivery in advance to go to specific customer segments. Then you can use your CRM’s reporting capabilities to analyse engagement for every email.
CRMs provide comprehensive reporting about what you’ve sold, who you’ve sold to and how your business performance measures up against previous selling periods. Keeping track of your sales information in this way means you can spot issues as they arise and make changes required to address them.
Best practices for CRM implementation
Set yourself up for a smooth CRM implementation by following these best practices:
1. Communicate to your team
Communication is central to effective change management. Tell employees about the software and allow time and space for them to ask questions. Remind your team how a CRM will allow them to be more effective in their roles and potentially give them more time to spend on tasks they enjoy.
2. Plan your data migration
As part of your CRM implementation project plan, consider how you’re going to move data from your existing systems to your CRM. This process might involve consolidating information from multiple places, including spreadsheets and email inboxes. Start by identifying the data you need to migrate and be methodical about moving it so important data is not left behind.
3. Evaluate your tech stack
There’s a good chance that the range of features and functionality that your CRM offers may overlap with some of your existing tech. Compare what you can do in your CRM with any applications in your current tech stack to see if there’s anywhere you can cut back.
4. Assess integrations
It’s important to consider how your CRM will integrate with your existing solutions, like your accounting system or inventory software. When these solutions connect seamlessly with your CRM, they can exchange data across your tech stack. Integrations also minimise data entry and resulting errors, as information only needs to be uploaded once on the platform.
Determine whether the integrations you need come with the CRM software. If not, you’ll need to build the integration, which takes additional time and investment that you’ll have to factor in.
5. Appoint a change champion
Choose an employee to work closely with your CRM implementation and become an expert on everything the CRM does and offers. This person can field questions from other team members and will essentially become your CRM expert. Their job is to share their knowledge and encourage others to make full use of the CRM.
6. Create usage guidelines
Usage guidelines help teams understand how to use a CRM. For example, you might have a process for entering customer data that ensures everyone uploads the right information in the right fields.
7. Prioritise training
Implementing a new CRM comes with a learning curve, and it can be difficult to get employees to change their work practices. Proper training can show your team how the CRM will make their jobs easier. Setting aside time for user training will improve adoption rates while strengthening your team’s familiarity and confidence with the tool.
8. Roll it out gradually
Consider a phased roll out of the CRM. This approach gives your team time to get used to a new way of working while also seeing the benefits of the implementation. Further this approach can help to manage any risk of consolidating and migrating customer data, and managing the implementation.
9. Gather feedback
Ask employees how they feel about your CRM once they’ve had the opportunity to use it for a while. Ask them to share what their favourite features are, where it’s helping them with daily tasks and if there’s anything they’re struggling with. This will help you achieve high rates of user adoption and make the software implementation a success.
Add on a CRM with MYOB
MYOB brings together the core workflows you may require to run your business – customers, suppliers, employees, projects, finance, accounting and tax. Cloud based, you only pay for the software you need, but you can have the confidence to grow your business with a business management platform that can scale and extend to meet your upcoming needs.
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