Choosing And Implementing The Right CRM System For Your Business

The task of finding the right – more than the best – Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for your business is almost as risky and frustrating as establishing the business itself. It is such a major decision to make because you are going to have to invest a significant amount of valuable time and resources that may or may not turn out as expected. Fortunately, there are information readily available to help you in choosing and setting up a customer relationship management system. Below, we offer tips and a brief guide to make sure that the CRM system you invest in provides the ideal features and support your organization need and is implemented in a timely and cost-efficient way.

Proper selection and implementation are important to make sure that the CRM system you choose meets your organization’s specific needs. A CRM system may turn out to be an expensive waste of resources rather than an efficient management tool if not chosen and/or implemented properly. So to start on the right track, you have to have the right idea of what a CRM system is, what it does, and the ideal features it should have before anything else.

Choosing A CRM System

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a tool that helps in managing your business’ interactions with customers. It tracks and reports information about the people your business engages to helpin you make sound decisions toward specific goals. Anyone in the organization can use and benefit from a CRM platform. It is a common misconception that a CRM tool should be left for the tech department to take care of since it is under their field. In truth though, all players in the business hold significant roles in the success of a CRM system (more on that below).

An ideal CRM system should be capable of doing the following:

1. Manages Leads Better.

Right off the bat, an ideal CRM system should be able to generate and convert more leads. This rests on the fact that using a CRM system will help your business keep track of all its interaction with customers and categorize them into specific standards that will give you an idea of how to handle them better. With more useful information about customers, your business can maximize its efforts towards the right leads and convert leads that need extra care into loyal customers.

2. Boosts productivity.

The right CRM system should also boost your organization’s productivity. CRMs are designed to collect and simplify data in a faster and more accurate manner. With a better view of your customers, your business can directly answer your customers’ needs and do tasks efficiently.

3. Provides Better Customer Support

Since customer interaction records are systematically collected and filed, a CRM system should enable your business to provide better customer support. Customers today expect fast and personalized support in real-time. With an efficient CRM system, your business can provide the information they need and fill them up with high-quality support.

4. Improve Products And Services

One more benefit of a good CRM system is that it helps you improve your products and services. CRM systems provide useful information about the preferences of your customers, what they like and dislike, their purchasing behavior and what they are willing to pay for. Having these can help you streamline processes, improve quality, and serve your customers better.

The implementation of a CRM system is costly and would typically need significant amount of time. Having a good task list and plan about what needs to be done can make it less overwhelming and manageable. Here are some suggestions about what needs to be considered in implementing a CRM system.

1. Create An Effective Project Management Team And System.

The implementation of the CRM system in your business is everyone’s task. All departments within the organization hold an important role in providing insights and first-hand experience on customer activities. Each can also provide information about the gaps that a CRM system can possibly bridge. You have to appoint key persons like the project manager that will look after the whole project – from start to finish, the analyst responsible for data migration, the developer for system customization, the test engineer for checks and trials, and representatives from all using departments. This team can be augmented with additional persons that can help with the implementation of the CRM system.

2. Device A Change Implementation Plan

It is called a “change plan” because there will be multiple changes a CRM system can bring about and surprisingly, adapting to these changes tops the reasons why CRM systems initially fail. To avoid this, the project management team must plan on how to effectively introduce the CRM system in the existing environment and get every user familiar with the changes. These can be achieved through the following:

–Communication

Let all of the staff know why you are implementing a CRM system, why you’re letting them know, and what are the expectations that your business have once the system is completed. Your communication with them should also allow the flow of discussions and feedbacks and ultimately give them time to adjust.

–Training

Your plan must provide all the necessary trainings to get all the users inclined with the system. This can range from online brief courses to actual practicals.

3. Customize And Test your CRM System.

CRM systems are, at best, inclusive today with a lot of features but since business processes greatly vary, it is important to carefully identify the spots that need twitching and adjustments to make sure that your new CRM system will suit your business. Ultimately, testing the system and evaluating each result will help you formulate sound conclusions about what needs to be adjusted (if there is any).

Choosing and implementing a CRM system is a handful of task in itself. It requires not just the effort of the tasked team but also the cooperation of the whole organization. It is not a mere adoptation of a new technology. It is a change for a better mindset and a collective strategy to improve the way each one do business.