Ensuring a Successful CRM Implementation

Implementing a CRM system is important for businesses to manage their customer information. This is why it is vital to ensure that the implementation is successful. I have developed a checklist to make sure your CRM implementation goes smoothly from the first step to the last step. Here are the seven checkpoints crucial to making sure you have a successful integration.

Crucial Checkpoints for CRM Implementations

1. Assemble a CRM implementation team with members from each department including management, sales, marketing, service and IT.
When implementing a new software solution, gaining buy-in from all members of the team is vital to success. By including a representative from each department, you’ll not only increase the overall support for the project, but you’ll also end up with a better system. If you’re integrating CRM with another like an ERP system, make sure to have a member of the finance team available as well.

2. Document business processes and have a clear idea of objectives

Having your sales, service and marketing processes established will help expedite the CRM implementation. Have a clear vision of your business objectives. Analyzing your value proposition, customers, segments, and channels will bring clarity to your CRM objectives and you’ll get more value out of the system. Depending on your budget, we can assist with prioritizing your recommends and may take a phased approach to implementation.

3. Continuously communicate the system change and plan to team members

Implementing software for your business is only successful when team members utilize the system. Keep employees engaged with the project by communicating all benefits, plans, and processes related to CRM. Focus on the positives of the new system and how it will not only benefit the company but also specific job roles.

4. Assign a data manager

A customer relationship management system with bad information isn’t beneficial to anyone. Prior to importing any data into your new system, assign a data manager to go update your information for accuracy and completion.

5. Train all users on the features, workflows, and fields in CRM

Training is one of the most important steps when it comes to a successful software implementation. User adoption will only happen when your team members have the knowledge and tools they need to succeed. Hands-on training gives your users a chance to learn the system before going live.

A reference guide with step-by-step instructions, screenshots, and FAQ section is a great tool and resource to assist with follow up questions after training.

6. Test, test, and test again

Before going live, dedicate time to testing your CRM system to ensure workflows and the integration between your CRM and ERP software is working properly. The testing stage is the best time to identify any bugs and make changes to the system.

7. Re-evaluate

After your software system is live, take time to meet with team members to identify any issues or problems.  A training refresher can help your team master the basics and become more efficient and productive. As users continue to use the system they find other features and functionality that add value and efficiency to their day to day jobs. These items and “nice to haves” are frequently deployed in subsequent phases.

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