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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in CRM Planning

One of the most important factors in the success of your CRM implementation is employee buy-in. The bottom line is that no matter how much time it took to plan your CRM, or how much money you spent implementing it, it isn't worth a dime if you can't get your staff to use it. It is easy as a manager to see the benefit, but how do you translate that to the masses.

Here are 4 easy steps to adoption:

1. Roll out your deployment from the top down. Let your managers and senior staff lead the way. Show that they are 100% committed to the success of the CRM. Allow them to experience some of the benefits and be able to share that before moving forward.

2. Use peer pressure. Prior to the big staff announcement of the new system, choose the most respected person on the team to be an evangelist. That person can set a great example for the rest of the team showing enthusiasm for the project.

3. Be sure to offer adequate training. Your least tech savvy user needs to be just as proficient as your IT manager. Begin with the basics. Have the team truly grasp how to perform the essential tasks for a bit before moving on to additional functionality.

4. Calm the fears. Many sales people can be slow to adopt due to transparency of their activities. It is true that managers may hold sales people more accountable for their duties, but be sure to let everyone know that the system is for the good of the company as a whole. Accounting can pay out commissions more accurately based on closed opportunities, managers can monitor quotas to determine bonuses, and sales leads can be distributed more accurately and appropriately to just name a few benefits.

Download this useful guide to increasing CRM adoption rates within your sales staff.

Increase-CRM-Adoption-Rates.pdf

There are many offerings nowadays when it comes to how you want your CRM data delivered. Whether or not you choose on-demand or on-site will depend entirely on your business requirements. Some things to consider are:

  • Is the up front investment an issue?
  • How quickly do you need to be up and running?
  • Will you require extensive customizations?
  • Will you need to address business compliance issues?
  • Do you require source code access?
  • Do you favor vendor management of your instance?

There is a CRM solution that gives you more choice and more control when it comes to deployment options than any other.  Download this FREE whitepaper to discover how SugarCRM can offer you the flexibility to make the best decision for your business.

SugarCRM Deployment Options - Get More Choice and Control with Sugar

 

So, you've decided that it's time.  You see a CRM in your future, but how far? I am hoping to make the process a little easier with this series of posts about getting started with customer relationship software and have you quickly on your way to CRM success!  Below is a simple list of things to consider when finding the right package for your business.

1. Company Size - Determine how many users you will need to have access to your new CRM.  Also, be sure to consider how much data will be stored.  Don't just think about your business in today's terms, but the future also.  Hopefully, your business is continually growing.  You don't want to adopt a package only to quickly find out, you've outgrown it.

2. Company Goals - Why did you consider a CRM in the first place?  Are you looking for a central database for customer information?  Did you wish to streamline marketing activities?  Maybe your focus is on sales and you want to be able to manage your entire sales team and related activities in one place.  Take a bit to think about all of the reasons that a CRM can benefit your company. Set goals for what you want to accomplish with a CRM. 

3. Deployment Options - We will talk more about this topic later in the series, but a few things to consider are: What type of company are you?  Is it important for you to have complete control over storage and data protection?  Do you have the resources to maintain this type of deployment?  If you have limited IT resources or cost can be an issue, maybe on-demand or cloud deployment.

4. Mobility - Do you have a sales team needing mobile access?  Many of today's CRM options are internet based, so laptops are not a problem. But if tablets and smart phones are the primary mobile source, be sure the system you choose can support that.

5. Ease of use - Will the CRM you choose be time intensive to learn? Be sure that not only your IT staff can use the system, but the less tech savvy as well.  There are some CRM options that have a friendlier user interface than others.  Don't necessarily forgo functionality for ease, but consider that it will be much easier to get buy-in from staff if it isn't rocket science to figure out.  Also, if you do not have the financial resources for in-person training, make sure the CRM you choose has plenty of online resources available.

6. Ease of maintenance - Make sure that you research out-of-the box capabilities and match those to your specific needs. Do you have the IT resources to manage and maintain your CRM in-house?  Will you be able to handle any necessary configurations and customizations?

Of course, every business is different and you may end up with a longer list than this.  I just want you to have a place to start.  That's the hardest part, right?

Posted by on in Customer Relations

Keeping customers isn't easy. In today's business environment, it is imperative that you create a customer experience worthy of repeat business. Customer experience can be the single defining factor in differentiating you and your competitors. A CRM can be a key component to your business success.

The thought of implementing a CRM can be daunting. People, in general, are resistant to change. It creates fear and doubt. When it comes to the discovery process and eventual adoption of a CRM, things are no different. There are many decisions to make. Which CRM product best suits your needs? What type of deployment works best for your organization? How do you get staff to get on board with a new way of doing things? Over the next few weeks, I will be highlighting these issues and offering a way of working through the process; from discovery to adoption of a CRM. I want to help eliminate your fears and create a well thought out path to CRM success. Stay tuned...  In the meantime, check out this great whitepaper on achieving early success with your CRM deployment. CRM_Time_To_Value_wp.pdf