Get the Most from Your CRM Software
Each business is different and therefore has different enterprise software requirements. Having said that, there are certain protocols that several vendors and consultants agree are imperative to implementation success, no matter your unique needs. These are known as “best practices,” and they offer a general framework for getting your implementation executed correctly. Today, we focus on the customer relationship management (CRM) software best practices that have opened doors to new sales opportunities for countless businesses.
Create a Thorough Implementation Plan
No matter the CRM vendor’s level of sophistication, a solution can’t generate ROI if the implementation isn’t thoroughly planned. Here are some of the steps you should take to ensure the success of your project:
Obviously you want to improve your front office strategies, but what specific improvements do you want to make? Is your sales pipeline too slow? Do employees lack insight into customer or product data? Do sales reps need mobile functionality to be more productive on the road? Speak with your front office employees to determine their pain points and find the right CRM solution to meet these needs. Furthermore, determine the metrics you need to track to measure your goal fulfillment.
Far too many businesses make the mistake of retaining inaccurate or unnecessary data. A mass of useless or corrupted information slows down your software and hinders your system’s ability to draw comprehensive reports and predictions. That’s why it’s important to put guidelines in place to protect your data’s integrity. Clean data is especially important prior to a major project. Even with a new system, you aren’t improving your processes if you migrate all of your inaccurate data. Before you begin the CRM implementation, undergo extensive data scrubbing. Get rid of outdated information, standardize entries and merge duplicate records.
Define Use Cases
Use cases detail how specific users interact with software to achieve business goals. By mapping out how processes are carried out in the system, use cases help employees resolve errors, communicate the expectations of the instance and offer technical and functional requirements. CRM use cases aren’t created at the beginning of the project only to be abandoned in a file after the go-live data. With each upgrade or customization, use cases should be updated to reflect the changes. Managed effectively, use cases serve as living documentation to help your business understand how the CRM system is meant to be used to maximize efficiency.
Strategize for User Adoption
Even if you've successfully executed your CRM implementation, you might not see the results you want if you can't gain widespread user adoption. Your front office is savvy when it comes to attracting leads and interacting with customers, but adapting to new technology isn’t usually their forte. Furthermore, sales teams often fear that enterprise software will be used by management to monitor their every move. This means that it can be tough to convince users to incorporate CRM tools into their daily tasks. To get your users comfortable with the new system, follow these best practices:
Keep Users Informed
Change shouldn’t be inflicted on your employees suddenly. By letting your workplace know about the impending CRM implementation during the planning stages, you ensure that you aren’t catching users off guard. Plus, this gives you a chance to explain the benefits of the new software, assuring them that the purpose of the system is to improve their daily tasks, not to heavily monitor their operations. You should also speak with users about their needs, so you can provide specific functionality that helps employees make the most of their time.
Offer Appropriate Training
Some businesses think that they can teach users what they need to know about a new system by offering marathon training sessions that cover every aspect of their software. However, this method proves more effective at overwhelming users than informing them. Instead, offer multiple training options that cover specific areas relevant to particular users. After all, your users don’t share a job title, so they’ll have different requirements for CRM usage. In order to stay on track in the office, you’ll probably need to provide a little homework to supplement their on-site training.
Earlier, we mentioned the importance of tracking metrics to see if users meet goals on the new CRM system. If goals are not being met, this could indicate that the CRM itself has an issue, the goals were unreasonable or users have not adjusted to the software. To see if user adoption is the problem, establish KPIs that measure login rates or data quality. If you find that users aren’t logging in regularly or entering data appropriately, this indicates that you need to work with your users to improve their CRM practices. Remember, you don’t want to overly monitor their activity, but occasionally checking these metrics will provide insight into areas in need of improvement.
To build best practices into your CRM implementation, enlist the support of an expert. Datix has spent the last 20 years offering an array of enterprise software services and solutions to manufacturing and distribution companies. As certified partners of both Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce, we help our clients choose the optimal CRM solution for their business needs. Unity, our pre-built integration application, connects CRM with Epicor ERP to create a single source of truth that drives business growth. By following best practices and industry standards, we implement and integrate CRM in line with your unique business requirements to give you the best value from your software.
Implementing software in accordance with best practices isn’t something you can take on alone. Contact Datix today to transform your business with software!