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Implementing CRM is a daunting task. It sounds easy if you have a reliable Implementation team or a Consultant working with you in your small and midsize business (SMB), to get it done. But trust me, there are so many factors that you have to check before you even begin the CRM implementation. The good news is, there are tried and tested methods and CRM implementation best practices which, if followed, should help you avoid any calamity.
There are a few items that have to be checked off first before you begin the implementation process.
Strategize, plan and develop
Before you begin, you need to get the priority straight. As to what is the purpose of the CRM in your SMB, what is the collateral effect, what changes need to be made for a seamless maneuver. You need to identify your key performance indicators (KPI’s) so that you can continue to measure the success of your CRM and adjust wherever required. Develop your objectives around the changes that the new CRM would foster.
Select the right CRM
The market is brimming with various CRM software all claiming to bring your workload down and helping you reap a huge return on investment (ROI). Do your research, talk around, if you have time attend a few tech-summits to narrow down your choices, and then go for the CRM which fits your bill.
Create an implementation budget
The cost of implementation can surmount unknowingly. You have to create a revenue strategy as there will add-ons during the process. You will have to purchase licenses, certificates, and so on. And in case one of your Developers decides to leave, you will have to shelve the project or hunt for the next best one, which may include hidden costs. Create a section for contingency plans as well.
Educate your team
Remember it is your core team that is going to use the CRM and their usage will determine its success or failure. So, before you bring the Implementation squad in, speak with your team members, make them cognizant about the benefits of the software. Demonstrate with examples, presentations, make them see how easier their job is going to be. Instead of hopping from one application to the other, they can use a single platform for the information that they need to complete their job.
Enhance understanding about integration
Your CRM has to be integrated with your existing systems to be more effective. So, before you do that learn about your systems, integration tools, and the CRM that will be implemented. Try to find out if the CRM is compatible with your systems or whether the data import/export process has been streamlined. Trust me you will save a lot of hassle in the future if you check this off your list in the beginning.
Feature the essential features
A scalable CRM like Dynamics 365 has several inbuilt features to help increase efficiency. But all such features might not be required by your kind of organization. So, evaluate your requirements carefully and then incorporate the essential ones. Speak with your Implementation team and understand what works best for your business.
Create guidelines, schedules, training plans
Before the CRM is ready to hit the floor, prepare a user handbook for the team as they are the ones using it. Schedule appropriate user acceptance testing (UAT) sessions for your employees, of course, the initial testing will be done by your experienced IT staff. Chalk out a training plan with the help of Implementation experts so that your employees can transition to the new system without a glitch.
For a successful implementation, you need to invest not only in terms of money but time and effort too. This checklist will help you gain the most out of your CRM. But if you still have doubts about how to venture into the terrain, you can contact us, and we will guide you.