Implementing a CRM system is a value-adding process that can bring great benefits to any business. The ultimate goal is to improve communication and interaction with real customers and leads, and to maximise their impact on the production process and business figures. To align marketing, customer management, customer acquisition and sales and to reach out to customers and potential customers, always with the right message at the right time.
How should you implement a CRM – Customer Relationship Management – system? To succeed, you will need a strategic plan and will also have to develop teams and select profiles, choose the right software and get ready for the technological deployment. This will pose a series of interlocking challenges for the teams and executive decision-makers throughout the process.
Tips before implementing CRM at your Company
Before committing and diving straight in, it is always a good idea to assess the current organisational structure and situation of your company. Although ideally it would be best not to start implementing a CRM system while simultaneously implementing other changes that might overburden your company’s teams and structures, you might not have the luxury of spacing things out given the current climate.
Incorporating a cloud system —an integral part of customer and process management— means taking a decisive step towards the digitalisation of your company. It is something unavoidable and urgent if you are to succeed within the market. Aside from having thoroughly researched the implementation process and paved the way for its successful completion, you will also need to conduct a thorough review of the strategic and productive activity.
Before getting started and have each of the business processes clearly defined, it is crucial to set the ultimate objectives of the change.
Before embarking on the implementation project and training your in-house teams, it is essential to decide whether an external intermediary will be needed to act as distributor of the chosen software. Or perhaps whether relations should be struck up with one or more external partners to be entrusted with meeting the technological requirements, offering technical support, working on the user experience, or training the employees of the company that is implementing the CRM.
Steps to implement a CRM software
To successfully complete the implementation, you will need to create a working team to steer the process from start to finish. This team will be responsible —together with the chosen supplier and partners— for the project, from the preliminary phases through to the ultimate deployment of the new CRM. It will also be tasked with the subsequent management, maintenance and optimisation of the system.
During the initial design and configuration phase, testing and simulation of workflows will be performed so that all necessary adjustments can be made and the CRM reconfigured to optimise the processes and user experience before the software is released for use in-house and by customers.
Another important step prior to software release is data migration. Creating a customer database, with a consolidated vision of each customer —and also of potential customers— will be the starting point to enable the daily management of the company’s different activities and interactions with its customers. The new interactions will broaden your knowledge of their needs and their degree of satisfaction with the company’s services. Leads and opportunities will be generated for machine learning, to personalise interactions and develop AI applications to optimise and automate production processes, among other benefits.
Preparing the change: training CRM users
Right after announcing to your company that a CRM software is to be implemented, you will need to start developing tailor-made material to train your workforce in how to use the tools and to anticipate the impact on the company’s processes and organisation. Once the first deployment is complete, these materials will need to be regularly updated and similarly the workers who will be using the tool will require ongoing training to refresh and update their knowledge.
It has been proven that one of the most common obstacles when implementing almost any new technology or methodology is resistance to change on the part of certain members of the teams that are going to use it. In the particular case of a CRM system, lack of awareness of how the applications work and of how the system can benefit our daily work is an operational hurdle that must be overcome.
It is also essential to define how the system will be managed once we have it in place. If we appoint a CRM manager, he or she will be in charge of ensuring database maintenance and user support. From the time the new software is implemented, regular reports should be generated to help us gauge how the system is performing and whether it is on the path to achieving the ultimate objectives we have set for it.
Choosing a CRM and maximising the benefits
Every change that takes place within a business should be aimed at optimising its activity and growth, either by making organisational, production and commercial processes more efficient and less costly, or by directly increasing revenues. In a globalised and digitalised context, this is achieved through data intelligence and by understanding how processes, teams, companies and even industries and markets interconnect.
The aim: to get the most out of the change that implementing an integrated customer relationship management system will bring. Salesforce, a multinational pioneer in cloud technology and undisputed number one in the CRM software market, not only offers profound restructuring and improvement of processes, it also provides powerful tools to boost sales activity. Moreover, implementing the technology means joining a community of “pioneers”.
The autonomous, complementary and customisable modules that make up the Salesforce ecosystem —Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Heroku, etc.— enable the entire flow of data generated through B2C and B2B interactions to be centralised, distributed and made readily accessible. Salesforce makes it easy to effectively incorporate ecommerce and integrate all applications with business potential, whether proprietary or third-party. You can learn first-hand what the community considers essential to know when choosing and getting ready to implement the technology.
Expert training for seamless implementation
As mentioned above, it is essential to have a tailor-made training plan in place before preparing to implement a CRM system. Properly training the teams is essential if the change is to be completed harmoniously and the new system implemented smoothly. It is also needed and unlock the full potential of all the resources and technological tools that the company is going to implement.
In terms of talent management, reskilling and upskilling dynamics should be promoted to train users and empower them in their day-to-day activities through the new software.
Helping professionals to master the tool and to understand that in doing so they are acquiring digital skills that will enhance their professional profile, minimises any fear they may have of being “replaced” by this software. It will also have a positive impact on team motivation and cohesion.
Ideally the business will have an expert partner with an end-to-end vision, who knows how to adapt the training to a digital business culture in the broadest sense, who can offer technological training at the highest level and who can provide official certification. This is the mission of ISDI CRM, as a digital academy and as a joint training project between ISDI and Salesforce.
If you are thinking of implementing a CRM system at your company, be sure to request more information from Salesforce and discover our ISDI CRM service for businesses. We will support you before, during and after the implementation of your new CRM, generating customised learning experiences and tailoring them to your needs, to achieve your business goals and optimise the impact of Salesforce