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2022 Guide to CRM System Implementation
Excellent customer engagement is often the hallmark of successful companies with a solid customer base featuring repeat buyers. Outstanding customer engagement begins before the sale. Prospects make buying decisions based on how well a company answers their questions, provides guidance that leads to resolving pain points, and how they’re made to feel about their initial engagement – well before the purchase. Once the purchase is made, the company will have the opportunity to nurture the relationship, thus determining the likelihood of a long-term relationship. Businesses leverage capable customer relationship management (CRM) software to better manage customer engagement that makes relationship building more accessible. CRM system implementation, while necessary, can be very complex. Understanding how to go about it is essential for any company that wants to make the most of its investment.
A robust CRM solution fosters communication between businesses and their customers. The primary objective of a CRM is to engage, win, and nurture the relationship with the customer to lead to repeat sales and long-term loyalty. Based on the information obtained and housed within the CRM, a business can adjust sales strategies, reconfigure marketing messages, and address pain points the customer may have.
CRM Software Types
One size does not fit all when it comes to CRM solutions. When considering a CRM software implementation, there are four different classifications of CRMs, and companies must know which type best suits their situation.
The alignment of resources and strategies to engage customers among distinct businesses or departments constitutes a collaborative CRM. The collaboration enables different entities to identify, acquire, develop, and retain valuable customers.
An example of a collaborative CRM is when silos are removed between sales, marketing, and product development. In this scenario, a collaborative CRM can leverage a single, integrated solution and allow users to communicate seamlessly through chat rooms, web forums, and EDI, to name a few.
An operational CRM provides tools to help users better visualize and handle the entire customer journey that includes multiple touchpoints. In this version of CRM, features such as marketing, sales, and service automation handle many of the responsibilities historically handled manually by staff. As a result, businesses can more easily scale and facilitate customer growth.
Businesses who want to analyze the data gathered about their customers turn to an analytical CRM. An analytical CRM allows users to collect large quantities of data, analyze that data, and derive specific insights related to their customers that help them serve the customer better. With this data in mind, better decisions can be made about product offerings, pricing, distribution, and more.
There are times when the business hopes to learn more about the customer regarding their buying habits and what makes them happy. A strategic CRM enables businesses to continually learn more about customer requirements in ways that allow them to better position their offering and present goods and services designed to fulfill those requirements.
CRM System Implementation Steps
Organizations must understand the steps necessary to implement a capable CRM for their business. Launching a CRM system requires multiple steps and considerations, including an overall business strategy, software features, software selection, user buy-in, goals, priorities, and market conditions.
Your overall business strategy must guide selecting the right CRM for your business. Whether your CRM will be sales-driven or marketing-driven will determine which solution you choose.
Not all CRM solutions are created equal. Some are built to better leverage marketing automation, while others are better suited for gathering customer information for product development. Integration capability is also critical, as all CRM solutions will not seamlessly connect with other software. Selecting a CRM that easily integrates with existing solutions is essential.
Conducting due diligence and in-depth analysis of which solutions offer what features are necessary steps for selecting the right CRM software. Depending on the company’s business strategy and the features most important to the company, the selection of the CRM system should be intended to deliver on those areas critical to the company.
One of the most significant challenges companies face when incorporating new software is ensuring buy-in from those who will use it. It’s best to involve stakeholders from every business unit or department to ensure their needs are understood, and their insights are considered. Securing buy-in from all users will go a long way in selecting the right CRM solution that best fits specific workflows.
Stakeholders must be consulted when identifying and deploying a CRM solution. Those using the software must be appropriately trained to ensure a smooth implementation and launch process. Thorough training that facilitates real-world scenarios and helps users master those areas the company will come to rely on goes a long way in eliminating buyer’s remorse when making a CRM purchase decision.
Determining CRM success does not end with selection and implementation, and ongoing measurement during and after the implementation is a must. If one objective of implementing a CRM solution is closing more deals faster, measuring how many sales are closed at what rate will help determine whether the chosen CRM solution has achieved the required ROI.
CRM Implementation Cost
Cost is an essential factor when considering a CRM solution. Part of the planning phase of implementing a CRM should be establishing a budget, and one's budget should be determined by the type of CRM selected. CRM implementation cost for a tailored solution will be more costly upfront than an out-of-the-box solution. Other cost factors include the number of modules and capabilities featured, the implementation process, and how many users will be assigned to the CRM.
The overall cost associated with implementing a CRM for your business could be as little as $20,000 or as much as $120,000.
CRM Software Implementation Tips
Selecting and implementing a CRM solution for your operation also allows you to consider related strategies.
- Choosing and implementing a CRM solution offers an opportunity to reconsider your workflow. If there are opportunities to fix existing bottlenecks and shortcomings, do it during the CRM implementation.
- Ensure your CRM remains accessible from anywhere at any time. Incorporating a mobile version of your CRM will go a long way in fostering efficiency and flexibility.
- Don't underestimate the data migration process. Suppose your customer-related data is currently stored in multiple places and formats. In that case, it's significantly less painful and time-consuming to plan how you will identify, migrate, and convert data beforehand rather than during the migration process.
- Make sure all staff understand the CRM solution's value from the beginning. The sooner you gain buy-in, the better your chances of ensuring full participation and increased efficiency across the organization.
How Blytheco Can Help
Identifying and implementing the right CRM solution for your organization is no small undertaking. Blytheco can help your organization navigate the complex selection, implementation, and training process. Contact one of our CRM experts today and see how we can help you transition to a more efficient operation with the right CRM solution for your organization.