7 Tips to a Successful Implementation of Your New CRM System

7 Tips to a Successful Implementation of Your New CRM System

Post summary:

  • CRM is a strategy, not a tactic
  • The most common CRM challenges
  • 7 tips to a successful CRM implementation

In my last blog post, I gave you some tips on how to structure your workday (8 Ways CRM Software Can Help Reduce Cost for Your Business). These tips refer to what you as an individual could do. This time I will focus on organizational structure.

Whether you have chosen a CRM vendor or not, it is a good idea to prepare for the organizational challenges you may meet:

  • What does it involve of resources?
  • Do you need to make organizational changes?
  • What are the goals or benefits you expect to get out of the CRM system?
  • Do you want a cloud or a server solution?

When you implement a new IT system, the whole organization needs to be in sync. It has to be a combination of a set of official guidelines and personal involvement. A good project manager is essential and the way to success lies in good internal communication. A CRM system is not just technology; it is a strategy and a philosophy.

Here are 7 tips of things to consider when implementing a CRM system:

1. Anchorage in the top management

It may sound obvious that a project that involves all parts of an organization needs top management involvement, but in order to inspire and build credibility, top management is crucial. They drive the opinion and culture in the organization and their early adaption gives a synergy effect on the whole organization. So get them involved!

2. Project manager

When you are implementing a new CRM system the most important person is the one that has the overall management and the mandate to run the project. The selected person should drive the project so that the steps get done and the goals are met. It does not have to be someone from the management, but a do-er with enthusiasm, passion and focus on details.

3. Super-user

A super-user or a CRM responsible is not the same as a project manager. This is the person in your organization which is assigned as the super-user of your new system. He or she just loves the new system and wants to learn everything about.

When others in your organization have problems or need support, this is the internal person to go to, the “know-it-all”. This person is also often the contact point towards the vendor, and will be the first to get information about new version etc.

4. Launch with a BANG!

The mantra for real estate agents is location – location – location. For the project manager it should be motivation – motivation – motivation. Sell it!

Internal marketing is sometimes underestimated, but when implementing a new CRM system you need to sell it to your colleagues. Make a cool article on your intranet, a poster, a special launch t-shirt, internal launch party etc. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but something to mark the launch and create enthusiasm. But unfortunately you can’t rest on your laurels, now the lobbing starts. Walk around, ask people how it’s going and help them along.

5. Internal guidelines

As mentioned before in other blog posts on this site, a CRM system is only as good as the data put into it. It is essential that some common guidelines are set. For example how to include new company data or register a sale. If Trine, Steven and Marie all register their sales in the CRM system, but Michael doesn’t, then it is difficult for the sales manager to take out correct sales statistics and coach his sales team.

And it also makes it difficult for Michael to track the teams sales pipeline.

The guidelines should be written down and can be published for example on your intranet.

6. Training

We are all different; some people get a kick out of a new system and start to use it right away. Others may be skeptical to a new way of working. The project manager should have strategies to handle both user groups. You can choose classroom training from a vendor, or if you have assigned an internal super-user he or she can do the training in your office.

You should also include an introduction to your CRM system in the internal training program for new employees. New employees will then, from the start, get on the right track.

7. Strategy

CRM is not just technology, but a philosophy.

When you implement a CRM system your whole organization needs to re-think all routines and each individual needs to change their work pattern. This is a challenge and requires a strategy to cope with negative attitude on all levels.

Despite the fact that over the last 10 years it has been written a lot about CRM, clarifying the shift from only a sales perspective to a 3600 view, many people still look at CRM as only a sales tool.

You might encounter attitudes like “in Finance we work in a different way, and have no need for a CRM system” or “I have all my emails saved in folders in Outlook, so I know how to find them”. Prepare yourself!

I can give you a lot of good arguments for implementing a CRM system, but in my book the no. 1 argument is: When in a workplace the company owns your production, and a CRM system ensures that all documentation is stored in one common database owned by the company.

CRM strategy and implementation

 

Conclusion

I would say that the Achilles heel to all IT systems is user-friendliness.

The author of “Stupid bloody system!”, Jonas Söderström, addresses the problems of poor data systems in a work environment perspective. He claims that the problem with too many data systems has become so imperative that it has to be addressed before it ruins the work environment. Strange reference from a software vendor you may say? But he addresses a very important point – you need to put in the time and effort to evaluate before you choose a new IT system.

Not only the technology should be in place but also and user-friendliness is important to ensure that the users will love it, and that you can see results from your investment.

To learn more about SuperOffice CRM and its products, please visit our inspiration page or download one of our white papers.

CRM buyers guide 2018

CRM

About Camilla Graue

Camilla Graue

I have worked with marketing communications for many years in both B2C and B2B, and have been so fortunate to work with everything from PR, web, print and events to magazines. As a Web Manager at SuperOffice I can focus on my two main passions: targeted communication and visual identity.

9 Comments

Balamurali

about 4 years ago

Good Article Camilla ... You have rightly put in 'CRM is, as mentioned earlier, not just technology but a philosophy' Very true .. I have written an article on CRM at http://digikayak.com/blog-crm-imp/

Reply

Sanjay Verma

about 3 years ago

A good article. 60% to 80% of CRM initiatives, even if rightly backed by top management and implemented properly, fails. Its mainly because of internal adoption issues. The article lays down very clear guidelines for a successful CRM implementation.

Reply

Steven MacDonald

about 3 years ago

Great comment, Sanjay! Looking forward to hearing more thoughts about CRM from you

Reply

David

about 3 years ago

Great article - many hurdles to jump over to implement into a large organization.

Reply

Shama

about 3 years ago

Hello Camilla, I stumbled upon this article when doing a google search for SAP implementation cost and I must say you have included the most crucial points. I also agree to what Balamurali says above. Your article rightly points out the clear guidance on implementing the CRM. I am going to definitely use the information you posted here to talk to my future clients who need more information when choosing a solution that fits in their budget and I will push them this url in the process. By the way http://crmprogrammer.com does a great job in the cost effective Custom ERP/CRM implementation and applications using free open source. You might get some information from there. Thanks

Reply

Deepak Rishna

about 1 year ago

CRM is a Customer Relationship Management software and it deals with planing and building of companies business.

Reply

Sarah Hill

about 5 months ago

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is essential for business planning and implementation. So, thanks for sharing this information with us!

Reply

Alex Jarius

about 2 months ago

Such a useful article Camilla! This content has shown exactly how to implement a new CRM system. Very informative I must say. Thank you!

Reply

Nikita Sawant

about 3 weeks ago

Such an insightful article, Camilla! I cannot emphasize more on the importance of complete CRM adoption within the organization itself. I love the idea of a superuser working alongside the Project Manager. Looking forward to reading more of your helpful tips!

Reply

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