How to implement a good CRM system

Nowadays, choosing and implementing the right customer relationship management (CRM) software is crucial for many types of businesses. Not only does it help sales teams store customer data, but it also increases the number of leads coming in and enhances your overall customer service so you can build long-lasting relationships with your customers. 

A CRM system can be hugely beneficial to your business. And, whether you’re looking to replace your current CRM system or you’re looking to use it for the first time, we’ve got all the tips on how best to implement a CRM system to ensure it’s as effective as possible.

What is a CRM System?

A CRM system is a software solution which provides a place where businesses can store all their customer data as well as any potential future customer data. It can also track customer interactions, such as their communication preferences, and share the information gathered with co-workers. 

With all of your customer data organised in one place, you’ll be able to build better relationships with customers and clients, understand your customers more over time, improve your company’s overall customer service and even increase sales and profitability.

Creating good relationships with your customers is key to a successful business and will help you to stand out from your competition. A CRM system is one of the easiest and most efficient ways of achieving this. From your dashboard, you’ll be able to see everything about a customer, from the status of their orders and any outstanding issues to their history with you and personal details that can help you refine your marketing to suit their needs. By keeping track of all these things, you’ll be able to provide a better service that will keep your customers coming back for more.

How to Implement an Effective CRM System

Implementing a good CRM system can be a daunting task – especially if you’ve never done it before. Here, we’ll be sharing our top 7 essential tips on how to implement and roll out a CRM system successfully.

1. Research the Different Types of CRM Solutions

CRM is one of the fastest-growing business software out there at the moment, so take your time to research which one suits your and your employees’ needs best. With so many options out there, narrowing them down will certainly be tricky. Some factors to consider when choosing a CRM include:

  • Will it integrate easily with existing tools and software? Having a CRM system that doesn’t work with software your employees already use can create a lot of unnecessary stress and hassle.
  • Is it within your budget? Rather than opting for a system with all the bells and whistles that may be overpriced for what you need and complicated to use, choose something a little more basic that’s within your realistic price range, as this will ensure a successful launch of the CRM.
  • Are the CRMs tools relevant to your business needs? While being able to see customer complaints, social media mentions, contact information, marketing preferences and every customer interaction or sale history may be useful further down the line, if you’re a startup or a small business looking to implement a CRM system for the first time, you may not need all of the extra tools. 
  • Can it be upgraded in the future as your business grows? Despite not needing certain tools for your business right now, you may find you need them later as your business grows. Check if your CRM system can be upgraded to keep up with your ever-changing needs.
  • Is it simple to use? It takes time for employees to learn new software and this can cause a lot of stress and uncertainty. You’ll want to ensure that the system is super user-friendly, laid out well and generally easy to use so that employees can pick it up almost immediately and start incorporating it into their daily lives.

2. Set Achievable Goals

A common mistake people make when they first implement a CRM system is getting wrapped up in all of the features, tools and perks that come with it. They end up forgetting what their bigger goal and overall vision for the software is. Before choosing to implement a CRM system, set out a clear and simple goal you’ll be using the CRM for and list exactly which features and tools will help you achieve that goal.

3. Build a Team of CRM Specialists

After choosing the CRM system that’s perfect for your business and aligns with your goals, the next step is to build a team of CRM specialists within the company. This team will be on hand to answer any questions about the software, encourage its use, analyse the data and more. While it’s possible to create a team with your existing staff members who are interested in evolving their role or taking on more responsibilities, hiring a specialised individual or team who will be able to complete the required tasks and improve progress will also be beneficial. 

We’d recommend creating a CRM team with the following people:

  • Project manager
  • Data analyst
  • Developer and engineer
  • Team leaders and representatives

Depending on the size of the company, you may need to hire more than one person for each role.

4. Forecast the Effectiveness of Using a CRM for Business

Once you have your team in place and ready to go, you’ll want to work with them to start forecasting the effects that the CRM system will have on your business in the next 6-12 months of use. These reports will help shape your goals and expectations to then help create smaller goals for your teams to achieve. They’ll also allow you to see where improvements can be made with customer retention and conversion rates as well as see what the most cost-effective solutions are when it comes to the system itself.

5. Integrate Data from Other Areas of Business into the CRM

As mentioned previously, you’ll want a CRM system that can integrate seamlessly with other tools and applications. Ideally, you’ll also want to be able to migrate the data from other tools into the CRM, so employees aren’t constantly switching between programmes. This part of the implementation will take the longest (sometimes even weeks) so have patience and a cup of coffee at hand. We’d recommend starting slow and transferring only the necessary data points first, such as customer information and finances. This way, your employees can get used to the new system and it isn’t such a burden to have to relearn new processes for everything at once.

6. Train Your Team to Use the CRM System

When the CRM has been fully implemented, and other tools and applications have been migrated over, it’s time for the most important step – training your team to use it. This is where the team leaders and representatives of the CRM system will come in. Set up one or several training sessions with your team and make sure the leaders and representatives are always available for any questions. 

Remember that things will very likely go wrong, people will make mistakes to begin with, and it may take some longer than others to learn. But, once everyone is onboard and using the system daily, all of the efforts will be worth it when you start to see the results.

7. Listen to Feedback

Employees who may have been at the company for several years will likely have plenty of feedback to give about the new system. From what they like and dislike about the system to what they wish they still had from the previous setup. Listen to their feedback and make changes where possible to try and make things easier for them. 

Happy employees will only boost your business’ success, so it’s vitally important to listen to their concerns and do what you can to fix them. By encouraging feedback early on in the process, it’ll be far easier to customise and develop the system to how it works best for them. It’ll also help to create a sense of ownership for the employees if their voices are heard and changes are made – making them more inclined to use the new system.

For further advice on business software solutions don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable team. Looking to post out to your customer database? Take a look at our franking machines and mailroom solutions that can help!

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