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10 Steps to a Successful CRM Implementation

Give a customer what exactly he is looking for in the most explicit way and he is there to stay. But a look at the current scenario and you will know how the numbers of companies offering the same product/service have figuratively "spoiled the customers". The market is flooded with choices and with this it is becoming even more difficult for the firms to attract and retain the customers. The best thing is to procure them the products/services they are looking for and THE NEXT BEST THING is to give them personalized attention and, a treatment that is held in their memory for long. This ultimately can be achieved by the "Customer relationship management", the technology that helps you to learn more about the customers, their needs and buying patterns- everything that makes them yours! By knowing more about the customers, you can modify your business as per their needs. Many of the companies have amplified their sales and profit with the successful implementation of CRM. As per survey company who invested in CRM yielded them upto 500% percent of return on investment, but the key to success is implementing it successfully. Many of the companies have failed to achieve desired profits because of the poor implementation and acceptance amongst the employees. Here are 10 steps that will help you to implement the CRM with ease:

1.     Identify The Need To Have A CRM System

If you don't have a strong answer to this simple question then moving ahead is just a waste of time and resources. Identify the needs of your business that would be benefited by the implementation of CRM and then search for the CRM that offers you everything you are looking forward to. You can ask the team members and discuss the same with them. Their thoughts and review can give you better ideas to proceed.

2.     Define The Goal Properly

Whether you want to bring back all the lost customers OR have a revenue increase by 10%, the goals can be different for different companies. So, analyze the areas of your business and prioritize it as per the necessity. It will help you in implanting the CRM in an organized manner. It is very important to understand how a CRM system should be implemented to meet the real needs of the company. Moreover, assign specific and measurable targets and objectives to be achieved by the CRM implementation. If the goals are set from the beginning then it becomes easier to achieve desired results.

3.     Gather Required Documents

After you have defined the problem, find out the flow of your business and gather all the documents pertaining to it. No one would like to change the course of their business and make things difficult. For example: If  your company is into sales and marketing of a particular product, you need to identify the details regarding acquisition of new clients, handling of VIP clients, inventory and stock management, collection of leads and similar relevant aspects. Gathering about such documents and policies will help to implement the CRM in a manner that will reap maximum benefits for all the areas of your business.

4.     Find Out The Weak Points

Find out the gap between your current set-up and your objectives. Check for the lacuna where the CRM tool can be implemented and the ways in which it can be used to bridge the gap. Ideally a CRM expert consultant can conduct the analysis for you. But if required it can be done with the help of staff members who are proficient with CRM tool, after close examination on the current practices and expectations. The people in the organization are well versed with the problems and could help you to gain more from the CRM system. Closely or remotely, everyone in the organization is involved in the system.

5.     Put Good Business Practice Before CRM

A wrong input gets you only flawed output. Any system is at the behest of the staff that uses it and a CRM system can benefit you only if your business processes provide the right data to the system. If there is any flaw while entering the information, it won’t fetch desired results. Make specified guidelines or if required modify practices( complex to simple) and implement uniform practices across all the departments to reap maximum benefits. Change takes time to be accepted and this needs to be communicated to the staff gently. More the willingness & acceptance the staff has for the CRM, better and higher the result would be.

6.     Draft a configuration plan

Considering the functioning of your business draft a plan for CRM implementation. The plan should have the detailed description of all the data and the procedure via which it will be routed to your CRM system. Every business has a unique requirement so construct the plan that focuses on increasing the revenue. If required you can ask the CRM provider to make necessary changes in the tool in order to cater your business requirement.

7.     Plan A Smooth Data Transfer

It is the most crucial step as it needs to be done with complete accuracy and, also it can turn to be a cost barring phase of implementation. You need to clearly communicate your team about the same as they might have to face the phase of some downtime while data migration and need to be prepared for the same. Any kind of error while data migration can have fatal consequences for the company hence it must be done with precision. Does your homework well- discuss with the CRM consultant and take input from the team members to make this process smooth and time efficient.

8.     Let Everyone Share The Same Vision

In order to make CRM implementation a success; involve everyone in your company as it not only would affect the sales team but will change the functioning of all other departments. They will have to change their mode of functioning and get accustomed with new CRM tool. Before execution proper training should be given to them regarding the usage; stating the potential benefits to everyone. They should be told that their new partner is not only going to help them in their job but also sharing their work pressure & increase their productivity! Deploy proper resources and time for implementation of CRM tool.

9.     Test It Before It Is Put To Use

It is very vital to test the CRM system before going live. It helps to check the functioning, error (if any) and the necessary rectifications that may need to be done before going live.

10.Let The CRM Be Live

After proper testing and a thumbs up from the team, CRM tool should be ready to go live. Go live with a bang, and involve your team as well as senior management in the process. Create enthusiasm in your company with regards to the CRM tool and motivate them to be a part of the change. Monitor and analyze the performance after the implementation of CRM tool. Ask your users to share their experience as well as measures to improve the efficient usage of CRM.

Summary

CRM helps to gain more insight about customers and can give a boost to the sales and profit of the company. In order to reap the benefits it is very important to implement it in a hustle-free manner with the correct strategies; otherwise it could prove to be a bad debt for the company. Moreover, it needs to evolve with the time with new features and also match with the changing technology and goal of an organization. So what are you waiting for? Contact Skyward CRM, how they have implemented CRM successfully for their customers.  
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