Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can be a very valuable tool within the enterprise, yet it can also meet with failure if it is not right-fitted to the needs of the business or it is not properly implemented to fulfill those needs.
To help those responsible for purchasing CRM software to better understand how to make smart choices, VendorGuru.com has put together an informative piece, "How to Prepare Your Office for CRM."
In this article, VendorGuru.com
and writer Joe Taylor, Jr. suggest ten steps for project managers to follow in order to ensure the adoption of the new CRM solution is successful. In following these steps, VendorGuru.com
expects that the enterprise should be able to maximize their CRM software investment and gain the expected benefit from the solution.
The first recommendation is to clearly establish who owns the CRM software solution. While there are a variety of “owners”, the most efficient method is to ensure that everyone in the organization has a buy-in for the solution to ensure its success.
It is also important that it is communicated how the CRM solution will help the organization to meet its business goals. It is also important that the CRM software solution is put into strategic context. If the solution contradicts goals or the project manager fails to emphasize the areas of long-term opportunity created by the solution, it is more likely to fail.
Training is another important step in effective CRM software implementation. Veteran project managers emphasize that understanding that different team members may have different learning styles can lead to a more comprehensive training program.
Project managers should carve sales automation tasks into manageable chunks to eliminate bottlenecks. In addition, moving beyond internal savings and into tracking new business generated as a result of the implementation is essential to moving the CRM project forward.
It is imperative that management anticipate and prepare for the culture shock after the implementation of the CRM solution. It may be wise to consider rolling out the solution in smaller chunks to maintain a sense of forward momentum while team members become accustomed to new systems.
Successful CRM implementations seek input on customization and future releases. This keeps team members plugged in and creates a feeling of ownership in the new process. In addition, those that take the time to celebrate wins provide opportunities for team members to reflect on the positive impact of the CRM software.
A CRM software solution can only bring value to the organization if all team members embrace the technology, understand its benefits and are adequately trained to use it effectively. Following VendorGuru.com
’s ten steps will go a long way toward implementing CRM software success.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi