Is your organization thinking about implementing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management)? According to the Gartner Group, the global CRM market will grow up to $37 billion by 2017. A CRM tool can provide many added benefits beyond just managing contacts. A survey found that 65% of Small and Medium Businesses (‘SMBs’) use their CRM for lead nurturing, while 59% use it for email marketing and sales projections. The latest CRM software are lean and robust enough to handle multiple processes within your organization and streamline all of them.
While many new CRM implementations can be challenging, your organization can reduce the overall stress during the process by following best practices, doing a lot of planning, and conducting careful user training.
Below are some best practices you should follow for implementation, training, and follow-up on a new CRM.
Implementing and Setting Up Your Organization’s CRM
The best CRM tools on the market right now contain advanced workflow and task automation to make entering and updating customer and client information in a CRM easier than ever. This is a huge selling point for many organizations because of the overall time savings, and will help with stakeholder buy-in.
Document how users actually utilize the tools so you can educate those pieces first. Not every user is going to use the CRM the same. Marketing will use features differently than sales, who will use features differently than customer support or C-level stakeholders.
Agree upon rules/procedures for CRM use. For example, every lead must be processed through the CRM, every email documented, or whatever workflow works for your team. Document these rules so they can become policy and provide each trainee with a copy during training sessions.
Set up your CRM and user roles for maximum collaboration and maximum data security. Who should have access to what types of account information? How will contact and lead data be shared across departments, and who will have edit/update access to which records? Consider whether you will ban the transfer of data out of the CRM electronically or on paper to protect the security of your data and your customers, and how your organization will ensure the security of EU customer data in light of GDPR compliance.
Buy-in happens through early and frequent communication. Gathering feedback about the types of tools users need most and what their CRM priorities are is important in the research and comparison phase. This feedback can be used to show how your choice of CRM is right for the organization and its workflow needs. Employees can be resistant to change, but you can provide resources and information at the time of contracting to really get buy-in.
Training users on your new CRM
Offer a variety of training courses
People learn differently and retaining your CRM training is no different. You can utilize all the resources available to you from the CRM vendor plus any in-house training you can provide to get new users started. Combining instruction with hands-on learning and practice assignments can help improve retention. To further improve retention and prevent productivity loss, some organizations stick to less than ½ day of training at a time. This helps to reduce employee stress about missing a full day of work and will help break up training into manageable chunks.
Start with practical, day to day processes that have already been automated. When everyone has a good idea of how to navigate the new CRM, training can move on to some of the flashier features like analytics.
Limited time and attention span mean you may have to pick and choose what’s best for each user type you’re training. Consider breaking your training into different user type groups instead of sales learning how customer support uses the tool and vice versa. If users want to be cross trained on the tool, provide follow-up sessions for these users.
Training is critical to improving buy-in from your users. One way to improve the team’s overall sentiment for the CRM tool is to show time savings.
Increase training retention with CRM training follow-up
It is a good idea to follow-up with open sessions, in order to address any usability questions for the users. These sessions can be scheduled in the first and second week after roll-out and followed up on monthly for a few months to answer questions. This may turn into a formal power-users group that you can then use to help you train new users down the line.
You may also consider having trainers and admins on the floor and available to help during the first 1-2 days of roll-out. Tasks that might have seemed easy in the training session could quickly turn to frustration points, so having backup ready to assist could prove useful.
CRM implementation and training will differ according to the needs and infrastructure of the organization. By planning and taking a hard look at your internal processes, user types, and workflows, you’ll be better prepared to implement your CRM.
The Litcom Approach
We offer comprehensive implementation services for a successful CRM roll-out, ensuring it meets our client’s rapid time-to-productivity expectations. We work closely with our clients to understand their needs and environment – tailoring an implementation approach to best match their requirements.
As part of the implementation process, the Litcom team will spend time understanding requirements and to determine the best solution for improving business. With this approach, specification costs and timelines can be effectively managed. A key benefit of working with the Litcom implementation team is the proven methodology that is used to reduce risk and manage CRM projects for on-time delivery within the budget. To learn more about our implementation services, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.