CRM Implementation: All the Facts You Need to Know in Advance

Choosing a CRM is a serious decision for every growing company. You already have clients who want to buy your products or services, the sales team which wants to sell your products or services and marketers who build strategies for the future promotion of your product and services.

And one day the team grows a lot, and the communication between the departments and customers becomes intermittent. It becomes harder to track the employees’ activities and progress with selling.

Or in another situation, you may already have a CRM, but its functions are slowly becoming insufficient and it starts to cost too much in operation.

“If you’ve found yourself in such circumstances and are planning to change them, then in this guide, we will walk you through the stages of CRM implementation, give you pros for implementing the system and cons you should be aware of.”

 

What are the benefits of implementing a CRM?

 

  • Improved customer communications. CRM will store all the information about the customer in its database, allowing access to it in no time. The most advanced CRM support the option of recording interactions, like phone calls and messages, to easily track the history of doing business with a buyer.
  • Better collaboration between departments. CRM provides a single information point where all the departments involved will be able to find the data they need. Now all the sales reps, marketers, managers, etc. will be able to access the relevant insights.
  • Understanding of the sales pipeline for better transparency. The transparency of the sales process is vital for a manager in order to assess the amount of workload on the sales reps and understand how far they are to closing the deal. Some CRMs are especially great for that: they allow you to create your own customized pipeline, adaptable to any business and sales needs.
  • In-built automation for work facilitation. Simple in-built automation can significantly facilitate the work of all the employees involved in using CRM. Automation of email campaigns, scheduling, and workflow automation are just the tip of the iceberg. Still, many of the functions should be kept in mind while choosing a suitable platform.
  • Opportunity to cut costs. You find yourself in a situation when you need additional functionality, but the extra costs are too high? Right CRM will include all the features you need from the start and won’t prevent your business from growing.

 

What are the stages of CRM implementation?

 

The CRM implementation process usually consists of several stages:

  1. Gathering of the requirements. This is the stage of assessing your business. Business analysts analyze the business needs and the features you want to add. During this phase, it’s important to formulate the desirable add-ons you want to implement in CRM, so the specialist will have a clear understanding of the future scope of work (and will calculate the costs).
  2. Data migration. This step provides a wonderful opportunity to look through all useful and useless folders you’ve always put off sorting. The new accurate and complete data can be later transferred into the new CRM, while the outdated irrelevant information will be left behind, no longer occupying storage space.
  3. Customization and adoption. The freshly created CRM will probably require some additions necessary for a specific business. That is the time when custom development starts to adapt the CRM to your business needs.
  4. Testing or Quality Assurance. During this phase, the specialists begin the testing process, trying to find the sneaky bugs and other deficiencies. It’s  time to check how well the components of the CRM work together; whether the CRM is fully operational and corresponds to the requirements, or whether it needs further polishing.
  5. Deployment. This stage concludes the development and testing processes, bringing the CRM to life.
  6. User training. No implementation is complete until you’ve taught the users how to use the final product. This phase is considered to be of particular importance as the employees are the ones to prove the success of the implemented platform. If they are confused by the new changes it’s a must for the specialist to explain the procedures. The feedback received can also turn out invaluable and improve the operability of the CRM.
  7. Support. The last but not the least important stage of implementation. Monitoring of performance, consultations, and deficiencies mitigation is the primary focus of support specialists.

 

Risks you should consider before implementing CRM

 

While implementing a system, there can always be factors to influence its quality and operability. Here, we’ve gathered a list of the main potential issues to avoid in order to stay safe from financial and managerial risks:

  • Inability to scale. That is a problem that can manifest itself over time. It may remain unnoticed at the beginning, but as soon as the company starts growing, the increased number of users will have a direct impact on the performance of a platform. If you keep the expansion of your business in your plans, it’s crucial to choose a CRM that will be able to adapt to your needs.
  • Adoption challenges. When implementing a new CRM, user training is a must. A simple implementation is not enough, you should make sure that the platform will be used by the employees of the company. 
  • Risk of exceeding the budget. There is always a risk of exceeding budget, which only highlights the importance of planning and having a clear understanding of the features you want (in order to prevent sudden changes). To avoid this, you should decide the functionality you want to have from the start.
  • Not implementing the key features. To get the result you want and need, prioritizing is crucial. If you have a whole variety of add-ons you want to implement but are unsure if the implementation process will fit into the deadline, concentrate on the main features first and then, if you have finances and time, implement all the others.

Invento Labs Team has rich experience in CRM implementation and customization. More information you can find here.

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