The CRM Opportunity
The real benefits of CRM are often not found in the software itself but in the opportunity to examine how you’re doing things: process evolution. The right CRM helps your employees act on the best processes. It ensures the processes are followed and gives you visibility into what’s happening with customers and prospects.
Okay, once you’ve decided you need a CRM system, let’s make sure you know what that means to you. Everything you do needs to have a valid business reason behind it or you risk failure.
Tip: The effort you put in at the early stages is directly proportional to the success of your CRM project.
Engage the Stakeholders
CRM brings about a lot of changes, so bear this in mind when people initially resist what you're trying to do. Change is hard for people. The people who will use the tool should be sitting at the table when you’re discussing vendors and options.
Tip: Involve both managers and end users to gain a sense of ownership from all parties. This doesn’t mean run every detail past the entire company, but seek sensible advice and feedback.
Tame “Field Frenzy”
You will find some people asking for a lot of fields.
The best answer is usually “No, you can’t have a lot of fields!”
Why? I’ve seen far too many systems with loads of fields, and some poor person has to fill all that data in. This is often the sales guy who does not have “data entry clerk” in his job description. Unless your sales team loves data entry, you want to be stingy with those fields.
Data Is King
You need to make sure the data is as complete as possible so that it matches those new drop-downs. You need to remove as many duplicates as possible before importing them into your new CRM system.
Tip: Some companies pay each user a cash bonus for each clean record. This encourages the account owners to work through all of their contacts and clean them up prior to importing into their new CRM. If you paid a consultant to do this work, it would cost you a lot more.
The Secret Sauce for Enthusiastic Adoption
Define a few critical reports that will help drive usage of the CRM system. Sales reports are excellent for this.
These reports should also be able to drive some insights into what’s going on with your prospects and customers. For example, Pipeliner CRM is great at pulling
sales insights such as drop-off rates and pipeline velocity.
If people see the report coming from the CRM system, they will make sure the data is in to support it. The team will see that using the CRM as it’s intended isn’t an option, it’s a necessity just like using your email or phone.
Rinse and Repeat: Training
A one-off training session won’t work; people will simply forget about it. You need to have an initial onboarding training that goes through the complete system so that people can begin using it. Reinforce key points to make them stick.
Tip: For the first 8 weeks, pick one small topic and run through that with your team – how to manage your calendar, how to use the sales pipeline, how to use social selling within the CRM, etc. Even if you watch training videos from your provider on how to use your system, get your team together and go through it as a team.
Ta-da!!!! Not quite… Go live with a flourish, and don’t forget that ongoing training. You are going to get resistance from some people, and that’s only natural. But keep expectations high so that all the stakeholders continue to use the system. Find ways to encourage everyone to participate and the positive results will fuel more success!
Imagine! A CRM system that your salespeople will actually use... and see value in using. It’s a game changer!
Contributors: Richard Young is Pipeliner CRM's Managing Director, UK and Ireland. Liz Woods is Director of Professional Services. They're also engaged to be married!
Process evolution graphic: www.ostergaard.com.sg.