Most of my work is with our new customers, helping them to plan and implement their new CRM system. Whether they are migrating their data from an existing system, or entering the world of CRM for the first time, my advice is always the same: Keep focus on what YOU need to do – not what the system can do.
It is easy to get swept up in the possibilities, to get excited in the functions and features, the bells and whistles. But in my experience this is likely to cause more problems than it solves. This is because it can make the implementation very disruptive to the business, add layers of stress onto the staff, who then perceive the system as the cause of their pain. Lack of user engagement is one of the most cited reasons for CRM ‘failure’ and at all costs it must be mitigated wherever possible.
As part of an organisation’s decision to implement a CRM system, there will be key objectives that the system must deliver in order to be considered successful, and good value for the investment. Very often when I ask the organisation to sketch out its main objectives, in order of priority, they usually come back with 15-20!
But my experience has taught me that when identifying 15-20 objectives in one go they de-facto lose their importance and become just another list of things to do. It’s far better to set the sights on the objectives that are right for your business, prioritise, and to achieve those goals, than to attempt a vast range of things if there is not a clear vision and purpose with your actions.
Keep focus on what is right for your business and your customers and develop objectives on that basis of that instead of being swept away by the deceptive need of having an arsenal of functions and features imbedded into your system.
Being focused on how to grow your business and nurture your customer relations is what matters to your bottom line numbers. Not the number of fancy buttons to press. That’s why my advice is always to prioritise your objectives and identify what REALLY matters most to your business in the early days of adopting a CRM system.
Remember that the value of your CRM system lies in the all-important ability to create meaningful workflows that reflect your customers’ needs. This will enable you to focus your business and optimise your sales processes through targeted activities, so you don’t take time away from what’s most important. Less disruption means more time to get things done – and move on.