Companies considering a (new) CRM solution are faced with a number of concerns. When I talk to the decision makers, they usually focus on price, speed and training. What they should really be focusing on is the success of their CRM implementation, which actually depends on processes, knowledge through data, scalability and flexibility.
Concern #1: “It has to be very cheap”
Of course, budget has a part to play in the decision-making. That’s why webCRM is based on a low monthly fee. However, simply cutting back on features, training or expert advice to reduce the cost is a sure way to promote failure of the implementation.
Concern #2: “We need to go live very fast”
The decision maker can sometimes be insistent that the entire project must be completed in two weeks. This can often be the case, and we always aim at quick implementation. Still, you must be open to the fact that the project moves more slowly if your data is not ready, or the users need more time to learn and adjust to the new system and processes.
Concern #3: “Can’t we just skip the training?”
Despite the day to day impact on productivity, which a new CRM system can have on a business and its users, support is often an area which decision makers will try to cut to decrease budget and/or increase speed. It is always a false economy.
The webCRM system is easy to learn but we do not recommend skipping training completely. Even the best system in the world cannot deliver positive results if users don’t know how to use it or don’t understand the benefits. My 15 years of training people in various CRM systems proves that rushing training and overloading users with information is guaranteed to prevent them from learning.
The implementation of 100s of CRM systems shows me that there are other and far more important issues to be concerned about prior to CRM implementation.
“Which processes should our CRM system support?”
The new system provides a perfect occasion to review the flow of data and the tasks that users are asked to carry out. Just because “we have always done it like that” doesn’t mean that you should continue to. Equally, you shouldn’t change the entire customer journey just because you can. Always keep in mind that the business must be able to function during the change to be working with a new system. Gradual change is much easier for staff to manage.
“What do we really want to know?”
I frequently see companies focused intently on the fields that users must populate and the data available for inclusion. Consequently, they often disregard the potential intelligence that can be extracted from their CRM system. Whilst existing data needs a home in the new solution, the focus should be on the use of such data, and its ability to provide meaningful analysis to aid business planning and development. Time spent sketching out “what we wish we knew” can help shape the configuration and deliver much higher return on investment through management information.
“How do we make sure our CRM system continues to grow with us?”