The Preact Guide to a Winning CRM Strategy
Research from Gartner Group and Meta Group has identified that up to 70% of CRM implementations fail to achieve their objectives due to lack of strategy.
Clearly, it’s not the technology that’s at fault but, rather, the belief that the chosen platform alone can transform your business.
In reality, getting started with CRM is less about technology and more about people and processes.
It’s the people who deliver service, develop processes, speak with customers and ensure quality standards – all of which contribute to a successful CRM strategy.
But, if your business is lacking in some of these areas, use this best-practice guide to correct and hone your CRM strategy.
Change Business Culture
When it comes to a successful CRM strategy, change is inevitable.
And, if you’re not experiencing change within your business culture as a result of CRM implementation, you’re not using CRM as intended.
As part of your strategy, make CRM implementation an organisation-wide. You’ll find that your CRM journey will fall flat if only a few select individuals are using or buying into the system.
With this in mind, work to put together a committee or board that includes a cross-functional representative of every department that will, or is already using, the CRM system. Actively use this team to gain feedback on what they want from a CRM, what they understand or need training on and, most importantly, how this will support business objectives.
Responsiveness is key to ongoing success but it’s a two way street.
Your people have some great front line knowledge and ideas that you’ll never get to know about if you don’t ask them.
Top Tip: Build and train the right teams. Don't skimp on staffing and training the people who will ultimately implement and be responsible for the ownership of the relationship changes you are going to make. This step is one that is most overlooked and underbudgeted by companies embracing CRM.
Consider What Your Business Needs
It’s an all-too common mistake; many CRM buyers believe that physical CRM technology is the solution to their business issues when, in reality, it is often the core business processes that need to be addressed before CRM can offer any true value.
Consider your current processes; will a CRM system fit with how you currently work? Or are they, in fact, hindering your progress?
Perform an in-depth analysis of these processes, investing the necessary time to identify where elements may be potentially flawed and assessing how the support of a CRM system could correct them.
Top Tip: Be sure to communicate the issues that are identified as a result of your analysis to your prospective vendors. The best suppliers will be keen to help you resolve them and use CRM technology to support those efforts.
Use a Phased Approach
Implementing a business-wide technology is no easy feat. With this in mind, it’s essential to take manageable, deliberate steps towards your ultimate goal of a completely integrated CRM system.
Make it work in one area at a time - and be sure that you have demonstrable results before moving on to another area.
Top Tip: Tackle CRM in small, strategic ways. Rather than trying to learn an entire new system overnight or trying to implement a complicated software program, make periodic goals for your CRM strategy, and stick to them. Set reasonable goals for your CRM.
Keep it Clean
Once implementation of your CRM system is complete, it’s essential to not let all of your hard work go to waste.
With this in mind, regular database housekeeping will ensure that all processes that have been put in place stay in place.
Top Tip: Just about every CRM user out there has at least a few tasks that they never managed to complete or simply forgot about. Going through these will eliminate clutter, bring down your current daily workload and might just provide a few hidden opportunities along the way.