It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Customer Relationship Management is the most efficient approach to maintain and create a valuable buyer-seller relationship. It leads to the development of a bonding between both the parties which is accountable for the loyalty and trust between the two.

Once this relationship is build suitably, the organization is able to easily identify the actual needs and requirements of the customer and offer them products and services consequently. It not only leads to better conversion on the part of the seller, but the customer is also satisfied with the services. Keeping in view the importance of CRM for your organization, it is very important to implement it with the right strategic approach.

In this blog we have come up with the typical steps involved in the CRM implementation process. Following these steps closely will save you from any downsides you might face otherwise.

Steps To A Successful CRM Implementation

Let’s have a look at the steps which can guide you through a successful CRM implementation:

Step 1: Identify why you need a CRM and what you expect from it.

The foremost step is to understand why your enterprise needs a CRM system. Start off by identifying the areas you need to improve and the problems that requires attention. You need to have a vision which syncs with the definitive goals of your business. Once you decide on the goals of your CRM implementation, share it with everyone in the team to ensure all are on the same page and moving on the same lines to achieve the goals. Another thing that demands consideration is how you want to integrate it with other systems in your organization. Integrating your cloud based CRM with other integral systems of your enterprise can result in better understanding of your customers and hence an effective CRM.

Step 2: Find a suitable CRM vendor for your organization.

You will get many options in terms of vendors offering CRM and will need to explore a bit to be able to find the right CRM system for your business as it will largely affect the implementation. The strength of the vendor’s product is to be judged along with the vendor’s experience in the respective market. Along with, you will need to consider factors like the knowledge and experience their employees possess, their experience in working for enterprises similar to yours, and the corporate vision of the vendor. You can also dig into some of their previous clients’ reviews to know about the service quality of the vendor.

Step 3: Develop a budget

You need to develop a realistic budget which you can use for the expenses related to the implementations process. It’s very important that you remain very clear about your resources with your CRM partner so that they can plan according to your investment. Balance your budget so that you do not compromise on the implementation. Go for ‘value for money’. An effective CRM implementation can significantly lead to higher conversions while if the implementation goes wrong, you might have to re-invent the wheel.

Step 4: Identify which departments and staff will handle the process and train them accordingly.

It is one of the most important steps which organizations often ignore, leading to serious user adoption issues. To make sure that you are following the best practices in the process, select two key members and make them a part of the project team. You will require their feedback throughout the implementation process as well. Make them a part of the demo and feedback sessions and take actions on what they have to say. Now, you also need to take care of the training of the end users of your CRM. Devote some time and efforts to create training material of your end users. Recorded training sessions are recommended as it will help you train new staff for quick adoption of your CRM system.

Step 5: Draw a blueprint on how you need to progress with the CRM.

You need to have a step by step road map on how you want to move with the CRM implementation. You can’t implement it and expect it to give you a 360 degree view of your customers immediately. The process is gradual and you can see the results eventually. You have to come up with a practical and realistic way to achieve it over a period of time, which can’t be precise. Your vendor can guide you and your team through this to make you understand the tactics that leads to an effective execution of a CRM system. It’s again one of the reasons why you should select your CRM vendor carefully. Also, following a sorted out road map helps you keep away from all the complications which arise in the process of CRM implementation.

Step 6: Ensure equal participation from business and IT

Like Enterprise Resource Planning, a successful CRM is never just an IT program. So if you just run it as such, it’s going to fail big time. A successful CRM demands equal participation from the business as well. You can create a Center of Excellence (COE) to maintain this teamwork. An effective COE can play a key role in the success of this collaboration and ultimately leads to a successful CRM implementation.

Successfully implementing a CRM and getting your team members to use it regularly may seem like a daunting task but if you take care of the above steps and process carefully it’s not very difficult either. If you still find CRM implementation a task you can’t handle, you should always get some professional help.