friend or foe CRM

CRM – Friend or Foe?

Ten CRM Guidance Points
  1. Make it fit

CRM should be tailored to fit your business and processes – however, for this to be beneficial, you need to know what those processes are!  Define your business processes and ensure they are understood throughout the business at every level.

  1. All inclusive

It is imperative that all staff feel involved in the choice and development of the new system – after all, they’re the ones who have to use it.  This will guarantee co-operation and encourage feedback and suggestions.

  1. What’s in it for me?

Staff often feel as though they are “being monitored” or simply don’t understand why they have to change the way they’ve “always done it”.  Remove these objections by ensuring every user understands exactly what they (and the business) will achieve from the CRM solution.

  1. It’s a Phase

When implementing anything new, it is essential to clearly define achievable goals.  The project should be split into clear stages, ensuring each stage is a success before moving onto the next one.  Encourage your users to get involved and begin using the system as each stage is complete.

  1. Practice what you preach

Everybody needs to use the CRM system – no exceptions!  If the MD is using it, there’s no excuse for others not to use it.

  1. Super, just super

With any new system, training is of paramount importance.  Designate some “Super Users” and train them to an advanced level.  They can then become the first port of call for everyday queries and can assist with induction training for new employees.

  1. No excuses

Training, training, training!  Ensure all users have sufficient training and are given good supporting documentation to refer back to.  Each stage of the project should be tested thoroughly with the Super Users first to ensure any IT issues are dealt with before releasing that stage to all users.

  1. Less is more

Initially, keep mandatory data entry to a minimum.  Users shouldn’t feel as though it’s too much of a bind to create new records within the CRM system.  Consider carefully which fields need to be compulsory.

  1. Can you see what it is?

Results should be displayed for everyone in the business to see.  This could be via company wide emails, company intranet or even widescreen TVs displayed on the sales office walls!

  1. All under one roof

The most successfully adopted CRM systems integrate with other industry standard software – for example, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is integrated with Outlook.  Outlook is a program that will (or should) always be open for every user.

Julia Wells, Painted Red Ltd