Evaluating your CRM implementation
by Lauren Stafford
What makes your CRM implementation a success?
A recent survey by Tech News World found that CRM benefits a diverse range of businesses in areas such as customer retention, product marketing and sales. But in order reap the rewards of adopting a CRM system, the implementation process needs to run smoothly. The first thing to acknowledge is that there are several challenges you could face and these can be difficult to predict as every organization is different. If you’ve followed the tried and tested best practices for CRM implementation, you should’ve avoided any major issues.
Training and Support
Ask yourself have my CRM user base completed their training and do they feel supported? CRM user adoption can make or break a CRM implementation project. Types of CRM training should be determined by the demands on the CRM system and what type of resources are available to you. It might be that after a designated period your staff are still struggling to get to grips with the system. In this case, it’s worth
investing in additional training sessions or using gamification techniques to make it more fun. If your CRM provider can offer supplementary support materials, such as step-by-step guides, webinars or videos, make sure these are shared company-wide. Good feedback from users and high adoption rates are indications of an effective CRM implementation!
The CRM is only as good as your data
As your staff begin to use the system’s features, consider an audit of your CRM data input. 70% of CRM users say their system offers improved access to customer data. This, of course, relies on clean data. There should be no duplicate or erroneous information and customer records should be accurate and kept up-to-date. When reviewing your CRM implementation take action to monitor your data sources and integrations as users become more familiar with the system. A high standard of data input signifies that users are not only engaging with the system but taking care over their processes which is a promising sign that your CRM implementation has managed correctly.
Ultimately, you’ll know that your CRM implementation has been a success when it’s reflected in business metrics. Stats suggest that using a CRM can increase a sales person productivity by 15% with sales personnel more likely to hit their sales quota. Be cautious, though; if your sales team has seen a big increase in growth since implementation, consider all other potential factors before you draw any pertinent conclusions. You should look at performance metrics which might prompt a deeper analysis, such as call to appointment to conversion or email open and reply rates, and if these have also increased you can be more confident that your CRM is adding value to the company.
To drill down into ROI, it’s important to refer back to your original CRM implementation budget forecast. Are there costs you haven’t accounted for, such as reduced productivity during go-live period? Was your baseline estimate to high? Hopefully, having put together a realistic financial estimate initially, you’ll be able to refer back to your original documentation to demonstrate to key stakeholders that your implementation project has delivered the results you were all hoping for from the get-go.
Lauren Stafford is the Digital Publishing Specialist at Discover CRM where they gather the latest news, resources and research about CRM systems.