Have you ever imagined; who in your organization are the first to understand the value derived by having a cohesive customer view? They are the c-levels or the managers, who have been managing your business – your customer services, though with the help of rolodexes or pen and paper in the old days. The scenario remains same as the people who manage your customer service are the same; however the technology has changed from rolodexes to – MS Dynamics CRM – Customer Relationship Management solutions.
Customers were managed then and now as well, however; the old techniques lacked a bit of strategy that is required to build and sustain long term relationships. Introduction of CRM solutions; provided businesses with long term strategy to proactively engage as well as manage customer relationships, automate recurring tasks and enhance the number of conversions.
The only issue with organizations using CRM solutions, is that they believe it is one time investment and hence a one-time event, and upon purchasing a customized and licensed CRM software, the broken sales process and lost leads will and shall get repaired, which is not at all the case. I agree that MS Dynamics CRM customization supports your sales process – but no Microsoft Dynamics CRM configuration can do all this on its own. This is the reasons why you are advised to treat your Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation and integration or CRM investment as a long-term, companywide strategy and not as a onetime even or investment.
As mentioned in the beginning of this write-up, though your c-levels and managers have the best intentions, your Microsoft Dynamics CRM development company can help you with details about a lot of CRM implementations that have failed – and failed big time. So let’s check out on those 5 tips for successful CRM implementation:
First Step – Recognize the Problem
This may sound a bit mediocre or a repetitive one, but this time I want you to focus on the problem with your sales cycle. Yes, see there you are – your sales cycle does have a problem and you don’t even know if it. Do not forget – CRM strategy starts well before you choose the CRM solution for your business.
- How many touch points your potential customer has with you as a business or a service/product provider?
- How efficiently do you manage all those touch points?
- What amount of time is invested, read wasted here, sifting through emails, call records and the scribbles made here and there – trying to gather information about when did you last speak to a particular customer?
- Which all customers are in your sales pipeline and how much revenue you expect to generate next week – next month and next year – ca– you predict these?
If you are not able to answer one or more of these questions, there are chances that you have a problem in your sales cycle. But it’s ok – Microsoft Dynamics CRM Consulting Services can support you by streamlining the processes and enhance your operational efficiencies and effectiveness. So wait no more, instead identify the problem and own it. The good news is that upon identifying the problem, there is a solution as well.
Second Step – Buy in to the value of CRM
Communication has always been the key to success. If you are a c-level or a manager, as a loyal individual, ensure you understand the value of the new Microsoft Dynamics CRM implementation for your business and upon understanding it, communicate the big picture and its value to everyone in your organization. You would say why “everyone” and not only the stakeholders, but the fact remains that everyone in the organization is a stakeholder and each of these employee is a puzzle piece that fits into the bigger picture of your envisioned growth. Providing perspective as to how the new CRM will support their roles (especially the sales team), will help all your employees to buy into this new CRM strategy.
Answer these questions to help your team buy into the value of CRM:
- Does your CRM system support your business growth? If yes then, how?
- How does the new CRM system provide value to each team and entire organization?
- Is the new CRM strategy in sync with each of your existing processes and how?
Your sales team will need that extra attention in this transition phase. You would not want them to think that another mundane task has been added to their already hectic schedule – would you?
You can also go ahead and gain buy-in for your experienced sales professionals by giving them an insight to the context as how this new CRM strategy is customized to take care of barriers like tedious tasks and errors out of their way to focus and help them close more deals.
Third Step – Communicate Goals before Implementing or Upgrading
Transition is a very tricky phase and those of you who know…it is kind of an open door situation for all kinds of misunderstandings, frustrations and lack of motivation. But as a C-level or a manager, you should proactively set the expectations. There are chances that the goals are not that clear in the initial stage; however, give your team the idea of where you would want to go along with them and how the CRM upgrade/ porting is the process to get you there in time. Also explain them that CRM customization is an ongoing strategy and it is there to help the team close more deals – and more closed deals means more progress.
Answer these questions to keep your team motivated:
- Why do you want to implement a CRM system?
- Does the senior management team expect the CRM to support individual roles, if Yes, how and to what extent?
- What processes are already in place and how can a CRM system provide context to these processes?
Fourth Step – Try & Cultivate Ongoing Executive Support
You are definitely not the executive who appears in one of the meetings and then disappears forever. Be present and portray your involvement across the CRM Integration process. This is so very important, because you are not offering a completely new process to your employees; instead you are integrating a system into their already existing process. Your employees trust you, so proactively keep them accountable for integrating their respective processes with your CRM system and strategy.
Keep yourself and your team abreast by:
- Regularly communicating with them to know how are they integrating CRM into their processes?
- Arrange individual and focus group meetings with employees, to inquire about their inputs on improving existing processes with the CRM system
- Rest the accountability with your team leaders for supporting your long-term strategy through integrating your CRM system
Fifth Step – We need a CRM System and this is our Strategy
Yes you heard it right…it is very easy to crib that we need a CRM strategy, but only a matured businessmen would say “We need a CRM support system and this is our strategy.”
You successfully deployed your CRM system, and now can check off all the important items including:
- Create roles and profiles
- Migrate the correct data
- Setup workflow automation
- Put web forms on your website
- Setup lead assignment rules
- Schedule your sales pipeline reports
Oh my you even integrated your Google AdWords account, so now you are on top of everything. But the real challenge is in getting your team to use it. Don’t tell me that you did not think about it.
Setting up your CRM and deploying it, is just the first step of your strategy. Your CRM implementation needs to continue after deployment. Remember, it’s a long-term strategy.