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4 Keys for a Successful CRM Implementation

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With Covid-19 wreaking havoc among industries globally, it is more important than ever that businesses continue to understand their loyal customers and know how to attract newcomers. Central to this are CRM solutions, with 74 percent of business leaders citing such tools as providing them with better access to customer data. The most successful businesses use their CRM as a strategic function across all areas of the business and integrate it as a critical way to ensure teams are communicating and collaborating. The advantages of bringing this multifaceted and intelligent tool onboard is clear to see for business leaders and employees.

However, numerous as its benefits may be, CRM implementation can also be one of the most challenging processes an organization can go through. Unlike many other applications, CRM is not a straightforward tool you can simply onboard your teams onto or add to your existing tech stack. Its deployment within an existing business requires a forward-thinking approach to ensure success.

Organizations need not fear the process, though. With the right mind-set, CRM implementation can be made seamless and pain-free for every person involved. Here is how to make it happen.

All CRMs are not made equal. These solutions may fall within the same category, but they each have their own specific features and unique toolset that responds to specific requirements within your organization. Ensure the needs of the business are aligned with your choice of CRM. Start with having an overview of your customer and consider surveying your sales teams for added insight. With so many teams working remotely at present, also factor in who will need access and how they will do so. 

Choose a solution that supports your growth and think with a futuristic mind-set—while there may be functionalities the business does not yet need, it may be important in the next couple of years. Looking with a long-term lens, it is ultimately a money-saver too. Equally, think about the consequences of opting for a solution where every move costs more and it all adds up, so consider CRMs that are self-explanatory and have a knowledge base that empowers users to learn the tricks by themselves.

Understand Your Customer

On choosing the best CRM tool for your company, first ask yourself, who are your customers and what are their patterns of behavior? From there, the end goal for the customer with your product will become your mission to turn into a reality.

Every aspect of the customer journey must be taken into consideration and the best CRM solutions can keep track of calls made and emails sent, as well as conversations that the customer has had with the support team. Through gaining this insight you are able to customize messaging and personalize communication, as well as identify areas to optimize. CRM solutions can also bring you straight to those who love your business the most. After all, the most dedicated customers will be those most likely to recommend your services. It’s also incredibly important to identify churn through the sophisticated analyzing and reporting functionality modern CRMs bring. Implementing a CRM solution can drive customer retention and assist you in mitigating churn, ultimately improving profitability.

Keep Conversations Going Between Teams

Business leaders must understand what the company needs CRM for and how it will be used across teams before embarking on the journey. It is a good idea to involve employees directly in the decision-making process: they will be the ones using CRM on a day-to-day basis and will be impacted the most by the solution you choose. 

With the sheer quantity of information your CRM can gather, it’s the opportune tool to coordinate multiple departments across the company. Having the sales, marketing, development, and support teams working together in unison is key to deliver a great, unified service. CRM solutions can assign tasks and share information among teams, encouraging interdepartmental cooperation through the use of a shared interface. Working collaboratively results in happier customers, often receiving information and solutions quicker as a result. Yet if this starts to break up, customers are the ones to suffer as they fall through the cracks of poor business processes.

Leverage Integrations

To maximize a smart CRM tool and cut down on workload all your data must be in one centralized place. Do not leave your CRM tool in isolation; get ahead of the game and use integrations with other applications from the outset. The best CRM is one that serves as a central hub of integrations with other software you are using, whether it’s conversing over Slack with a colleague during a deal or scheduling Zoom calls with a prospect when you know the lead is warm. A good CRM allows you to do these things without switching tools or tabs and saves this information automatically within the platform.

Take full advantage of everything your CRM offers from the very first stages of its journey. CRM integrations often aren’t prioritized at the beginning, causing much of the application’s utility to remain untapped until much later down the line. Get ahead of the game and entwine integrations with other applications from the outset, to ensure your team uses CRM to its fullest potential and is able to cut down on workload by having all its data in one place.

To get the most out of CRM technology you need a customer-centric strategy. By focusing on getting the customer what they want you’re more likely to see better results from your sales activities.

The best CRM tools help your business across multiple areas, helping teams collaborate effectively while bringing in new leads and retaining customers and ultimately achieving, if not exceeding, company targets. Whether the business needs a centralized location to manage all customer information, improve client relations, convert leads faster, or improve internal communications, implementing CRM will achieve greater results and set your business up for success.

Krishna Panicker is the vice president of product at Pipedrive, a leading CRM for sales and marketing teams. He has a passion for building consumer grade experiences and a curiosity for what drives demand. Panicker formerly held roles at Microsoft, Skype, and Blink.