When implemented efficiently, a CRM solution provides an undeniable competitive advantage for a company. It enables the company to streamline its work processes and ensures customer data is both centralized and available. All with a single goal: to improve customer relationship quality. Here is a quick overview of the mistakes to avoid for a successful CRM project.
The implementation of a Customer Relationship Management software solution (often referred to as CRM) is a major, often very strategic, project. However, the results are often disappointing… with a meagre average satisfaction rate of 6.3/10. This is the average rating given by some 40 companies to their CRM (2016 study by Acemis, specialized consultancy firm in customer experience transformation).
Mistake #1: Having too many or no project managers
When everyone is responsible, no one is! There is no real ownership of tasks. The project comes to a standstill, it is doomed to failure. A CRM Project Manager must have a comprehensive understanding of all things sales related and of your Customer Relationship. This person will ensure that the system ultimately meets users’ expectations.
Mistake #2: Forgetting to define the CRM project goals
There are many benefits to implementing a CRM solution. But there are probably too many to target them all. In order to be efficient, you must define your expectations of the software. They will serve as safeguards to ensure an optimal implementation. So what are the goals of your CRM project? And, of course, once you have defined them, make sure you stick to them! Here are typical CRM project goals:
- Centralize current and potential customer information
- Unify and standardize internal processes
- Keep track of all your interactions with your contacts
- Personalize customer communication
- Drive the activities of your sales force
- Automate administrative tasks
- Analyze customer data
- Accompany the evolution of your marketing and sales strategy
Mistake #3: Launching a CRM project without reviewing your Customer Relationship strategy
A CRM tool is a fundamental building block of your company, and therefore, is closely tied to your customer strategy. For this reason, it is important to take stock of your current situation: existing tools, business needs, market evolutions, etc. Too many CRM projects do not achieve the hoped-for result because the tool was implemented before a clear strategy was defined. Is it about reducing the cost of processing customer requests? About being more efficient in your external communications (for example, taking into account several languages )? Getting new clients? Retaining existing clients? Is it about selling more products or selling products with higher added value? All these questions can serve as the starting point for establishing a Customer Relationship Strategy, the foundation needed for any CRM project.
Mistake #4: Not involving users in the early stages of project preparation
Forrester Research reports that lack of user adoption is responsible for over 70% of failed CRM projects. Those who use the software are the main people concerned: they are in direct contact with clients and prospects. The CRM software must be tailored to the business needs of your users. Your challenge? To ensure they adopt this new tool. What better way to achieve this than involving them from the outset of the project. The appropriate and efficient use of the CRM software by your sales teams will help them improve their performance
Mistake #5: Minimizing the importance of accompanying change during the roll-out of your CRM
Implementing a new software tool can cause upheaval in your users’ working habits. To ensure your CRM project has every chance of succeeding, think change management. Make the Quality of your Customer Relationship what drives your teams forward, and build this into the core values of your company. For the deployment of your CRM to be successful, do not overlook user training. In addition to giving users the tools they need to use the software, it also helps promote user involvement. The Management should also be involved, to ensure the software is in line with the company’s strategic axes.
These are five of the ten mistakes that are commonly made when deploying CRM software. To discover the next five, see you next Wednesday right here, on our blog ?
To be continued…