With all the factors at play in modern business transactions, the last thing an organisation needs is for its CRM software deployment to fail. As customer empowerment continues to rise, the pros of CRM initiatives greatly outweigh the cons, but companies need to be smart about how they are implemented.
That’s why it’s important for application development and delivery (AD&D) professionals to stay organised throughout the process, be aware of potential risks and learn from the mistakes of other firms. In fact, the technology itself is hardly the problem, but rather immature processes, failure to pay attention to customer issues and imperfect strategies.
At redk, we understand that both the right CRM tool and its successful implementation are equally vital for your business. In order to mitigate deployment pitfalls, a recent study by Forrester highlights a multifaceted approach that focuses on four main areas: process, people, strategy and technology.
Define and align processes
Your CRM software functions as a large part of your customer-facing business strategy. And
”according to Forrester, ‘immature business processes are the biggest risk factor for CRM initiatives.’
To alleviate this, organizations should address underlying employee concerns: adding new processes before perfecting existing ones, selecting a solution that doesn’t support current processes, difficulty modifying workflows and process changes being too disruptive.
It’s imperative, then, that your CRM initiatives are led by the business executives who manage company success metrics; these leaders need to show they are committed to the project by providing the necessary resources. Once the team has clearly defined their requirements, the technology team can help leaders leverage the functional capabilities of modern CRM solutions.
”An overwhelming 77% of professionals agree that one of the biggest issues with CRM solutions is managing the quality of CRM data.
Creating an effective workflow requires sound business process designs. And the software solution will only do its job if your organisation’s processes are aligned.
Focus on the User Experience
Challenges during implementation can also arise depending on a company’s corporate culture, leadership, collaboration methods, training and performance measurement. At first, employees may resist a new way of working because it is too big of a change.
Mitigating cultural risks requires AD&D pros to facilitate the shift by rewarding employees for customer-centric behaviour. Using continuous improvement and demonstrating visible benefits of the new software will pique your sales team’s interest and help lessen the culture shock.
Giving your users a voice will also inspire them to embrace the software. If they have the opportunity to provide insight and feedback, they will be more likely to use the tool and understand its true potential.
”When planning CRM training and implementation, managers should also look to executives to lead by example – this will allow employees to see CRM as an integral part of the business, and in turn increase customer satisfaction and business growth.
Clarify business goals and communication
Maximising the benefits of a CRM tool requires strategic implementation, not only technologically, but also in regard to the impact on employee experience. Forrester found that common pitfalls of CRM strategies include the lack of a change management program, inadequate company-wide communication and failing to get employee feedback.
The first step to avoiding a strategic error is purchasing the correct software according to your organisation’s objectives. Because CRM has a wide array of capabilities,
”...it’s imperative to clearly define your business goals and make sure employees know how the solution will affect their workflow – by improving their daily life rather than hinder it.
A successful strategy should also focus on resources, timelines, communication processes and establishing clear governance. This will ensure that projects remain on track and CRM systems run smoothly.
Pay Attention to the Data
It goes without saying that technology is a large part of CRM solutions, and data issues and functional errors are inevitable. AD&D teams can reduce these issues by paying close attention to data management from the get-go, investing in new technologies and examining the depth of software offerings.
Forrester also notes that companies are starting to cleanse their data in alignment with business process changes. Ultimately, up-to-date customer information is the difference between a sale and a fail. Organisations need to understand the resources and technologies they use in order to maintain their CRM system’s functionality.
Guarantee CRM success
At redk, we can help your business get the most out of your CRM software through strategic implementation and optimisation. With over 15 years of experience, we are prepared to help you justify your investment, select the right solution for your needs and apply best practices for guaranteed success.