Forrester suggests to, ‘use information worker personas to guide development cycles.’

The CRM solution market has seen significant changes over the past eight years. With SaaS solutions on the rise combined with an increase in vendor consolidation, organisations are finding ways to shift with the times and move to the cloud.

In fact, Forrester Analytics data states,

‘75% of global software technology decision-makers reported that their firms were already replacing or complementing their CRM application suites with SaaS; most of those who aren’t yet doing so expect that they will do so in the next two years.’

Adopting SaaS CRM solutions comes with cross-functional benefits like usability, scalability and flexibility. However, it also requires new solution development and support approaches.

With hopes to increase agile development, obtain a business-led approach and utilise their CRM solution to its fullest, organisations are increasingly eager to move to the cloud. This shift pushes AD&D pros to redefine their organisations’ governance practices. There are four main strategies to put in place to capitalise on the offerings available with SaaS CRM solutions.

Bridge the gap between tech and business

The planning processes required in SaaS CRM solutions is different from those used for on-premise solutions. Instead of technology-centric planning, organisations should take input from the tech organisation and the business from the very beginning. This includes establishing governance practices. And according to Forrester, ‘Communication is a large part of governance – everything from the consistency of a project reporting to governance meetings to routine communications to the organisation.’

The solution needs to be implemented through a top-down and bottom-up approach. Executives need to be using SaaS CRM to promote the adoption of the tool, and to drive strategy and lead change management. Also important are the middle managers and line of business professionals who can promote the interests of the business users.

Strong levels of communication allow companies to make the CRM system function as an improvement to the end user’s day-to-day experience instead of a distraction. Forrester suggests to, ‘use information worker personas to guide development cycles.’ Leveraging user personas ensures that the CRM strategy will be a useful tool for business members across the board.

Implement quickly, perfect slowly

SaaS CRM solutions give way to deploy a system that is good enough at first in order to deliver value quickly. Organisations can position the SaaS CRM solution to be altered swiftly, and after deployment, improvements and functionality can be added quickly and easily. Managing these additions and changes requires prioritisation policies, as well as the team’s ability to make rapid adjustments based on gathered feedback from the help desk and end users.

Implementing these solutions requires the skills and support of experienced business analysts. As governance moves towards being a business-centric process, BAs will be responsible for facilitating, negotiating and consulting techniques. As organisations shift to the cloud, BAs will also be able to find business opportunities and link them back to the technology itself – further establishing the important communication methods across the board.

Develop continuously

Today’s SaaS CRM solution providers release new capabilities two or three times a year. These updates require well-considered solution prioritisation policies by digital teams to ensure that organisations are prepared to embrace the new upgrades. The prioritisation policies are a way to guarantee that your organisation is not overlooking the voice-of-the-employee (VoE), but instead, using it as a way to track progress.

Continuous development also means that companies must rely on their CRM vendor and their implementation partner to help them implement upgrades and enhancements. It would be beneficial to all parties involved if partners or support staff were present, when appropriate, for governance strategy meetings to help organisations plan effectively.

Carefully consider SaaS CRM vendor decisions

As the shift to the cloud is still in process, the SaaS CRM contracts may seem unfamiliar. Be sure that your organisation is aware of offers and package plans. It’s also imperative for companies to know what is included in each solution, and how it will be best used for business. Once your company has made the decision, make sure you protect your plan with an exit clause.

Selecting SaaS CRM can seem overwhelming. First, you need to assess your current situation and identify where it can improve. The right solution will allow you to embrace innovation, manage risk and adopt proper practices.

With over 15 years of experience in consulting, we at redk are here to help you assess and implement the best SaaS CRM software solution for your organisation’s particular needs.