Deploying a CRM tool can be a major challenge for companies. Good change management is essential to avoid poor project management and difficulty in choosing the right solution. But how can you successfully implement your customer relationship management software? Here’s how.

What are the challenges facing companies seeking to successfully implement a CRM solution? The answer lies in the effectiveness of their marketing and sales performance. But implementing a CRM is only a success if you have every guarantee that its adoption and use by sales and marketing teams is optimal.

In fact, CSO Insights reveals that 43% of CRM software users don’t use all the features available, and some may even use it incorrectly, which can have damaging consequences for the business, such as lost leads or poor customer management. Here are the key steps to help you.

1. Take stock, define objectives and needs

To implement CRM effectively, it’s essential to start by taking stock of the situation, identifying the company’s initial situation, the reasons for implementing CRM software, and the deployment objectives. It is then crucial to involve all stakeholders to ensure the success of the implementation. This may involve appointing a person to be in charge of CRM implementation, who will ensure that the process runs smoothly, that the change is accompanied and that the tool is adopted by end-users. The aim is to quickly set up a CRM project team with complementary skills.

Another key point is to get the company’s management involved, so as to obtain their support and buy-in to the project from the outset. And, of course, it’s the end-users who hold the key to software adoption. Their buy-in is therefore essential to the success of CRM implementation.

So, before choosing a CRM, it’s essential to define your business objectives and CRM requirements. What business processes do you want to automate and streamline? What customer data and information do you need to collect and store? Define objectives in terms of sales, conversion rate, response time, etc.

2. Choosing the CRM that’s right for you

Once you’ve taken stock and defined your company’s roadmap, you’ll be in a position to select the CRM solution best suited to your needs. While well-known CRM vendors such as SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage and Oracle may seem like obvious choices, they may not be the best fit for your organization. When selecting the most effective CRM system for your business, it’s important to bear in mind that the best solution is the one that meets your sales and marketing challenges.

Many other parameters need to be taken into account: your budget, the tool’s ease of integration, interoperability, the relevance of its functionalities for your organization, the quality of technical support, its scalability over time. Combining all these requirements will enable you to choose the best CRM. Because the best CRM is the one that integrates best with your working environment.

3. Communicate at every stage

When you introduce a new work tool, it represents a major change in the daily lives of your employees. This change is often accompanied by new functionalities (task automation, data centralization, etc.) and process modifications (sales processes, marketing campaign management processes, etc.).

If poorly managed, this change could result in failure, with budgetary, technical and human consequences. So how do you go about it? You need to communicate with the various stakeholders involved in this project (management, employees). To do this, you can explain the reasons for the change, the nature of the change, the progress of the project and the benefits it will bring.

4. The right configuration – an organized data flow

Once the tool has been chosen and the team set up, it’s time to start configuring your CRM. Configure your solution so that it responds precisely to the issues identified during your assessment. Then, step by step, test your CRM and fine-tune your software so that it’s as effective as possible right from the start.

Deployment itself should be carried out in stages, to avoid major bottlenecks. Once CRM has been deployed, be sure to provide technical support with a view to constantly optimizing your solution. The key here is continuous improvement.

You should also remember to clean up, normalize and merge all the customer data you have collected in your various systems (email, Excel, database, etc.). It is also advisable to use de-duplication and validation tools to ensure that your data is consistent and complete.

5. Train your teams over time

Nobody wants to spend two hours in a classroom doing group training. So, instead of blocking your staff for a day, opt for microlearning to onboard your employees! This “learning by doing” training method delivers short sessions of no more than 3 minutes, using guided tours and interactive guidance. The ideal opportunity to learn how to create a new lead on Salesforce, manage bookmarks on Oracle or generate a quote on SAP, directly from the CRM.

Guide with K-NOW by Knowmore

K-NOW, the digital adoption platform, guides your teams through the adoption of your CRM modules. Like an application GPS, intelligent guidance, alerts, notifications, feedback, onboarding, real-time guided tours… it’s all there for an easy, fluid learning curve.

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