Has Microsoft CRM revolutionised your business, or does it feel like an expensive mistake? Check our CRM implementation guide for advice and top tips.
In order for businesses and organisations to grow and stay ahead of the competition, many business owners have turned to technology to help them boost productivity and help them keep up with customer requirements; delighting them at every turn. One technology that has taken centre stage in the business world to help customer communication and help your business grow is customer relationship management software, (CRM), butt it must be implemented well using a CRM implementation guide.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a technology that maximises sales opportunities and improves customer loyalty, however it can achieve far more than that. It can help organisations to automate processes across the business and allow them to make better decisions, managing and generating value from the right customers, whilst improving efficiency and empowering your staff.
Many organisations have opted for Microsoft CRM Online and have developed the system themselves, or perhaps they have used a partner to implement CRM into their organisation. Other organisations will have on premise or hosted licenses of Microsoft CRM, perhaps using Microsoft CRM 4 or 2011, and looking to move the software forward to the latest edition, Microsoft CRM 2013.
For many organisations, CRM will have revolutionised the way they work and they will be reaping the rewards with tangible benefits. However, if you are finding that CRM isn’t making your life easier and it’s not helping you to grow, then perhaps it’s time to look at the problems and get them ironed out now, before the software becomes a workaround rather than the robust solution that is helping you build a bigger and better business. This is where a CRM implementation guide can assist you and help you move forward.
Putting “IT” right
- Merely implementing CRM is not a silver bullet to overnight success. Interaction and communication with customers should certainly be more successful, however by collecting and organising the data for analysis is where the answer to success can lie.
Top Tip : Ensure that your data is clean. Have a plan of what you want to know and how this can effect your business. Do you profile each client? Do you want to cross sell or up sell? How does your contact like to be communicated with?
Case Study : A professional services organisation wanted CRM as soon as possible but their data was in a mess. The processes were not thought through and CRM was something they knew they needed but were not sure why. Working with Caltech they took time to scope their project and focus on the business pains. This uncovered clear advantages where they could generate efficiencies and benefits.
- A CRM program can improve the return on investment and help generate growth if it is managed well and done for the right reasons. A great CRM implementation is well planned and has buy-in from the organisation, from the top decision makers to the end users.
Top Tip : Ensure that when you look to implement CRM you plan what it will achieve. What problems will it aim to resolve? Is there a long term plan? What benefits are you wanting to generate from CRM?
Case Study: As CRM implementers here at Caltech we recently worked with a housing association that had 80 benefits listed that it wanted CRM to realise. With this focus the housing association ensured that the processes embedded into CRM helped them effect their goals. Without this focus and direction it would be difficult to prove ROI or say if the CRM implementation was a success or not.
- CRM is a cross functional solution that is used by teams across a company and each department needs to take responsibility for their own part of the system. Everyone needs to understand and buy into the benefits of sharing data about their customers before CRM is implemented. If the sales team, for example, won’t share their data as perhaps they will feel less valuable, then CRM simply won’t work.
Top Tip : Generate a CRM focus group. Ensure that CRM learning is shared and generating excitement of the possibilities. Show results and case studies of successful companies, perhaps like yours, that are using CRM to facilitate great results.
Case Study : A business to business organisation had implemented CRM. The sales directors had implemented it and wanted to see how their sales teams were working. The sales people’s data was incomplete, out of date and duplicated. The marketing team was desperate to start marketing and using the data but had no confidence in it. The CRM system was deemed useless by the internal staff members who already started to look for a new one. The problem needed to be stemmed at the source (the data) for any CRM system to ever be a success for them.
- For a CRM system to keep generating success and efficiencies it must be kept up to date. IT will be upgraded, software alters and progresses as do processes. By reviewing your CRM frequently you should ensure that problems are ironed out. If a process changes then CRM will need to change.
Top Tip : Once CRM is implemented don’t sit back and think great, another task achieved. Keep meeting with your focus group. Ensure that CRM is working for them after implementation. Think about the future and phase II or a phase III perhaps. Document changes in processes and how they impact CRM strategies.
Case Study : Great! CRM was in for this education setting and was working well for them. 3 years on the software needs upgrading. Still on Microsoft CRM 4 and mapped to old processes the benefits are becoming fewer, and as people have left or moved to other roles the knowledge of the system is diluted. Reviewing CRM and its processes was revolutionary for them. The product wasn’t working but it needed strengthening – upgrading, a new focus aligned to new benefits and people that could use it successfully.
For CRM to work everyone must believe it can generate benefits, and they must buy into it for themselves and their teams. They must believe that CRM will get them ahead and make their job better.
When implementing CRM start with the WHY.
- Why implement CRM?
- Focus on the pain. What problems are prevalent that CRM can address?
- Get buy in from the whole organisation through belief. A shared belief that they know the system will transform their working life to make it better for them.
- Consider the benefits you want to achieve and map them to where CRM can affect those changes.
- Uses a CRM implementation guide to help you plan a clear strategy.
I hope you found this blog useful? Microsoft Dynamics CRM drives tangible benefits; delivering cost savings and improved sales conversion. If you wanted to read more about implementing a CRM strategy, maybe our other blogs can help?
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