Planning CRM – 5 CRM-strategies to success
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is the successful blend of a business strategy and technology that enables a company to achieve their goals. The technology provides companies with ways to keep contact with existing customers, manage leads more effectively, measure results more often and standardize business processes. However, software can not do this on its own. The software is actually only there to help enabling the CRM-strategy that a company designed before the implementation of their CRM-software.
CRM-strategies vary according to the company they are designed for, however, successful strategies have several things in common. Here are five essential things one should always consider in setting up their strategy.
1. Design a strategy before implementing your CRM-software. This might seem obvious since we are talking about essential things in setting up a strategy, but planning projects is often the one thing that companies tend to forget. It is essential to design the CRM-strategy before you go and implement the software. Your strategy should contain all the short, medium and long term goals you have as a company in regard to your CRM usage. The plan must be complete, clear and for everyone to understand.
2. A CRM-strategy has to be aligned to the mission and purpose of the organization. It should communicate a consistent message about the company. But having a strong strategy that directly reflects your company’s mission and purpose is not the only important aspect in creating a CRM-strategy. When having different departments, it is essential to also align all departmental strategies with the CRM-strategy. Each department has its own requirements and goals that you have to take in to account when developing your CRM-strategy.
3. CRM-strategies must acquire support by their senior executives to succeed. Not having executive sponsorship correlates to CRM failure. But gaining support from other stakeholders is mutually important! Since the sales management team will be the ones holding their salespeople and others accountable for using the CRM software in alignment with the organization’s mission and purpose, it is especially important to get them on board. Without the full support of the sales management team, a successful CRM implementation can be very difficult. Companies may experience serious objections from salespeople as well as their salesmanagers if the CRM-strategy was not discussed with them before.
4. The key people from your organization, who will be using the CRM-system, should not only support but also fully understand how CRM works. Giving end-users the time to get to know the new system will make the implementation much easier. The sooner training begins, the sooner end-users will realize they are a part of the process and the quicker they will see the benefits to the application for them. Making them understand how the software works, how it will improve the company’s competitive position and how they will benefit from it personally, will not only give you their support but will also increase their commitment to the software.
5. Choose your CRM-software wisely. Take the time to understand your business, decide what you truly need from the system and set up cost parameters in which the software can be implemented. Find a system that fits your business most, then, personalize the program to your needs with the help of the manufacturer.