A CRM (customer relationship management) is a sales and marketing automation tool that helps you track interactions with your customers. CRMs are an important part of any organization's success because they help to drive efficiencies in the sales process, which can be difficult without one. CRMs also allow organizations to stay on top of their customer engagement, monitor data trends, and measure ROI from sales and marketing initiatives.
In this blog post we will discuss what CRM software does for your business, why it's so important, and how you can implement CRM software into your company successfully by following these steps:
Step One: Defining a Sales Process
Before you can successfully implement CRMs into your organization, it's important that you have a clear understanding of what will happen once the CRM is up and running. As CRMs are used to automate many aspects of the sales process, it's extremely important to have these defined. CRMs can be used to automate a sales process, but how you set up your CRM system will largely depend on the sales processes that are being automated. Before implementing CRM software, make sure you understand the critical aspects of selling- from understanding how the sale event is structured to who has input during each stage.
Step Two: Choosing the Right CRM Software
Understanding your business requirements is the first step to CRM selection. CRMs can be very expensive and you want to make sure that your CRM purchase will help get maximum value from your investment. This is why it's important to know what kind of business you have- whether or not CRM software would work for a small company with only a few sales employees or if CRMs are more appropriate for larger companies who deal with thousands of customers at once.
Step Three: CRM Implementation Strategies
CRM implementations are CRITICAL to a company's success. CRMs have become an integral part of the way companies do business, so without one you're left in the dark ages with your sales team and their lack of visibility into customer behavior- which means they can't help improve or optimize anything about the sales process.
Step Four: Cleaning Up Data Fields
This is generally the most difficult part. Data is CRITICAL to a CRM's success. Depending on your company, the legacy systems that you are utilizing have had data coming in and out of it for a long time and data clean up initiatives are generally lower priorities for companies. However, you need clean data to input into a CRM if it’s going to be effective.
Step Five: CRM Set Up
You've defined your sales process, selected a CRM platform, discussed your strategy, and cleaned up your data, now it is time to complete the system set up. CRM set up includes CRM configuration and data imports. You'll need to customize your CRM so it works for your organization. CRM configuration includes setting CRM user roles, field visibility and CRM permissions.
CRM systems provide tools for importing data from a variety of sources including your legacy CRMs, spreadsheets or other databases. You'll need to import these into the CRM so that you have accurate information available in it. Depending on how long it's been since you've had clean data, this might require exporting some historical data out of one system before importing into another (for example: if last year’s contacts are still sitting in your old CRM but not yet inputted into the new CRM). Once all imports are completed, review all fields again to be sure they're accurate and complete - don't forget about any important fields!
Step Six: Training Your Sales Team on CRM Usage
CRM's like HubSpot and Salesforce provide robust training modules that teach users how to use its toolset effectively for maximum ROI (return on investment). For example, if you want more information about lead scoring within your CRM, there will be a module designed specifically for this purpose- meaning it'll be super easy for even novice users to get up to speed.
If your CRM is a new system, you will need to train people on how to use it. If the CRM has been in place for some time, there still may be training needed. Adoption plans should be developed with key milestones and success metrics. CRM experts should be involved in the planning process to ensure that training is done properly and with enough frequency for long-term CRM adoption.
Step Seven: CRM Maintenance Strategies
There is more than just implementation when it comes to CRMs- this is why maintenance strategies need to be considered as well. You want to make sure that your CRM has everything covered from data security and backup protocols to how updates happen within each CRM update cycle (some CRM's require weekly or monthly updates while others might only require them every quarter). This will ensure that no matter what happens, your system and database will remain accurate.
Step Eight: CRM Interoperability
CRMs that can integrate with other CRM solutions will make the user experience much smoother and more seamless. For example, if you are a Salesforce customer but want to add on HubSpot for marketing purposes, then this is possible because of their integration capabilities. This allows for data sharing between systems which makes it easier to measure ROI across different channels (marketing vs sales). These integrations also mean you have less codes or "tricks" running in your organization as well since everything becomes one system rather than being duplicated out in different departments/solutions.
Implementing a CRM from beginning to end is not easy
CRMs can be confusing to implement, especially if you are not familiar with CRM systems. Implementing a CRM will take time and resources since there is no one-size fits all approach. In order for CRMs to have an impact it should encompass the entire organization both internally and externally as well. As mentioned earlier, CRMs that integrate with other technologies make implementation easier because of data sharing between different channels.
KBK Communications has over 75 years of combined experience in sales, marketing, administration, and direct patient care, which makes us experts in harnessing the latest digital technology to grow and empower healthcare organizations. If you’re ready to start implementing a CRM system or thinking about how it can benefit your organization, get in touch with us today.