CRM is everywhere. It’s a sales management tool. It’s changing customer service. It’s in companies of all sizes. It can really change your business, but if you want to reap the rewards of a CRM you need to do some homework before you dive into the project.
- Understand Your Existing Processes
The first thing you need to do is understand the processes that your business has in place. A lot of people think that a CRM is going to be the silver bullet that will fix broken processes. But, like all software, a CRM is really good at automating the stuff you already have in place. It’s not so great at figuring out what you need in the future and how best to do business.
You can bring in a CRM consultant and we can tell you how we think you should be doing business. But, the fact is, you know your business better than any consultant, and if you have your processes in place and documented before starting with a CRM, you’re going to have a lot more success than figuring things out on the fly.
- Assemble a Great Project Team
Number two is to assemble a great project team. Many companies fail to get the right people involved and never give the ones that are involved the authority they need to be effective.
Some of the people you may want on that team are your VP of Sales, your Customer Service Manager, the Marketing Manager and someone from the top, like a President. No matter who’s on the team, be sure to give them the authority to make some decisions independently, otherwise the project will bog down in details.
- Understand the Integrations You Need
The third point to keep in mind is understanding the integrations you want in that system. CRMs work great as a standalone, but they work even better when you tie them in to the existing systems and processes.
For example, do you want to pull your inventory in from your ERP system? Do you want to push orders and invoices out of your CRM into the accounting software? Do you want marketing lists from your marketing database being placed in the CRM?
These are the three most common issues we encounter but there are many more. And if you do want to take a deeper dive into some of this stuff, we’ve got a fantastic eBook called, It’s Time to Get a CRM: Are You Sure Your Business is Ready?