A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a software or tool that manages a company's interactions and relationships with existing and potential customers. Its main goal is to improve business relationships. It helps businesses in staying connected with their customers, streamline all the processes and increase profits.
In general, a CRM system helps you with everything including contact management, productivity, sales management and more, so that you can focus on maintaining your company's relationships with individuals - customers, colleagues, service users or vendors.
A CRM is basically an enterprise-wide business strategy, which is designed for improving revenues and profitability, reduce the costs, enhance customer experience and customer loyalty.
The philosophy of CRM revolves around by putting customers in the first place, viola a customer centric approach. When you look from the eyes of a customer at every transaction, you will surely focus on delivering a better customer experience, which in turn rewards you with customer loyalty.
A CRM software centralizes all the information from various departments throughout the company, so that you can provide them with a better view of each customer in real time.
It allows the customer to interact with employees in areas such as marketing, sales and customer support for making informed and quick decisions on everything from cross-selling to up-selling, coordinating with the management of marketing and sales campaigns and improving the quality of customer communication and responsiveness.
7 Tips To A Successful CRM Implementation
Identify The Need Behind a CRM System
You should know your why’s before hows, in case you don’t have a concrete answer to this question, then implementing a CRM system would surely lead to wasting time and resources. Identifying the needs of your business and how it would get benefited by implementing CRM, and then looking for a CRM that offers you everything that you’ve been looking for - would save your time and money. You can ask your team members and have a conversation with them about the same for better insights.
Define Your Goals
Whether it's about bringing back all your lost customers or increasing your revenue by any percentage, the goals could be different for different businesses. So, you should thoroughly analyze the key areas of your business and prioritize them as per the requirement. It will help you in implementing the CRM in a rather organized way and it is very important for you to understand how a CRM should be actually implemented for meeting the needs of a business. Assigning measurable and specific objectives and targets that should be achieved by CRM implementation would be better because if the goals are set in the beginning then driving the results becomes easier.
Define Your CRM Strategy
Well when it comes to CRM, it's just not about technology or software, but also a strategy. In order to have a successful CRM strategy, you will need to decide what changes would occur in your processes and what are the steps you will be taking at each stage of implementation, what you want to achieve and how you will be measuring your goals, it also includes how CRM will be complementing your business plan.
You need to change your thinking, adopting a CRM system means you decide to develop and maintain strong relationships with all your customers, and it should be your number one priority.
Find Out the Gaps & Weak Points
You should also focus on finding the loopholes in your current set up and the objectives. Check where CRM tools can be implemented and in which ways it can be utilized for bridging the gap. You should ideally seek help from a CRM expert consultant who can conduct an analysis for your business. You can also take help from your staff members who are very well aware of the CRM tool and practices. They can also tell you about the problems, so that you know what issues you want to solve with the help of a CRM.
Create governance rules when implementing a CRM system
Any wrong input will surely have a flawed output. Any system used by your staff including CRM system can only be fruitful if your business processes provide the system with right data. If there is any error or flaw while entering the information, it won’t fetch you any desired results. We suggest you to make guidelines or modify practices (including complex ones to simple) and implement unified standard of practices across all departments for reaping maximum benefits. This change could take some time to be accepted, communicate this to your staff and make sure it comes to practice. The more correctly your staff uses the CRM and the more beneficial it would be.
Draft the Right Configuration Plan
Consider the functioning of your business and then draft an adequate plan for implementing CRM. The plan should include detailed descriptions of all the data and procedures and how it will be routed to your CRM system. Each business comes with a unique requirement, so you need to construct the plan, which focuses on increasing the revenue. If required you can request the person who is implementing CRM to make necessary changes, so that it serves your business needs.
Smooth & Secure Data Migration
This is probably the most crucial step in CRM implementation, as it should be done with complete accuracy otherwise it can turn into cost barring phase of CRM implementation. You also need to communicate the same to your team about the same. Any sort of error while migrating data can have consequences for the business. Discuss it thoroughly with the CRM consultant and take inputs from your team as well, so that it functions smoothly.
Main Reasons Why CRM Implementations Fail
Poor CRM Strategy
A CRM strategy is like a roadmap to your customers and a wrong CRM strategy may take you to the wrong places. You really need to understand from where you start, where you want to go and map the shortest route to reach there. Your organization’s business strategy defines the competitive advantages and marketing plans and your CRM strategy should predict outcomes as per customers in alignment with the business goals. They may include increased customer acquisition, customer tenure, share or cost savings.
Don’t confuse CRM software with CRM strategy, merely deploying a CRM system would not guarantee you anything. Also, avoid CRM implementation in case you’ve not strategized things. If you implement it without a strategy, you will notice that the result will slip from being strategic (main goal) to tactical or operational goals (entering data into a system, producing pipeline reports or measuring staff activities.
Choosing the Wrong Software
This could be the biggest mistake you ever make, so when it comes to choosing the right CRM software, make sure that you take advice from experienced experts. Whereas it might be appealing to settle for a cheap CRM software but customizing them as per your business needs is something you won’t be able to achieve easily. Because usually the best CRM softwares like Pipedrive, SuperOffice, Freshsales or HubSpot usually come with a decent price but can surely be customized to fit your business needs.
Sometimes it goes vice versa, some companies get carried away with the CRM tools and features and end up shedding extra on CRM systems whose features will never be used. Meanwhile, the cost of CRM is important but it does mean that greater price is equal to great functionality for your business.
- Governance - What Needs To be Used & When
No matter how you would like to use your CRM software, it's very important to train your team, CRM software can seem challenging even to tech savvy people. But cutting down training time won’t be very fruitful if you’re trying to save your budget or don’t want to waste the time of your staff. Lack of knowledge about how to use CRM may lead to low user adoption rates while increasing risk of CRM failure. If you really want to achieve great success with CRM, don’t skip the training part. Also, make sure that you choose the right CRM consultant who is capable enough of training your employees.
- Lack of Consistency
With the CRM , your goal should not only be delivering excellent performance but to deliver it consistently. Consistency is doing the same thing for producing the same results with time for business reputation. If customers are aware of what to expect from you, chances are they will come back and also share with their friends. But for this the management and sales team has to use the CRM consistently.
Sometimes businesses treat CRM as a one time thing and then just stop using it altogether or not use it frequently. It can turn out to be the biggest problem your CRM failure in the long run.
Data consistency is also very crucial, that means there should be consistency in measuring variables throughout all the datasets. It becomes difficult especially when the data is stored in multiple systems or sources. Inconsistency in data or sources can lead to inaccurate and wrong data sets.
Sales teams usually have access to enormous amounts of data but apparently lack consistency in data handling by teams, which can lead to quality issues. Even though most data is gathered automatically, team members should be aware of putting the right data with best practices, with all the required fields by using consistent formats for contact and name information. They should be able to segrate between which data or information is more important and how to prioritize. Wrong data input would lead to wrong output, so it’s smart to train your team on how to prioritize data-gathering efforts.
Ease of Use
Many characteristics define the ease of use in CRM including simplicity, consistency, speed, ease of integration and lack of disruptions. Simplicity is all about how easy it is to use and understand the software. If the CRM system does not integrate with other apps or sales tools, then it would be very tough to use it and your team would need to enter data manually. The whole integration part can turn out to be a huge burden and may take many hours of working time of your staff and that would not show any visible results.
Types of Businesses That Should Use CRM?
A CRM system probably gives a better way to manage relationships and external interactions to everyone, including customer service business development, recruiting, marketing or any other line of business. It lets you store your current and prospect contact information, record service issues, identify sales opportunities and manage marketing campaigns from one central location as it makes the right information available to the right people at the right time. A CRM provides ease of access and visibility to data, makes collaboration easier and enhances productivity. The best part is companies of all sizes can drive business growth from it.
How to choose the CRM for your business?
- Choose CRM Deployment: On - Premise VS Cloud
They both have their pros & cons, with a Cloud (Software - as - a Service), SaaS solution. You login into the CRM in your browser and you’re ready to roll. All the information is securely stored on the vendor’s server. However, in case your internet chooses to give up, you won’t be able to access it. Another advantage of cloud software is, when an update is made in the cloud - everyone gets the update but when it comes to on premise it needs to be separately installed.
Whereas, with an On-premise solution, you would own the software, which is physically hosted at your office. You will have direct access to servers in case you want to integrate it with other customer apps. You won’t be dealing with recurring subscription charges but you might need to have an in-house IT personnel, purchase the required hardware, software and maintenance cost. On premise solution integration with other apps can be a big problem because all the data is present in the local systems and nor available on the internet, hence it can’t be accessed or integrated with other systems.
Know Your Customers & Business Needs
You should identify your customers whether they’re B2B or B2C and how is your sales process - Is it direct or indirect? Will you deal with few but large scale sales or many small sales. What systems are you currently using and do you want them to be supported by other systems?
You also need to figure out if your CRM is driven by sales or marketing driven? Your CRM needs to support your marketing and sales goals. CRM is entirely focused on your customers, so you need to keep your customers at the heart of everything, when while selecting your CRM. Opt for a CRM, that gives you and all the departments an overall overview of the customers - basically centralizes data. Gone are the days when customer data was saved in excel sheets as there are many chances of duplicate data and factual errors. The traditional approach for managing data misses something very important - collaboration. The value of customer data increases when everyone works together.
Ability to Integrate with Other Applications Smoothly
Make sure the CRM system you choose is not very redundant or does not integrate with other applications as it will limit your growth in many ways. Selecting a flexible CRM system is very important while choosing CRM for your business. Buy it to streamline your business, you need to check or take advice from a CRM consultant while choosing a CRM system that integrates with multiple applications.
Some of the Most Popular CRM Softwares
Pipedrive is one of the most popular and user-friendly CRM platforms, which works perfectly for small to medium sized businesses, who are new to CRMs. If you are looking for a CRM software with the maximum features at a decent price then you should opt for pipedrive as later when your company grows, you can upgrade your plans.
Pipedrive comes with a straight, user friendly interface, which is simple to understand, whereas some complex features may require training. It comes loaded with amazing features like tracking communication, managing leads & deals, getting detailed reports & insights, automate, maintain security & privacy, mobile apps & integrations, nurture your leads with Pipedrive Start your 45 day Free trial now in Pipedrive
HubSpot CRM is one among the leading CRM softwares, currently available in the market. HubSpot’s CRM allows sales team to get started with the CRM very quickly without making any major changes in their workflows. It fits well for the companies who are still figuring out or starting to realize the importance of CRM, or for the companies that are not using their existing CRM’s to their full potential.
HubSpots CRM is absolutely a smart and easy option that comes with all the necessary functionalities for small and medium sized companies of any niche and industry. It is integrated with many third party tools and services as compared to Pipedrive and comes with a built-in split testing functionality. Attract, engage & delight Get the most out of your sales & marketing team with HubSpot - Start your free trial
With Freshsales CRM, you can attract, engage, close and nurture your leads. You don’t need a CRM with many other tools for running your business, Freshsales CRM will do the justice for you. Freshsales is a CRM software by Freshworks, which makes it easier for businesses of all sizes to enhance their relationship with customers. It comes with many functionalities like built-in phone and email, visual deal pipeline, AI-based lead scoring, customizable visual reports and workflow automations. Attract, engage, close and nurture your leads with Freshsales CRM, Book your free trial now
Running Your Business Without CRM Can Cost You Money
A lot of time gets wasted on administration, a lot of valuable data gets stored in handwritten notes, laptops or notepads, which are at higher risk of getting lost. This could also cause trouble in managing and tracking communication with clients. Customers can contact you from multiple platforms like social media, emails or phone, and without a common platform, it would be tough to take time to follow-ups and resolve issues on time.
How Can CRM Help Your Business?
- Help You in Identifying & Categorizing Leads
- Increase Referrals from Your Existing Customers
- Help You in Providing Better & Personalized Customer Support
- Follow up on sales, create transparency across departments (shared email etc) increased mobility - you can often access it from mobile devices etc.
- It May Also Help You in Improvising Your Products & Services by Taking Relevant Feedback
- You Can Work From Anywhere As It Can Be Accessed From Mobile, Laptop, Tab or Desktop
- You Don't Need Any Hardware Installation for Implementing CRM & It Will Increase Your Employees Efficiency Leading to Increased Revenue
- It Will Make Collaboration Easy Between Your Sales, Marketing & Support Teams By Centralizing Data
CRM integration is building your CRM and website to seamlessly function together. Instead of using the CRM as a system that just retains customer information on the basis of manual entries rather integrating it with your website and marketing automation softwares will bring all the valuable customer information directly to the CRM.
Integrating your CRM with business software maximizes your productivity as it allows all of your business applications to effortlessly communicate with each other. This also saves time by eliminating data entry work and repetitive tasks. CRM Integration makes your job easier as it also helps in automating tasks that you would have been doing manually. These integrations turn your CRM into a central hub for customer support, email marketing, accounting, document management and more.
Here are 5 essential CRM Integrations
- Email Integration
- Calendar Integration
- Social Media Integration
- Call Center/Customer Support Integration
- Marketing Automation Integration
Usually, a CRM comes with basic automations for sales, marketing and email. You can kludge it altogether and make sure that the CRM works. If you have the right features paired with the right automations, a CRM can save your business, costs and time.
Here are five specific CRM automation functions for your business:
Lead Management Automation
Entering data and managing leads are repetitive tasks that beg for automation. Automate lead management and data entry tasks with lead management automation.
Lead Nurturing Automation
If your lead management is automated, the second automation that should be considered is lead nurturing automation. It should include emails, follow-ups, metrics, lead scoring and reports.
A smart CRM is the one that will provide you with Calling Automation as well. This may include one-click calling, automatic notes, call recording, direct reporting on calls and automated after call follow ups.
Deal Management Automation
To improve sales, you need to manage your opportunities and deals more efficiently. Your CRM should be capable enough of automating repetitive sales related activities like recording daily deals, deal tracking and monthly revenues along with billing, sales follow-up, profit forecasting and account management.
Customer Support Automation
Automating your Customer Support is extremely essential for improving customer experience. It includes live chat, automated responses, real time calling and FAQ’s which are very important for customer support. CRM automation can help you in sending faster responses, assign reps for managing customer inquiries and social posts.
If you’re looking to implement a CRM in your business and don’t know much about them, we would not recommend you to pick a CRM system for yourself. For choosing a CRM system with all the functionalities that deem fit your business we would recommend you to Book a consultation and talk to our CRM consultant, discuss your business goals and what do you expect and our consultant will guide you throughout your CRM implementation journey.
There’s no doubt why CRM plays a very critical role in any business and its success. It's always a great idea to map out your requirements and needs in advance along with the budget.
In case you think your company is too small for a CRM, think again. It would surely grow and adopting to a CRM system after that may take some time for you and your staff to get comfortable with it. So, instead of taking things as they come, be prepared for the future. Anyone can easily get caught up between CRM and which one fits their needs, but to save your time you should always take consultation from experts.
Need assistance with CRM Implementation or CRM that fits your business needs? Just go to our contact form page and submit your query against CRM implementation and our experts will personally assist you.
Every business is unique, when it comes to processes, growth dynamics and customer base. So, settling for a standard, inflexible or basic features and functions is surely not wise. You definitely need a scalable CRM solution. The CRM also needs to grow with your business, that’s why you should make sure that your chosen CRM solution can be upgraded to a better version with more functionalities and features.
Stop paying for features you hardly need, so pre-defining your needs and what features or functions may deem fit to them may solve half of your problem. It also goes in direct relation to the number of users in your organization, each department may need different systems, make sure that you choose the one that serves all the teams in your business.
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