We have covered a lot of ground in our four-part CRM article series – from getting new customers to keeping existing ones, in addition to looking at the general efficiencies and productivity increases CRM can bring to your business.
Our final installment is all about how to put this into practice, with implementation and buy-in being the final pieces of the puzzle that are vital to the success of any CRM tool.
Having buy-in is pivotal to a successful implementation of any project, especially one involving a CRM system. You do not need every single person in the business jumping up and down with excitement from day one, but it is important to have some project champions within the business.
A good place to start is to identify key players within each department that have already expressed an interest in having CRM or who are open to change and embracing new solutions. Make these people your champions – the group within the business that can talk about CRM, explain its benefits and generally be a positive influence on the other teams.
Introducing a CRM system to a business does require some thinking. What is it the business wants to get out of the system? What setup is required to enable it? And so on.
By including your champions throughout this thinking process, you can help ensure everyone feels vital to the discussion and the results that come out of it. This helps boost motivation and encourage ownership of the project and its success.
Over time, you will find the feeling of positivity to be infectious – everyone will want to be involved in the new and exciting project, and before you know it, those who are not actively involved will be asking to join in!
It all starts with a few positive and enthusiastic champions, and the rest will follow.
As with any project that brings about change to processes within a business, CRM projects need a leader or leaders. The people that lead the initial planning phase of the project are the ones who manage any issues that arise along the way and are truly dedicated to seeing the project through to completion.
It can seem overwhelming at first, but having leaders who can break the project down into smaller, manageable pieces, introducing them to the team bit by bit, can help ensure a smooth implementation.
You can simply start by giving your team access to customer data on the road and getting them accustomed to having an iPad in the hand. Then, go through steps like adding contacts through the CRM tool and entering their sales pipeline. Introducing CRM through an iterative process makes it easier for the team to embrace the implementation process.
Over time, your entire business will be full of CRM champions, with Sales, Marketing, Service and Parts all benefiting from the flow of customer data in and out of the business, while wondering how they’d ever managed without it.
With this level of buy-in and use, you can refine your data and processes to drive even more efficiency savings and see even bigger productivity gains. CRM will become a part of your daily life, and the benefits will just be a byproduct of doing your day job.
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