CRM Implementation

CRM is not just about Technology

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CRM is not a piece of software you can simply buy, plug in, and watch while it transforms your business for the better.

Manage it well and it will radically improve your business; boosting revenues, improving the quality of service and customer experience, lowering operational costs, and enhancing the visibility of key business information to inform and improve business decision-making. However, it will only bring those benefits if it is managed well.

Central to this effective management is recognizing that it is more than a technology solution that you can plug in and leave to work its magic.

Think of it instead as a platform that enables change. In fact, CRM has far less in common with a piece of software than it does with an organization-wide program of change management. View it in that way and it is likely to be a success, and that begins with addressing the four Ps of CRM implementation: plan, processes, people and partner.

The 7 Deadly Procrastinators of CRM & and how to deal with them!

cut-procrastination-big.pngHitting the ‘go’ button on a new CRM implementation is a big decision. It involves a significant investment of money and time, it will probably involve reorganizing parts of your company, and it will have a deep and lasting effect on many people.

You know of course that the deep and lasting effect will be a positive one. You’ve spent time looking into the specific improvements CRM could make to your organization, you’ve assessed vendors and identified the one that’s right for you, and you’ve done the ROI calculation. It all adds up. You want to do it. But for some reason, you can’t quite bring yourself to hit that ‘go’ button.

You’ve entered the procrastination zone.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone there - far from it! Many of the businesses that start evaluating CRM projects don’t end up buying one, and whilst this is sometimes because they discover very good reasons not to proceed, as often it is because they drift into the procrastination zone.

CRM Project - where do you start?

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A vital, but often overlooked, step in any CRM project is calculating expected return on investment (ROI). Doing this successfully will ensure your implementation is aligned to specific business requirements so that all involved have clear and realistic expectations. It also allows you to allocate an appropriate budget and then check periodically to ensure you are achieving the expected return. Skipping this vital step is a key reason for CRM failure. So where do you start?

Know what you want

In simple terms, it involves gaining an understanding of the outcomes you want to achieve and the level of investment needed to achieve those outcomes. In broad terms there are four types of outcome that result from CRM:

  1. Revenue growth
  2. Enhanced customer service - leading to improved customer retention
  3. Streamlined business processes - delivering lower costs or greater efficiencies
  4. Improved management of information - allowing for better decision-making.

The importance of understanding your CRM requirements

Ask anyone who already has a CRM platform in their organization and they will talk enthusiastically to you of the benefits it has brought them.

They may tell you about how it has given all their customer service agents a single, immediate and complete view of the customer, and so enhanced levels of customer services. Or they might focus on the number of administrative tasks that have been automated and so the money that has been saved.

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Or they might tell you about how their salespeople no longer spend hours compiling reports to show management. Now those reports are automated so salespeople can be out in the field, talking to customers and winning new business. Others might talk to you about the quality of information it offers them and how that is helping them make better decisions.

There is much else they could tell you. Perhaps you have already heard stories such as this, and it is what has fired your enthusiasm for a CRM platform, to the point where you are now researching the topic. However, before you rush in to interview vendors and select the right system for you, it is important to step back for a moment and spend time understanding the specific CRM requirements of your organization.

 

Calculating the ROI of CRM

Before you even think about calculating the ROI of CRM you need to ensure you understand the desired business outcomes and the improvements you would like to make to your business then work out what needs to change in order to achieve those outcomes.

Once you have the basic justification for your investment in place, you will be in a much stronger position to calculate your ROI – and ultimately reduce the risk of failure to deliver. 

Forrester analysts have written a report, Quantify the Value of CRM, which includes some advice you may find useful. Before you start, you may also want to read recommendations from analyst William Band addressing specific issues when it comes to calculating ROI – all of which will ultimately help you cut costs and boost sales.

But for now, let’s review the key elements you need to consider when calculating the ROI of CRM.

1. Revenue Ambitions

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What objectives have you defined in relation to the expectation that your CRM investment will help you to achieve higher revenues? The more specific you can be, in terms of capturing customer spending on different products, working out the potential to increase higher-margin product sales, cutting out obstacles that threaten the continuity of customer relationships or assessing the impact of applying discounts to different customer groups, the more accurate your forecast is likely to be.

Set your target. Imagine that your CRM project will generate five additional sales per month - or 60 per year. If your average sale is worth $1,000, CRM could bring in an extra $60,000. How?

Why Build a Business Case for CRM?

You know your organization needs a CRM solution, so why not start the buying process? You know all the benefits it will bring - revenue growth, lower operational costs and enhanced visibility of key business information to inform and improve business decision-making. 

Surely the sooner you get it in place the sooner your organization will start enjoying those benefits, so you should start reviewing vendors straightaway?

The problem is you will be pushing for an investment that is likely to be significant - significant in license and implementation costs, and in the amount of effort required by the organization. Very few Boards are going to simply wave it through; most will want to see a robust business case.

How to integrate your business systems together using Workbooks CRM

For a CRM project to maximize business benefit, there is often a requirement that the CRM system is integrated with other business applications within an organization. These business applications can range from ERP to marketing automation to finance / accounting and much more.integration-blog.png

Workbooks have made the integration process easy by pre-building common record structures, such as Order and Invoice records, Tax structures and accounting periods. This helps simplify integration and reduce integration work / cost. 

In addition, Workbooks provide a wide range of integration tools and approaches, allowing total flexibility today and for the future.

So what are the integration options available to customers and how do they work?

 

 

5 Ways To Optimize Your Sales Process

Optimizing your sales process is an ongoing challenge, but it is vital to increasing revenue. To help you along on the right path, we’ve put together five top tips for achieving success... 

Introduce a systematic on-boarding programme

Putting together a successful sales team starts with recruiting the right people. While this is the foundation for a winning sales team, equally important is a systematic on-boarding process to ensure a return on your investment, as well as a promising sales pipeline. Nonetheless, it’s believed only 55% of companies have a formal sales training process. 

It is important to focus on training and coaching for a sales team, so they can learn how to sell effectively. Training should include in-depth product knowledge, the competitive landscape, buyer personas and company processes; this will ensure they have the right skills and tools to do their job effectively.

Top 10 CRM Implementation Tips

We work with our customers to help them through this process and lend our expertise when it is needed, both from a general CRM perspective and a Workbooks perspective. Here are our top 10 tips for planning a successful implementation;

1. Don't underestimate how much time it will take to migrate existing data - whether you use a spreadsheet, database, post-it notes, or a combination of all three, you are bound to have some data you want to move to your new CRM system. Now is a great time to go through and cleanse your data, remove duplicates, tidy up addresses/people that have left or just take stock of what you have.

Marketing ROI - Understand Your True Profit Margin

Adopting a fully integrated web analytics and CRM approach, is the only way organizations can truly understand Marketing ROI.

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The overall objective here is to easily understand what’s working and what isn’t, so that marketers can better allocate marketing budget towards those keywords, channels and platforms that achieve a more realistic and useful Key Performance Indicator.
  • Is the number of web leads a good KPI to work from?
  • Is the number of qualified opportunities and ultimately sales revenue a more helpful measurement?
 

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