Business information technology has been a pivotal part of the corporate scene over the past decade and we have seen some of the most groundbreaking tools and equipment that overturned the entire concept of work and growth. Now working hard no longer bears the palm but working smart does and this is precisely why the software industry has come up with many expedient platforms like business engines and CRM systems to help businesses throughout the process of their inception and growth.
The changed work mechanisms require the entrepreneurs to understand the dynamics of technology in order to derive the best out of it and for that people need to understand that a marketing automation system like CRM is not a mere part of your business strategy rather it’s a business strategy itself. Below are the ten important steps you need to define while making a CRM strategy:
Shape your vision:
Set lofty but pragmatic goals regarding your CRM strategy which may include better monitoring of sales pipeline, shorter sales cycles, lucid reporting, converting more leads and greater customer retention. The key here is patience and practicality since you cannot expect a CRM to work like a magic wand changing things within moments, your expectations have to be real that can be met in a given time frame to avoid any pitfalls.
Rank your goals:
The whole process of CRM implementation has to be systematic therefore you must segment your CRM goals into different phases i.e. process streamlining, marketing automation and customer retention. Such kind of approach will get you some quick wins contributing to the overall progress and growth of your business. Moreover the phased approach would keep things in an order by not allowing one goal to overlap another.
Draw an outline for your processes:
One of the major factors in the success of a CRM system is the proper synchronization of your business processes with the software. For that you need to review your processes and draw an outline around them to decide how they will be managed with the CRM. A nicely deployed CRM would not only comply well with your processes but will also help you improve them on the other hand a badly deployed CRM will play a fair deal of havoc with your organizational procedures leaving you bamboozled. Therefore it must be made sure that your CRM is compliant with your organizational processes.
Keep an eye on reporting outputs:
Cross check and confirm the metrics that your want your CRM to measure for your business. Carefully inspect the reports, tasks and dashboards you require to keep the track of your progress. A CRM may be your complete business intelligence system but the improvement of your business relies majorly on you being a vigilant observer.
Keep the data and the data fields clean:
The biggest hidden assassin inside your CRM is the dirty data that turns your CRM into a repository of useless historical information and impedes the meaningful communication with clients with expired email addresses, phone numbers or notes. It must be made sure that the data and the data fields in your CRM systems are updated and clean in order to save the time and hassle of rummaging through the entire CRM for the useful contacts and information.
Integration is one of the key concerns for the buyers and subscribers of a CRM system. Before you deploy a CRM, be clear in your head about which applications you need to integrate with it and what level of integration you want. Also the level of integration required with other data sources including one-way or two-way synchronization, read-only access, order processing or website integration. You CRM vendor may agree to integrate your system with anything you want but it is for you to decide that what level you want to take it to.
Don’t overlook security:
A CRM system requires you to be the architect of your organizational strategies therefore you need to design the CRM model deciding how the information will be shared within the organization, what level of access each user will have and how the sensitive information will be protected and shared only with the concerned people. Your data and information is important so don’t let any security loopholes cause damage to your business.
Design a user adoption strategy:
The number one cause of CRM converting into a pain is the poor user adoption strategy. Consult the management and the significant users of your CRM to invite worthwhile suggestions and harness interest. Don’t let your CRM commitment spread on the broad level before you actually implement it. Nominate a CRM admin in each team and give the users an advantage beyond a training of generic level.
Plan the cost:
Drastic variations in the cost can be a nuisance from the financial perspective so keep a check on the monitory investment and find ways to introduce stability regarding the cost. You can try developing a CRM on your own or buy the code of a CRM to avoid any unanticipated financial variation.