Succeeding at CRM Management
Successful CRM management starts before the first day of implementation. This is because CRM isn’t just about technology. Instead, succeeding at CRM management involves personnel dedicated to developing winning strategies for implementation.
It has been said many companies do not achieve their goals because they don’t really know what their goals are. The place to begin in CRM management is knowing what your organization wants to achieve by implementing and deploying its new customer relations solution.
The beginning point to setting such goals is having key leaders and stakeholders identify a limited number of major objectives they would like to see CRM implementation achieve. It is essential these objectives are measurable because reaching them is a key indicator of the level of success achieved. CRM goals also need to be specific and narrowly defined.
Measurable goals are the key to judging success in the early stages of implementation allowing you to make needed adjustments in implementation and strategy. The goals you settle on should be defined monetarily. Have you sold more of a specified product, received more referrals, or saved on costs as a result of improvements? Such goals often include:
- Serving customers better by expediting service requests
- Better knowledge of customers and offering the right solutions to them
- Tracking customer conversations and needs
- Client retention
- Referral tracking
- Key account management
- Incentive administration
- Direct marketing follow-up
- Customer experience tracking.
Since CRM can be rolled out in phases, your goals can be set as milestones for each phase. By having limited and focused goals you will be able to adjust to the minor glitches that are sure to happen during implementation.
Be Aware of the Challenges
Anticipating and preparing for challenges you may face as you implement a CRM solution is often the greatest factor in its success. The vendor you choose for your CRM solution will be more than willing to advise you on possible challenges you may face internally. Employees are often resistant to such radical change. Job insecurity, poor training, and unclear objectives are all potential roadblocks to successful implementation.
Set Long-Term Objectives
Short-term objectives are necessary to get things started with your CRM deployment. They provide a kick start to your CRM effort and pave the way for future success. But CRM is not a short-term solution. Therefore you must also have clear, long-term objectives. Once short-term objectives such as building client profiles and sales force automation have been met, you can begin to plan for the long haul. Long term objectives often include things such as custom client profiles, sales coaching and tracking, contact management, goal and incentive management, and built-in surveys.
Training and Implementation
Outside of proper planning, training is the most important aspect of successful CRM management. To be completely honest, implementing CRM isn’t easy. The right vendor will offer the kind of continuing training to help ease employee resistance to change. A major consideration in your negotiations with a vendor must be the amount and nature of training that will be offered.