There are lot of instances where businesses fail in implementing CRM. Most of the times they blame CRM tools about the software’s ineffectiveness. But in reality I believe the problem is with the implementation strategy itself. When a company purchases or implements a CRM, they train their staff on all the functionalities. Even though it is a good practice to train the team on all options, it is recommended you provide training in phases. We should follow 80-20 rule (80% users use 20% of the functionality). Always select a CRM which has a mobile app feature.
CRM Implementation Steps
Stage 1: Adding leads into the system
Based on the team size, the first phase should include only uploading leads into the system. Use fields which are mandatory for the business process. Optional fields can be ignored in the initial phase. Follow this sytem for 15 to 30 days depending on team size. Do not put any emphasis on any other option at this point of time. There will always be few smart people in any team who will figure out how to update status and add other information related to lead.
Stage 2: Updating status
Once the team is confortable with adding leads, the next step is to train the team on updating the status of leads. The manager will now have complete control on leads and their statuses. It is worth waiting till this stage to see the results of your CRM application. This can be implemented for 7 to 10 days.
Stage 3: Adding Comments
Next step is to ask the team to update comments after a customer interaction. Examples include sending quotes, solving queries, giving demo, etc. You can follow this step for 7 to 10 days.
Stage 4: Adding Follow Ups
This is a very crucial step. Inform your team that after every interaction with client, there should be a follow up especially if there it is a Sales operation. You can track your team’s performance based on number of follow up’s done in time vs missed. This is the stage where you see all the operations will fall in place.
Stage 5: Adding Files (Optional)
This is not a mandatory step but this will be very useful to maintain a customer information especiallly if your business involves sharing and maintaining lots of customer data.
Remember, patience is the key in implementing a CRM. It will take at least 3 to 6 months for the system to be fully operations with users using all available options in the CRM. If you remember during the begining of the article, I spoke about smart people figuring out options in the early phases. Your success depends on identifying the smart people and recognize them as heroes of the team for all CRM software usage related queries.
If you have any doubts, you can always share them in the comments section.