You just spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours implementing your new CRM. Now what? According to a Merkel Group study, up to 63% of CRM initiatives fail. It’s time to take preventative measures to ensure the viability of your CRM and maximize your newfound data potential. Here are three tips to keep your CRM from failing after implementation.
1. Conduct an Annual Assessment of Your CRM
Annual assessment will help you realize the data gaps so you can either customize aspects of your existing CRM, or integrate compatible programs to fill those gaps. This is potentially one of the most important things you can do after CRM implementation. Without annual assessment, you lose key insights on how the CRM is contributing to your business goals. This process helps you sidestep unnecessary procedures and irrelevant data that could hinder your team’s productivity within the system. ROI is achieved over time, so start measuring it annually after your implementation. As you assess your progress, you’ll start to understand which processes are working and which need updating. Review your licensing agreement annually to make sure you are using all the features included in your CRM. This means you make the most of your CRM and its data transforming capabilities. Additionally, this is a good time to assess your CRM system usage to check if your employees are truly adopting the system. If they’re not, you may want to heed the advice of tip #3 in this blog post. Overall, annual assessments give you the chance to learn from your mistakes, remove old data, and determine what needs to be changed to keep your CRM running efficiently.
2. Update Your CRM as Business Processes Change
Updating your CRM after implementation goes hand-in-hand with your annual CRM assessment. It helps you understand your business’ evolving needs and whether or not your software is meeting those needs. Procedures that worked in the past may be inadequate today and can quickly cause your data to become irrelevant. Your CRM must keep up! As business processes change, you may need to change the way you use your CRM. For example, you may realize that your CRM would work better for your team if it was integrated with back office systems like your ERP. The simple solution is to have a process for continually keeping your data fresh. Make sure you have all the latest upgrades and capabilities installed to keep pace with your processes. This way, your data, systems, and procedures remain current and you can make the most of them to increase sales. Remember, most CRMs are flexible, so take advantage of it and keep your business and data dynamic.
3. Provide Ongoing Training for New CRM Features & Processes
As new CRM features are released, it is important to make sure your team is up to speed. Without ongoing training, your team will be unable to perform tasks using new CRM features, which can cause slow downs and inefficiencies. CRM functions meant to streamline processes will become useless simply because no one knows how to use them. Thus, you may miss out on new data relationships and potential sales opportunities. Conducting periodic meetings that address new functions and how to use them will keep this issue at bay. All team members will be on the same page, your CRM and data will continue to evolve, and you can take full advantage of your data potential.
These tips provide a good starting point for your post-implementation CRM viability plan. However, they will not keep your CRM afloat on their own. It’s a good idea to implement several techniques together to maximize not only your CRM potential, but your data potential as well. You can even integrate CRM content and productivity tools to make the most of your time. Unsure if you’re ready to implement your CRM? Check out 5 Things You Need To Know Before Implementing CRM to get started.