Three Best Practices for CRM Implementation
23 Sep. 2015 Software Development
Investment in a customer relationship management (CRM) system is vital for any business. A CRM tool can help businesses manage relations with their customer base while improving long term profitability. In addition, they can give you secure access to customer data, facilitate collaboration and enable you to derive insights necessary to carry out business operations.
As per a Gartner forecast, the CRM market will reach $36.5 billion and lead the enterprise software category with a 15.1% CAGR by 2017. As enterprises continue to make use of automated systems to manage relationships, there are a few practices you can adopt to address any challenges that may hinder a successful CRM implementation.
Customer Relationship Management Implementation
Best Practice #1 – Evaluate Business Expectations & Needs
Prior to using a CRM system, as a business, you must take stock of your IT infrastructure, define succinct objectives and identify department needs. Some questions to ask before CRM adoption can be:
- How much is the organization willing to spend on CRM?
- Do my employees have the requisite technical skills to use CRM?
- What features should the CRM provide?
- Can all the relevant information be seamlessly migrated to the proposed CRM?
These are just few questions a business needs to have answers to before forming a CRM planning and implementation strategy. Companies also need to make sure that the top management buys into this strategy so that the company can make best use of CRM when it is deployed.
Best Practice #2 – Integrate Existing Applications
One of the biggest challenges in implementing a CRM system is to check whether it can integrate with existing legacy applications and business processes in the organization. Small businesses typically struggle with linking their accounting practices with customer relationship management software. However, a large number of applications can be successfully integrated with CRM systems. Did you know that Quickbooks can be integrated with Dynamics CRM?
Similarly, another challenge that businesses face is document management and collaboration. As an enterprise, how many times have you been frustrated with a large paper trail that leads to nowhere? Or maybe your team needs to work together on a project and feed information back to your sales team – in such a scenario you need a reliable content management system (CMS) that seamlessly works with your CRM. SharePoint by Microsoft can be combined with Dynamics CRM to enable teams work together more efficiently.
Best Practice #3 – Maintain Data Quality
Enterprises need to make sure they clean-up data before it is fed into a new system. Your business may be used to working with rows of excel data which is essentially a static database. However, a CRM software is a different ball-game altogether. As per Gartner, the single reason why CRM initiatives fail is poor data quality. Having a comprehensive data quality (CDQ) program in your organization is essential. A good CDQ framework is the cornerstone of any CRM strategy. Such a program needs to include activities such as data conversion, cleansing, sharing updates and continuous quality maintenance throughout the enterprise.
Thus, adoption of the CRM implementation best practices described above are a must for business growth. An enterprise that is able to build and employ an effective CRM strategy with an automated solution is one that will be able to create a long run competitive advantage for itself.
If you are a small business, it is important for you to be fully aware about some of the CRM options available in the market today. Consider partnering with a firm who can setup a CRM framework for you and provide solid, time-saving advice.
Now that you know what you need when implementing CRM in your organization, consider using MS Dynamics CRM. Read about its advantages here: http://www.rishabhsoft.com/blog/ms-dynamics-crm-advantages-for-smb