Steps to Successful CRM Implementation
Now that you’re bought into deploying a CRM system, here’s how to go about it:
- Understand Sales Process & Lead Ownership
- Move Data into CRM
- Map CRM to Sales Process
- Monitor Systems and Data
Understand the Sales Process
Sales force adoption is often the biggest hurdle for companies implementing a new CRM. Understanding how the CRM will support existing processes is key to successful implementation.
Deal Stages. What are the major steps in the team’s buying process? Effective deal stages are clearly defined and tied to a trackable action. Some common stages include call/demo scheduled, follow up email sent, proposal drafted, deal won, and deal lost
Custom Fields. Most CRMs will come with basic fields like contact email, country and company website. But these fields will not cover information specific to a certain industry. Custom fields ensure a CRM holds all the important information for a specific company’s marketing, sales, and services teams.
Lead Ownership. For a CRM system to be effective companies need clear rules dictating ownership of leads and accounts. Without this information there will be conflict between individual sales reps and more broadly between departments (for example, sales and services).
Territory Carving. If a company uses geographic territories to determine sales ownership the CRM must be configured to store this information. Some CRM systems also enable automatic lead routing based on territory rules.
Move Data into CRM
Clean the Data. Don’t waste time importing old test contacts or fields that are no longer in use. Delete dirty data before migration to avoid confusing your sales team.
Discuss possibility for errors and develop contingency plans. Whenever large amounts of data move from one system to another there is a risk of losing some information. Companies should save an offline copy of every file before uploading it to the new CRM.
Move Data in Sections. There is no reason move every piece of company data at once. Moving data in sections makes it easier to identify unexpected behavior during the migration.
Sales Process Buildout
Once a company’s data has been moved into the new CRM it’s time to use the data accessible so reps can sell better, faster.
Build lead routing automation. Automatically assigning high quality leads to the right sales rep limits time wasted searching for leads instead of selling.
Build notification for reps. Information overwhelm is a major problem for laser focused sales people. Reps may ignore high value actions taken by a lead if they are focused on closing a different deal. Setting up emails notifications help reps to circle back and stay on top of all leads.
Build custom lead views. Lead views help sales reps organize and prioritize reach out to leads in their name. Common lead views structures are all leads in [city/state/country] and all leads who viewed [high value web page] in the past [week/month/year]
Build custom reports. The data collected in a CRM system offers valuable insight into sales rep productivity. CRM reports measuring individual and team productivity help salespeople track progress against quota. These reports also give management a clear view into team performance. Common CRM reports measure leads delivered to sales, activities logged by salespeople, product demos delivered, deals won and deals lost.
Monitor Systems and Data
What information is most relevant to a company will change as the business scales overtime. For a CRM to remain useful processes and data cleanliness should be evaluated annually. Many companies with limited bandwidth contract out CRM processes audits to professional sales consultants.