We celebrate your wise decision of adding a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to your networks. Now, as you have taken such significant first step; we share with you some of the best practices of CRM.
If you desire to extend your CRM’s useful life, then you need to apply right policies. Thus, the best practices of CRM focus on simple tasks that guarantee their maximum exploitation that add value to your global processes of your sales and marketing departments.
Let’s take a walk through the best practices of CRM from the first stages of its life cycle and evolution.
Best Practices of CRM: Selection Stage
Make an exhaustive research on your CRM options
There are many interesting and powerful proposals in the market. Beyond their popularity, price and similar considerations; your focus should be on the needs of your organization. Keep as your compass the particular characteristics of your networks, systems and infrastructure; budget and staff.
Reduce your list of names to 2 – 3 eligible options
Contact their specialists, and request Demos and Procurement Proposals. With these two filters you will better know the particularities that each CRM offers; and you will see which one best adapt to your specific needs.
Involve actively your work team
Ask them to give you a presentation for the rest of your work team; and let them emphasize the pros and cons; advantages and disadvantages.
Customize every demo
Instruct your work teams so that each one emphasizes to the supplier the particular needs of the company, so the supplier adapts the demos. Remember something: Very little demos and generic presentations give you to cover your particular business objectives.
Include service interruptions for maintenance and similar in your SLA
If you choose a Cloud-based CRM option, make sure that your option contemplates scheduled interruptions for maintenance and similar concepts your Service Level Agreements. Look in detail at the maximum periods of interruption of the CRM system; and clarify penalties in case of non-compliance.
In the same order of ideas, an intelligent measure is to ask the provider for a calendar that shows service interruptions extended to the last two years; and their average recovery time.
Always keep in mind the security
Likewise, consider the particularities of security in the Cloud; and be sure to ask all your questions related to your candidates.
Include all the documentation you have
When you finally select a CRM provider; keep all the negotiation documents at hand, and up to date. Include the response to the Request for Proposal extended to you; Demo notes; Agendas and Notes; Observations; Service Level Agreements and related Technical Reports.
Best Practices of CRM: Implementation & Deployment
Prepare your work environments, and your staff
The implementation of a CRM can be the best moment to give a critical look to your processes and procedures. Clear the field. Simplify. Abbreviate. Take this opportunity to detect areas for improvement; propose updates and reeducation campaigns; and look in detail at how you collect and present your data.
Implement in phases
Actually, there are few companies that properly know the processes, procedures and contingencies of implementing any type of software. In fact, companies usually hire experts to guide them in the early stages of any implementation. And they are usually addressed in stages.
It should be noted that doing is more convenient for the contracting company because it minimizes and controls better the impacts of change. Experience tells us that opting for full implementations usually save time and some money in the short term; but also multiply the risks due to incorrect use of the tool. In addition, it enhances resistance to change and its consequences.
Do not abuse of personalization
It is completely valid your desire of customizing your CRM. However, it is highly recommended that you include a few generic customizations at the beginning of the implementation – such as dashboards and access privileges; and leave others for the moment when you go live with CRM.
Evaluate the staff that uses the CRM, and offer accompaniment
There’s something that must be internalized: Induction is scarcely one step in the way of implementation; and your employees may need more than one training day to know the full spectrum of the functionality of the CRM acquired.
We understand that meeting budgets and calendars is important to control and make a profit of the process. However, we must consider and keep this in mind: Associated costs for misconfiguration/incorrect use of the tools may be greater than costs per additional induction days.
Although you have full confidence in the capacity of your employees, it is always good to reinforce their knowledge through accompaniment. Empower them with more tools to properly manage your selected CRM.
Best Practices of CRM: Use and execution
Remember that implementing and deploying the CRM is just the beginning
Follow up on the use of the CRM system
Keeping a watchful eye that accounts the way your teams use the tool gives you real clues and insight to create use cases; take corrective measures; and report layer 8 issues that hinder the system’s functionality.
Make training guides that includes webinars for new hirings
Expansion is part of the business reality. It is always a good idea to have help manuals and templates for new hirings that make part of the Knowledge Base available for all users. Like this, you also create backup documents that helps reinforcing your employees’ skills in using the tool for accompanying them at their own pace.
Try to update it at the same rate as you receive CRM upgrades, and make the webinars collect the most relevant updates.
As you can see, the best practices of CRM are nothing but simple actions based upon common sense. Their correct application will help you practices of CRM to keep up the good work of your system to achieve your business goals and objectives.
In Fusionworks we have at your entire disposal Microsoft Dynamics 365, the best option in systems and automated tools in CRM software. We put them at your fingertips with our advice.
Or if you require more support and advice to select and implement your deployment plans, just contact us here. We will be attentive to your requirements, and with the greatest willingness to serve you.