Making the decision to invest in a company-wide CRM system is a critical first step toward more organized, efficient, and streamlined communication across outward-facing and internal channels. Yet, with so many options on the market today, selecting the solution that makes the most sense for your company can be challenging. To that end, we’re excited to launch a new five-part blog series focused on “Considerations for CRM Success,” designed to provide helpful industry insights and expert knowledge to guide you as you navigate the myriad options available.
First, we’re talking about the importance of developing a CRM strategy. Before compiling a list of requirements, comparing prices, and evaluating solutions, designing a clear approach to CRM implementation will help your organization keep a unified, customer-centric approach across departments and client touch-points.
It’s important to remember that at its core, CRM is intended to be performed, not simply purchased. Successful integration will hinge on how well your selected system meets the needs and expectations of your customer base while also remaining flexible enough to accommodate shifts in consumer culture and evolving business objectives. Essentially, these objectives boil down to the following three overarching steps toward successful CRM strategy.
Clearly Define Vision and Business Goals
While its goals, customers, environment, and culture will uniquely define each company’s vision, recent Gartner research reveals several key goals companies are looking to achieve through CRM including a 360-degree customer view, automated sales processes, reduced cost of service, and improved collaboration, among others. Once defined, an effective CRM strategy is one that aligns your company’s data and processes to not only boost internal operations, but also, more importantly, create a powerful and compelling case for customer engagement, as this is the chief factor that contributes to all other successes. From initial prospect interaction to post-sales support and every step along the way, your CRM vision sets the stage for future collaboration and expansion, allowing room for both strategic and tactical initiatives and organizational growth.
Integrate the Customer’s Point of View
Once you’ve established how you want to use CRM to identify and meet customer needs, it’s important to consider how CRM can help you build customer preferences and behaviors into your business processes, so the meeting feels organic and is a natural output to your day-to-day activities. Gathering and understanding such data can help your organization provide a more meaningful and direct customer experience and improve your teams’ efficiency—often a more effective approach to boosting your bottom line than simply pushing product.
Facilitate User Adoption
Not only will CRM integration directly affect the way your teams interact and communicate, shifting your corporate culture toward a more customer-centric model can also require adjustment. Involving end users and stakeholders in the CRM design can help ease this transition and boost acceptance, taking into account employee considerations for an intuitive interface and ease of access. Once deployed, leading and training your teams in CRM use is critical to ensure long-lasting benefits.
Stay tuned next week for part 2 of “Considerations for CRM Success,” as we discuss how to integrate your CRM system into your work architecture, minimizing disruptions and optimizing organizational growth. In the meantime, to learn more about how our seasoned CRM consultants can deliver this functionality to your business, please contact any member of our consulting team at [email protected]. We also encourage you to contact Tokara’s VP of Business Development, Mark Fillingim, directly at +1 972-719-0213.
Aptean, “CRM: The Essential Guide: Five Principles for CRM Success,” http://www.aptean.com/assets/pdfs/resources/documents/APT_CRMP_GBWP_CRMTheEssentialGuide_US.pdf