In last week’s post, we stressed the importance of flexibility when deciding on a CRM system architecture, and how the solution you implement should be designed to work with your best practices to optimize team performance and boost efficiency. Continuing our “Considerations for CRM Success” blog series, today we’re looking at another key aspect of CRM planning—setting actionable goals and metrics prior to system purchase, so you can set the groundwork for the kind of results you require and expect out of your solution, helping you boost ROI down the line and ensure you meet your intended objectives.
While measuring system output and performance is a task many organizations perform during CRM deployment, it’s equally important to outline these types of goals initially, considering them alongside other factors when devising a CRM strategy. Such forethought can help track your operational success throughout the life of your system, so you know what actions to adjust and what to expand upon to receive the most out of your investment. While your specific business goals will be unique to your company, there are a few key tactics that can help guide you as you begin to think about exactly what you want your CRM system to achieve:
Set CRM Parameters at the Outset
Defining your system requirements and how your teams will weigh performance is critical to ensuring your systems are meeting your criteria and helping to illuminate any areas that might need tweaking. Additionally, establishing such baselines as a starting point helps ensure benefits are correctly attributed to your CRM system, and not other factors, such as cost reductions, changes in customer satisfaction scores, and increases in cross-selling activity, all of which could be attributed to a project’s ROI analysis.
Set Actionable Goals that Include Both Hard and Soft Metrics
Goals can be split into two categories: “hard metrics” that consist of verifiable, quantitative data (think membership acquisition and retention numbers, customer satisfaction scores) and “soft metrics” that track more subjective data that can be difficult to put into numbers (e.g., how well a CRM system supports long-term growth, how quickly it can adapt as the market changes). Both kinds of measurements are useful to measure CRM success and should be included in a pre-implementation strategy to ensure your solution supports your organization’s overall vision.
Map Your Deployment Strategy to Your Data Capture Requirements
Once you know the type of data you’ll want to track, go ahead and consider the processes you’ll need to put in place to ensure you get the information you want. Keep in mind interface implications and accessibility considerations when devising your strategy, and ensure your budget is appropriate for the changes you’ll need to implement.
Overall, it’s important to plan for a CRM deployment much like you would any other major company investment—by setting in place guidelines for how you want the system to work, and how it should perform to meet your business goals. This way, you’re not just “looking before you leap”—you’re making sure the other side is as solid as possible before you take that next step.
Stay tuned next week for part 4 of “Considerations for CRM Success,” as we discuss the how to assess Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and manage cost expectations while preparing for CRM integration. 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