Succeed in your CRM: Think about your project upstream for an easy implementation of the ideal CRM solution

Collaboration - Contact Relationship Management - Digital - Strategy

Sarah Cotton By Sarah Cotton

Sarah recommends you download our white paper “Writing CRM specifications”

Download the white paper
Succeed in your CRM

Today there are many notes, literature and thoughts around the ideal methods for setting up a CRM solution. Add to this new marketing trends such as Big-Data , Open-Data, Digital or E-commerce and you get a large number of information and parameters, which must be selected or on the contrary discarded, connected and organized in an optimal way. This phase of choice and arbitration is crucial to allow you to quickly reach the goals that you set for yourself.

Here are some tips to get you started.

A representative market finding: thinking your project to obtain the support of all!

A CRM is more than a tool. It is a collaborative approach that aims to make the relationship with contacts understandable. As such, companies must do everything possible to set up an optimal project, adapted to their processes and their working methods, with well-defined objectives.

There are many software solutions that will offer you more or less broad functional coverage. However, our experience and the feedback from some professionals show us that:

  • Setting up a functionally very broad or non-customizable solution leads to its underuse.
  • Certain user profiles accustomed to their “traditional” methods and tools may encounter difficulties in adopting the new tools made available to them.

To avoid this, asking the right questions is necessary in order to identify all the issues for the teams and thus be able to anticipate all related subjects.

Discussing the choices / trade-offs that will be made and keeping in mind your vision of the issues will allow you to produce an expression of your needs in a solution that meets the issues and objectives mentioned above.

The 4 key elements to set up your CRM

  • Set up a solution that reflects your image: the ROI generated by the solution you choose will be maximum if you have succeeded in identifying, rethinking and optimizing your business processes. You have to find the right balance in the description of your activity, the positions and roles of each, what you are looking to achieve and when. It is the assurance of a minimal gap between what you want and what you will get.
  • Anticipating “change management”: this is a key element in the implementation of a CRM which, despite appearances, is foreseen from the very ideation of the project. Very early on, you must think about the elements of internal communication and the various actions to be taken with end users, to allow everyone to take ownership and quickly adopt the chosen Customer Relationship Management solution.
  • Integrate the CRM solution into the overall strategy of your company: any project to set up a CRM solution must aim to achieve measurable and quantifiable objectives, which will therefore have an impact on the overall strategy of your organization. Minor or major, these impacts and their echoes must be evaluated and anticipated.
  • Take into account what already exists: the right CRM tool is the one that will allow you to optimize your Customer Relationship and Contact Management process while being integrated into your information system. It is therefore necessary to start from what already exists, in particular the data you have and plan to reintegrate them into the chosen solution to start again on solid foundations.

These 4 good practices are fundamental. Having them permanently in mind will allow you to simply put your project on the path to success!

But so, what is the recipe for a successful CRM project?

Recipe CRM

The choice of service provider / partner is a key element, especially with “SaaS” hosted solutions. It is therefore necessary, for each proposition studied, to think of:

  • Check the health of the company (known and recognized, team, growth, size, etc.)
  • Check the services and guarantees it offers (hotline, infrastructure, reversibility, availability rate, backup, etc.)
  • Check the working method (agile method, tailor-made …)

Finally, what will be your “breadcrum trail” for the preparation of your project?

When I discuss best practices for setting up a CRM project, I often use the metaphor of travel. If you wish to go on vacation in the south of France, you have at your disposal various means of transport: on foot, by bike, by train, by plane, by boat… Even if it is probable that the route and the time required vary between each mode of transport, you will eventually arrive at the desired destination. In one case, you will take more time, but at a very limited cost. In another, the comfort and duration of the journey will be optimum but the cost higher. In the latter case, the services offered will make the trip more pleasant …

All this to make you understand that ultimately the software solution is not the essential factor for a successful CRM project. This is the means that will allow you to achieve the goals set. The main challenge will lie in redefining your business processes so that they bring value to your customers. To do this, you will need to choose the solution that best meets your challenges and needs and not the one that offers the most features.

To conclude, I will quote Patrick Hoffstetter, director of Renault’s Digital Factory since 2011, who says “Today, thinking of having a 360 ° view of the customer is a bit of an illusion of the mind, only through the multiple sources of information about our customers. CRM is there to bridge the gap between our knowledge as a manufacturer and knowledge in the distribution network. ”

This quote sums up very well everything we wanted to convey in this article: the important thing, beyond the chosen editor and the chosen solution, is to carry out the necessary studies and actions of your project, and, at the end, have the solution that will meet all your challenges and allow you to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

Ready to get started in setting up a CRM solution?