Having a CRM system is one thing, having it work successfully within your company is another. After our many years of experience we want to share our top 10 ways to make CRM work for your company.

1. For your Business

CRM should be mapped so that it fits your business and your processes and not the other way around.  No two businesses are the same.  Whilst template or out of the box systems may appear cheaper, the most successful are ones that enable you to improve and automate your existing processes effectively.  CRM should fit with your people and your processes.

2. Staff involvement

Your team needs to feel involved in the choice and development of your chosen system.  It should feel as though it is their system and has been designed to their specification.  You will then guarantee their buy-in.  This will also ensure there are no excuses for why the system does not work or why they are not using it.

3. What’s in it for me?

Each user needs to understand exactly what they will achieve from the CRM solution.  Remove common objections such as ‘I’m too busy’, ‘why do it need to use it’ and ‘why am I being monitored’.

4. Phased approach

As with any project, clearly defined and measurable goals are needed.  The project should be split into stages, making sure each  is successful before moving to the next one.  Users are encouraged to begin using the system as soon as possible, rather than waiting for the system to be perfect.  This approach reduces the chance for late changes and keeps the goals clearly in mind.

5. Lead by example

It is everyone’s responsibility to use the system, including key stake holders.  Top levels of management must lead by example.  If they are using the system there cannot be any excuses given by the rest of the team.

6. Super User Self Service

Train Super Users within your organisation so that they have a much more in depth knowledge.  These can then be the first point of call for any user queries.  Anyone struggling to use the system should be ‘buddied’ with a Super User.  In addition, these people should be shown how to carry out a certain amount of customisation rather than having to request a partner to make every little change.

7. No excuses!

Make sure that everyone has sufficient training and supporting documentation.  Test thoroughly with a selection of users first and ensure that any IT issues are eliminated prior to roll out.  Review weekly with your team and jump on any issues immediately. Make sure that every member of your team is using the system without fail.

8. Keep data entry to a minimum

Keep the data entry in CRM to a minimum.  Your sales team should enter just enough data to satisfy management reporting.  The more confusing and time consuming the process, the less likely your sales team will be to want to use it.  Don’t use an excessive number of mandatory fields.  Remember – you want your sales reps selling and not typing.

9. Exposure screens

Measure to achieve results.  Display results for all the company to see, either by companywide emails, intranet or widescreen TV.  Enable high-performing sales people to gain the recognition they deserve, at the same time as motivating others to achieve more.  Nobody wants to be on the bottom.

10. Everything in one place

A number of CRM systems are a separate stand-alone solution.  In this instance there should be a policy that the system is always open throughout the company.  The most easily adopted CRMs are ones that are integrated within business critical systems.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM is integrated within Outlook, this is a program that will always be open on a PC or laptop.