Implementing a CRM solution is a big undertaking. If you don’t have a solid plan, your CRM implementation could be delayed, slowed, or worse, could fail. To smooth your implementation process, make sure you do these five things before adopting CRM:

1.) Set up 3 achievable short-term goals.

Examples of these might be getting your users into CRM and memorializing their phone calls inside of the system, or starting to use e-mail integration and filing their e-mails back to CRM, or just starting to use sales opportunities. You want make these first steps small and easy to accomplish, but that you’ll get return on investment for.

2.) Determine who will be using CRM from the get go.

You may want to deploy an A-team who will start using CRM before the other users. If you have a large team of users that you want to deploy CRM to, it might be a better idea to get 5-10 super users into CRM, work out all of the business processes, and then have the rest of the users join in later. If you have a smaller team, then you might want to have them all jump in at the same time, but plan it out before implementing CRM, and then deploy accordingly.

3.) Designate a CRM champion.

This is a big one. Your CRM champion is somebody who’s going to be responsible for and in-charge of the CRM implementation. We want somebody who really holds users accountable, who has the backing of the owners and the upper management to make sure that users know that CRM is something that’s here to stay, and who can help users get started with it as smoothly as possible.

4.) Choose the right time to begin implementation.

Timing is everything. Make sure you don’t implement a CRM solution during a really busy time of year for you, or when users are going to be out of the office. You really want to make sure that you pick a three-to-six-week period during which your users can have a lot of time dedicated to focus on CRM. Give them the heads-up to know that they should be spending X hours per week on training and using the system. Then, give them real expectations and goals with a timeline.

5.) Don’t underestimate the complexity of a CRM solution (or any software solution).

You want to make sure that users and your project champion in management understand that implementing or introducing any version of software, especially a CRM solution, can be a really big, complicated thing. It might seem like it’s a really simple, easy solution, but assuming it will be easy automatically could really sabotage you and cause problems later. You want to make sure that you know that CRM is a big undertaking, and implementation can be easy and smooth, as long as you take the right steps.   Our OnTrack CRM Adoption System gives you a plan that will help you succeed with your CRM implementation and beyond. For more information on getting started with CRM, contact us today. 

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