There comes a point in every organization where CRM processes become antiquated. Endless clicking around to complete daily work can cause user frustration, negatively affect data quality, and impact downstream functions as a result.
As your company and employees grow over time, your CRM can bear the brunt of the growth. As a result your CRM gradually grows out of control in terms of the number of fields tracked and the amount of customization throughout.
Why does it have to be this way?
Turns out, making organizational change to your CRM processes throughout your team—particularly with large or enterprise companies—can be overwhelming.
Learn how you can make changes to your CRM processes and roll them out to your team with the following tips.
- Build a game plan to change or improve your CRM processes
- Take ownership of IT and technical expectations to better anticipate project challenges
- Alleviate IT workload with individual user and team specific solutions
Plan For Change
If your daily work is taking too long, your CRM data isn’t reliable, or your user adoption is lacking, it may be time start changing your CRM process.
However, change can strike fear in an organization—and is often met with resistance. Furthermore, if a major CRM overhaul is needed, but not addressed strategically, it may leave you with disgruntled users, security risks, and unnecessary expenses.
As you start to navigate the challenge of overhauling your CRM processes, it’s best to start with a preparation phase. That is, define the scope of your project by asking the right questions, including key company stakeholders, and getting their opinions before you start.
For example, you should identify where you are now and the challenges that you are facing (and why your current CRM processes need fixing). Ask yourself and key decision makers what the company could look like if these challenges were solved.
Overall, you need to determine how your CRM should operate to fulfill the needs of the organization prior to building a specific game plan.
Depending on the size of your organization or scale of the project, you may need to get project buy in from executive leadership. Anyone that is against the change can serve to undermine your project, so it’s best to see where everyone stands before proceeding.
Once you’ve communicated your plan and received the appropriate support, you’ll be ready make changes to your CRM
Take Ownership In Daily CRM Activities
There is a reason that organizations are hesitant to take on projects that involve significant change, need cross departmental support, or must navigate several moving pieces—it takes a special type of leader to follow through and own a project throughout the initiative. Yes, that means through the trials and tribulations—and not by simply taking credit once the project is finished.
Changing your CRM is no different.
The complexities of a CRM project may even be more substantial when compared to others because your CRM impacts every department company-wide.
To overcome all of the nuances that are likely to occur, you must take ownership of the day-to-day activities and implementation timeline. This includes being the point of contact for other department leaders and vendors—and explaining expectations during each phase of your plan.
While this approach seems straightforward while things are going well, it becomes more challenging when you start running into speed bumps. I say “when” because you will encounter adversity when making changes to your CRM. It’s just the nature of complex project management.
As the project lead, you might feel like you’re in a vulnerable position. After all, you may have been the one who vouched for the changes in the first place and you stuck your neck on the line. When things don’t go to plan, stress and nervousness can follow.
If this happens, be forward.
Communicate why the project needed more changes or additional costs, etc. Re establish expectations during each challenge—and even though it can be painful to admit you’ve run into problems, make sure the team keeps the goal in mind and understands the anticipated benefits of your project.
Explore Need Specific CRM Tools
Making process changes to your CRM typically means that you need to get the sales and marketing team involved, customer success, leadership, and the IT department. That’s a lot of expectations to manage, especially for those working with large organizations or Fortune 500 companies.
Fortunately, there are solutions that may solve your day-to-day CRM challenges without needing to involve a heavy implementation. This can alleviate the projects that you task the IT department with.
After you’ve identified your core CRM challenges—such as data entry, productivity, data visibility, or another challenge that we can explore in a future series, hint hint—you can start to identify free or low cost CRM tools that you can plugin.
For example, Salesforce and SAP Sales Cloud CRM users can search the Salesforce AppExchange or the SAP AppCenter to find tools that are right for them. May CRM applications offer free trials or demos that you can take advantage of to quickly see if they impact your CRM challenges.
Have you set out to overhaul your organization’s CRM? Have you led a CRM implementation before—if so, how long did you project take and what challenges did you overcome? Do you desperately need to fix your CRM processes and need a helping hand? Share your experiences and any feedback that you have in the comments section below.