This is a difficult transformation and your success will be dependent primarily on those first halting steps you take. Concentrate first on understanding what lies ahead. Many CRM software selection projects fail to meet all of their objectives and the culprit in many instances is following the wrong path. If you understand the fundamental truths of CRM software selection, you will be in a much better position to recognize the impediments to success and avoid them.
CRM software is only as good as the people it serves. It helps people complete tasks efficiently and it generates information people can use to make business decisions. If people are left out of the software selection process (because only a limited number of “key” employees participate), how can managers know what people need to do their jobs more efficiently and more effectively? People must understand what is required of them in this new environment, must be given the tools and the training to carry out these new tasks, and must see the system as a friend rather than an adversary. In the end, the people side of the equation is perhaps more important than you might have first imagined.
Build a consensus.
Rather than precipitously launching a formal CRM selection project, concentrate instead on building a picture or your current CRM system. What works? What needs to be improved? All employees who have a relationship with your customer relationship management system should participate in this discussion. This simple all inclusive step will give you a complete picture of your CRM system and it will demonstrate clearly that the firm values each employee.
It’s highly unlikely that you fully understand how to organize and manage a CRM software selection project, nor do you understand the functionality available in today’s CRM software. Take whatever time you need to educate yourself before you take the first formal CRM software selection step.
Organize yourself for success.
If your firm is not organized for success, it makes no difference what product you select. Examine your business structure and processes. If changes need to be made, make them now. If your business foundation is weak, your new CRM system will be weak.
Forget about where you are. Define where you want to be.
One of the significant mistakes firms make when selecting CRM software is basing their requirements on their business operation today. Rather than just being a clone of your current practices, define where you want to be in the future and then base your requirements on the company you want to become.
Utilize information to make sound business decisions.
Please do not forget that if you are going to become more efficient and profitable you will need information to make sound business decisions. Forget about row and column reports. Instead think in terms of time line (monthly as an example) graphical representations of where you have been, where you are today and where it appears you are heading tomorrow. That’s the kind of information you need to decide what aspect of your business requires your attention.
Find a business partner.
One of the keys to the success of your CRM software selection project and your business in the future is information. Everything we have been discussing relates to the acquisition of the information that will help you complete this project successfully. Certainly internet searches and seminars will help you understand, but the real source of knowledge is a product reseller who knows their product(s) well and knows how its capabilities can help you succeed.
Identify resellers of products that might be of interest. Do so early in your project. Ask for their assistance in your quest for knowledge. If a reseller wants to just sell you software, move on. However if the reseller wants to help you understand, that’s the firm you need to be working with. The reseller from whom you decide to purchase CRM software must become your valued business partner and virtually a member of your business family.
For more information about CRM software and the software selection process contact the experts Censeo Computing. You can call me (yes I answer my phone) at +41 79835 7401 or email me email@example.com
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