How to successfully implement a CRM system?

Poor project management, resistance to change, difficulties in choosing the right solution, and more. Companies face numerous challenges during the implementation of a CRM tool. So, how do you successfully implement your CRM software? And where do you start?

Lemon Learning explains how to implement a CRM system in 6 steps.

What are the challenges companies face when implementing a CRM system?

Your marketing efficiency and sales performance. That is what you have to gain or lose by successfully implementing your CRM solution within your company. But what exactly do we mean by “successfully implementing a CRM”?

A successful CRM implementation is first and foremost software that is well adopted by the sales and marketing teams.

According to CSO Insights, 43% of CRM software users use less than half of the functionalities available in their CRM. Prospecting, customer relationship management, marketing operations… 

Many end users aren’t using their CRM to its full potential, while others use it badly. Whether it’s forgetting to pool customer data or incorrectly filling in a sales opportunity, certain errors can have major consequences on your marketing and sales actions (loss of leads, poor customer management, etc.).

So, how can you help your sales and marketing teams get to grips with their CRM system? How can you ensure a successful CRM implementation across the board?

1. Draw up an inventory

What if you started by taking stock of your situation? To implement a CRM system, it is fundamental to start by identifying your initial situation, the reasons why you want to implement a CRM system, and the objectives of the deployment. To do so, start by asking the right questions.

  • Why do you want to implement CRM software?
  • What is the main need for the deployment?
  • Who are the employees concerned about the implementation of the CRM solution?
  • What is the biggest challenge of the deployment?
  • What will make your CRM project sustainable?

These questions will not only allow you to implement a CRM system that is adapted to your needs, but also encourage its adoption among your employees.

🍋 Lemon Learning tip: involve all stakeholders

Implementing a CRM without involving the different stakeholders? Big mistake. To ensure the success of your CRM implementation, it is essential to involve all possible stakeholders involved in the project. So who should you start with? 

  • Your CRM Manager: To ensure the project runs smoothly, it is best to appoint at least one person to be in charge of the CRM implementation. This person will be responsible for the smooth running of the CRM project from A to Z (CRM specifications, change management, deployment of the tool, adoption by end users). They can also surround themselves with other collaborators with complementary skills to form a CRM project team. 
  • Your management: Involving management is essential for successful CRM implementation. it creates a support system and leadership advocacy from the beginning of the project. 
  • Your end users: are your most precious allies because they hold the key to software adoption: buy-in. Without them, it will be impossible to succeed in the accession.

2. Select a CRM solution best suited for your needs

Once you have taken stock of the situation, you have all the keys in hand to choose the CRM solution best suited to your needs. Although SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, and Oracle are well-known CRM publishers, it doesn’t make them the best for your business. 

During your research, keep in mind that the most suitable solution will be the one that allows you to meet the marketing and sales challenges you face. To choose the best CRM system for your company, you can rely on the following criteria:  

  • the fit of the CRM price with your budget 
  • the ease of integration, deployment, and use of the CRM 
  • the relevance of the functionalities for your users and the company
  • the level of technical support offered
  • the scalability of the CRM offer (concerning your growth)
  • the geographical coverage of the offer
  • customer reviews

These simple criteria will allow you to choose the most relevant software among the multitude of CRM solutions.

3. Communicate throughout your CRM project

Do you want to successfully implement your CRM system? Then communicate!

The use of a new work tool is a significant change in the daily life of employees. And for good reason, it is often followed by new features (task automation, data centralization, etc.) and process changes (sales process, marketing campaign management process, etc.).

If poorly managed, this change can end in failure, generating budgetary, technical, and human costs. So how do you go about it? It’s simple: communicate with the different actors involved in the project (management, employees). To do this, you can explain the reasons for the change, the nature of the change, as well as the progress of the project, and its benefits. Here are a few questions that can help you do this concretely.

  • What are the reasons for implementing a CRM system in your organization?
  • Which departments are concerned about the implementation of this new customer relationship management (CRM) tool?
  • How will the implementation of CRM be carried out in concrete terms (implementation, training, transition to CRM)?
  • What do your teams have to gain?
  • If it is a significant change in the daily life of employees, the implementation of your CRM is far from being the last change, especially in terms of digital tools. So how do you foster long-term CRM adoption?

🍋 Lemon Learning tip: make room for digital culture.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to digital transformation projects, it is more than applicable.

The reason? If your organization is on its way to digital transformation, this transformation is far from over. You need to support the change in the long term. And for that, nothing is better than establishing a digital culture within your company.

The objective? Demystify digital by placing it at the heart of the corporate culture. By being aware of digital technology and having more contact with it, employees will be less apprehensive about it and will therefore show less resistance when implementing new digital tools.

4. Deploy your CRM

Finally, here we are… deployment! Now the inventory is done it should be easier to select the most suitable CRM and communicate effectively. But how to proceed? 

  • Set up your CRM: adjust your solution so that it responds precisely to the problems identified during your assessment. 
  • Test your CRM: test and adjust your software to make it as effective as possible from the moment of deployment.
  • Deploy your CRM: deploy your solution, you can do it in batches to avoid major blockages. Once your CRM is deployed, ensure application support to constantly optimize your solution. 

🍋 Lemon Learning tip: switch to embedded CRM support

With Lemon Learning, there’s no need to separate IT support from your CRM. Directly integrated into your solution, application support is accessible in real-time! No need to leave your tool to learn about CRM features such as contact management, segmentation, mailing, automation, analytics, etc. Your users are guided step by step in the use of their tool, in real-time! 

The result? Your support decreases, as do your costs, your employees master the CRM more easily and each one can concentrate on the most important tasks of their job.

5. Train your users to CRM

CRM training, did you say CRM training? Once you have done your assessment, communicated, chosen the most suitable solution, and deployed your CRM, it is time to move on to training. This is a particularly important step since it directly affects CRM adoption. So how do you go about it properly?

🍋 Lemon Learning tip: switch to micro learning

Say hello to micro learning! This training device allows you to deliver short training sessions (3 minutes maximum) through interactive guides. Learn how to create a new lead on Salesforce, manage bookmarks on Oracle, or generate a quote on SAP, from your CRM. 

The big plus? Real-time accessibility! With Lemon Learning’s embedded support, your employees can learn at any time. 

The result? Your support decreases, as do your costs, your employees master the CRM more easily and each one can concentrate on the most important tasks of their job.

6. Measure and adjust

Setting up a CRM software is good, setting up a CRM and measuring its ROI is better. When you say ROI, you say performance indicators. To start, here are some indicators that will help you measure the adoption of your CRM and its effectiveness.

  • User satisfaction.
  • Reactivity of the sales team. 
  • The number of complaints.
  • The number of visits.
  • CRM data errors.

After identifying your performance indicators, you can collect and analyze your CRM data to measure and adjust. Because if ROI allows you to measure the effectiveness of your CRM implementation, it should also help you make any necessary adjustments to remain in line with the needs of your company and your employees.

🍋 Lemon Learning tip: measure your ROI differently

Thanks to Learning Analytics, you have a real strategic lever. The principle? Your CRM creates a lot of data that you can rely on to make decisions. At Lemon Learning, we have developed a statistical feature that allows you to take advantage of Learning Analytics.  

From the user path to the consultation rate of interactive guides, including the most consulted formats (text, PDF, video), CRM deployment won’t hold any mysteries. And for good reason: you can collect, analyze and make choices that will promote digital adoption, optimization, and sustainability of your CRM.

How to successfully implement a CRM, in short

You now have all the keys in hand to successfully implement your CRM.

  1. Draw up an inventory
  2. Choose the most appropriate CRM solution.
  3. Communicate with stakeholders.
  4. Deploy the CRM.
  5. Train end-users on the CRM.
  6. ROI measurement and adjustment. 

Remember that the success of your CRM project lies in its adoption by end users. This is how you will help your teams focus on high-value-added tasks: personalization of marketing operations, sales force, and customer loyalty.

Do you want to promote the adoption of your CRM solution within your company? We would be delighted to help you with your challenges! Discover how our solution can accelerate the digital adoption of your CRM. 

Tags: CRM