How to successfully implement a CRM system?

Poor project management, resistance to change, difficulty 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 should 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?

The success of your company’s marketing and sales hinges on the effective implementation of your CRM solution. But what does it mean to “successfully implement 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… 

Let’s face it: not everyone is making the most of their CRM. Some end users don’t tap into its full potential, while others simply misuse it. And you know what? That can have serious repercussions on your marketing and sales efforts (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

Begin by assessing your current situation. When it comes to implementing a CRM system, it’s essential to understand where you stand. Take a moment to identify why you want to implement CRM software and what you hope to achieve with its deployment. Asking yourself the right questions is a great starting point.

  • Why do you need CRM software in the first place?
  • What is the primary goal of implementing CRM?
  • Which employees will be affected by the CRM solution?
  • What challenges might arise during the deployment?
  • How can you ensure the long-term success of your CRM project?

Asking these questions not only helps to gain clarity, but also sets the foundation for a successful CRM implementation. Let’s dive in.

🍋 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 to your needs

Once you’ve assessed the situation, it’s time to find the CRM solution that best suits your needs. While SAP, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, and Oracle are popular CRM providers, that doesn’t automatically mean they’re the right fit for your business.

When conducting your research, remember that the ideal solution is the one that helps you tackle your marketing and sales challenges head-on. To select the best CRM system for your company, consider the following criteria:

  • Price: Ensure that the CRM price aligns with your budget.
  • Integration and usability: Look for a CRM that is easy to integrate, deploy, and use effectively.
  • Functionality: Assess how well the CRM’s features meet the needs of your users and your company.
  • Technical support: Evaluate the level of technical support offered by the CRM provider.
  • Scalability: Consider the CRM’s ability to accommodate your company’s growth.
  • Geographical coverage: Check if the CRM solution can cater to your geographical requirements.
  • Customer reviews: Take into account the experiences and feedback of other users.

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 a successful CRM system implementation? It all starts with effective communication!

Introducing a new work tool brings significant changes to employees’ daily routines. It often involves new features such as task automation and data centralization, as well as process modifications like sales process updates or marketing campaign management changes.

If this change is not handled well, it can lead to failure and result in financial, technical, and human costs. So, how can you ensure a smooth transition? It’s simple: communicate with the key stakeholders involved in the project, including management and employees. You can explain the reasons behind the change, the nature of the modifications, the project’s progress, and the benefits it brings. To help you with this, here are some practical questions to consider:

  • 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 complete, 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 needs decrease, leading to lower costs. Your employees can easily master the CRM, freeing up their time to focus on the most important tasks of their job.

5. Train your users in CRM

Did someone mention CRM training? Now that you’ve assessed, communicated, chosen the perfect solution, and successfully deployed your CRM, it’s time to focus on training. This step is crucial because it directly impacts CRM adoption. But how can you ensure effective training?

🍋 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

Learning Analytics is a game-changer for your CRM strategy! Here’s the deal: your CRM generates tons of valuable data that you can be leveraged to make informed decisions.

With Learning Analytics, you can unlock the secrets hidden in your CRM deployment. Get insights into user behavior, such as navigation paths and interaction rates, with our interactive guides. You can even find out which formats are most popular among your users, whether it’s text, PDF, or video content.

But here’s the best part: armed with this knowledge, you can make strategic choices to boost digital adoption, optimize your CRM usage, and ensure its long-term success. It’s like having a secret weapon in your arsenal!

So, get ready to harness the power of Learning Analytics and make data-driven decisions that take your CRM game to the next level. Let’s turn those CRM mysteries into triumphs!

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 change 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 end user adoption.

Looking 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