How to Sustain CRM Initiatives in a Growing Market

Nikunj Dudhat

Nikunj Dudhat

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: August 27, 2020

The major driving factor for ensuring the continued success and growth of any business organization is a deep, long-lasting relationship with its customers. The old saying “the customer is the king” still prevails and would continue till eternity.

That is why effective customer relationship management has been a significant area of focus for companies in recent years.

They leave no stones unturned to incorporate the best CRM initiatives into their business strategies to effectively manage customer demands, queries, or concerns with an aim to increase ROI and value additions.

Looking for CRM Software? Check out SoftwareSuggest’s list of the best CRM Software solutions.

However, despite heavy investment in capital infrastructure, database systems, software, and technologies, around 60-75% of the companies fail in devising a successful CRM initiative, which can stand the test of time in a constantly evolving market.

Why Do CRM Initiatives Fail?

Listed below are some of the top reasons why CRM initiatives fail despite companies investing fortunes on making the same work,

  • Vaguely defined objectives
  • Lack of proper strategic planning
  • Lack of training and support to employees
  • Change resistance and lack of adoption of the new system throughout the organization
  • Lack of staff with technical expertise.
  • CRM software not conforming to the type of business/industry or its objectives.

How to Sustain CRM Initiatives?

The path to every technology-related initiative is filled with roadblocks. You might have procured the best technology from the market and worked day and night to devise excellent CRM initiatives, yet you are sure to stumble on the road to implementation.

A few setbacks are bound to occur in complicated projects. Yet, some setbacks might prove quite dreadful for your business if not taken care of.

In this blog, we have explained some of the most useful tips to make sure your CRM initiatives survive in a rapidly growing market,

9 Important Tips to Sustain CRM Initiatives

1. Say Yes to Trials

Most software providers provide organizations with a free trial test before the final implementation. However, very small segments of companies avail this offer. Surely they have a justified reason to do so.

But trying out a small-scale version of the actual software provides the management with an extensive idea about the features of the products and the likely obstacles in its implementation.

Significant alterations can be carried out before commencing the implementation. These details form an important part of the pre-implementation stage and act as a roadmap for strategic planning.

2. Insights from Employees

Technology-related decisions are often finalized by the top management in consultation with the IT team. But a CRM initiative is not a technology-only solution.

Technology and software are just a means to achieve the desired end. CRM initiatives bring about a culture change in the organization, which directly and indirectly affects every employee especially the ones engaged in sales and marketing. They are the ones who will be the ultimate users of the software.

Hence, it is important to take into consideration their inputs in the planning stage. They may not have the technical expertise but they sure do know what works best in their day-to-day jobs and if their capabilities would justify the changes that are planned to be introduced. Having their say in decision-making would also make them welcoming towards the new changes.

3. Roll-out in Phases

Most CRM initiatives focus on working on every feature of the CRM software at one go. CRM management brings about a change in almost every function of a company, be it sales, finance, marketing, and so on. The focus should be on phasing out one feature/functionality at a time rather than throwing all at once on the staff. This gives users the required time to adopt a feature, become comfortable with it, and prepare themselves for the next move. 

4. Rational Technology Decisions

One of the biggest mistakes companies make in planning for a CRM initiative is to look at the technology first. Flashy things definitely seem appealing so as the case with technologies possessing new-age features and functionalities. But, all that glitters is not gold.

Don’t let your CRM initiative be driven by technology. Instead, it should be driven by the business problems you aim to address. Identifying the issues is a part of defining the objectives. Select the technology, which can best provide a solution to your problem.

The next thing to be considered while choosing a technology is if the employees will be comfortable using it. No wonder some features might be completely new, but an overall basic understanding is a prerequisite.

Also, Read: Reasons Why Your CRM Fails and How to Prevent It From Happening

5. Think Long Term

Thinking long-term is critical because CRM is not just about what you need today. You need to invest in a customized solution, which can meet your needs today and help in growing your business in the future.

Your CRM initiatives might demand certain crucial changes in the future, which could be related to the business processes, software interface, etc.

Your software system should allow you to make the required changes on its own without having to hire a professional to do the same.

6. A Customized Approach to Training and Support

CRM initiatives focus on applying the CRM strategies on different functions in an organization. Hence, a customized and unique training approach has to be undertaken to train employees engaged in different departments.

The sales team will need to be trained on processes to improve their closing rates, while the data team needs support on how to conduct proper research and dig out relevant data to learn customers’ interests and preferences.

Similarly, the marketing team needs to be trained in different aspects of marketing. Training and support are crucial for employees to adapt to the new processes and should be continued even after successful implementation to cope up with the changing technological trends.

Also, Read: Is it Time to Invest in a Real Estate CRM Software?

7. Keep Your IT Department on Loop and Constant Call

A rift between business users and the IT team of an organization is a common phenomenon. Both the parties seldom ride on the same boat. However, to sustain your CRM initiatives, effective coordination between the two is of paramount importance. The IT team should assist in the implementation process and provide the necessary training and support to employees.

8. Automate Processes

Focus on automating every process in the CRM system right from the beginning to the end. The workflow should be seamless to help users understand the next course of action without consulting anyone. Employees are more inclined to work towards a system that is easy to use because they love doing things on it.

9. Constant Inspection

CRM planning and implementation is an ongoing process. It needs to be in constant scrutiny of the management to ensure desired outcomes. There has to be some audit system in place to measure the progress against set metrics to determine how effectively it is contributing to value additions. Delay in taking appropriate steps to correct an inconsistency could prove to be quite expensive to manage.

Nikunj Dudhat
A digital marketing and content curator at SoftwareSuggest, a software recommendation platform. I am passionate about Digital Marketing, and all things digital. Also interested in technology and innovation. In my spare time, enjoy playing cricket, and Badminton.

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