• Technology

How to Make Your New CRM Project Successful

Scott Snowden
Scott Snowden
Business & Technology Strategy
Write to Scott

CRM tools like Salesforce can be extremely valuable and are completely customizable to your organization’s needs. However, a CRM tool is only useful if:

  • The data in the system is accurate
  • The tool is used properly

Most problems occur in the implementation phase, when an organization is adopting a new CRM tool and does not properly integrate it into their existing sales process.

To help make your new CRM project successful, here are three key principles we often share with our clients.

1. Process First. Tool Second.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is adopting a CRM without reflecting on your current sales process. It’s important to take everything into consideration; what’s working, what isn’t, what you want to achieve. It is also important to have documentation about that process to support the implementation.

Often, this goes one of two ways. Some organizations have an existing sales process but recognize that it needs some refinements before they jump right into adopting a powerful tool like Salesforce. Flywheel can help here. We perform a discovery phase to help understand your organization’s sales process, ensure it is accurately documented, and apply what we learn to the customization of the CRM tool.

For organizations without a preexisting sales process, it is okay to start with what’s available out of the box, provided that you don’t just “turn it on a dive in”. You still need to know the sales process that you will need follow to make the tool effective. CRM tools have many valuable pre-set functions that are based on best practices and used by other organizations for good reasons. Flywheel can help establish a framework for you, but you should be prepared to refine and reiterate as you go along.

2. Implement Your CRM Tool with a Sales-Team First Approach

There are always two primary users of a CRM tool:

  1. Your sales team, who use the CRM on a frequent, daily basis.
  2. Your executive or management team, who want access to performance data.

Even when the executive team initiates a new CRM project, if the implementation happens without a sales-team first approach, success is unlikely.

During the implementation phase, the goal should be to make adoption as effortless (and even as enjoyable) as possible for your sales team. CRM tools are complex, and the last thing you want are roadblocks to productivity. The most important thing you can do is to ensure your CRM is engineered to make routine functions easier for your sales team. If that’s done right, presenting data to your executive team will come naturally.

3. Designate an Internal Champion

Once your CRM tool has been successfully implemented and launched, you will need to assign an internal champion or change manager to oversee the evolution of the tool. Not only will this person guide new users, but they will also validate further customizations, introduce new workflows, and ensure process documents are up-to-date. The internal champion will be able to understand how all departments throughout your organization are using the CRM at a higher level, allowing them to improve overall efficiency as your needs develop.

In several occasions, Flywheel has been hired to take stock and clean up a CRM that has been modified by too many people, without a proper accounting of what each system change was meant to do.

Getting started with a CRM doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s about finding the right balance between understanding your sales process and mastering the CRM tool itself. To avoid adoption and data quality challenges down the road, you must be prepared to put in the work during the implementation phase and designate an internal champion to guide your team.

For more information on launching a successful CRM project, feel free to send me an email- we’re here to help!

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