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How to implement a CRM system into your company

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Anytime a new process or system is introduced in a company, it can lead to concerns on a variety of fronts. What is critical to success is a well-documented plan that identifies all that needs to be completed. Here are some suggestions on how to successfully implement a CRM system into your company.

First and foremost, it is important to have support from top-level management. A project of this magnitude needs buy-in on every level or else it is doomed to fail. The overall project and implementation will go a lot smoother with an executive sponsor who can help facilitate any pushback that may take place during the implementation.

Next, make sure you identify the key players on the implementation team. This should include an IT department representative, a project manager, a super-user, and a trainer, to name a few. The project manager will drive the project and be the “go-to” person anytime a question or issue arises. While many CRM systems work in a sales cloud, such as Salesforce, internal technology adjustments may still be required. The IT representative will work with the CRM company representatives to make sure any changes that are needed get completed in a timely manner. IT has a language all its own, so it is important to have someone on the team that can both understand and implement changes as needed. The super-user is an internal employee that is part project cheerleader and part techie. This person is very excited about the project and can help ease concerns that may come from other employees. They can also help as an on-site support person if someone is really stuck with the new system. Unlike the super-user, the trainer could be an employee or someone from the CRM company that will make sure all employees are properly trained in the new system so they are able to head back to their desks and work efficiently. The trainer, along with the super-user, will usually help smooth out the bumps and ease concerns that always happen in the early stages of a rollout.

A CRM system is not just a piece of software – for some companies, it can be a complete mindset change. This should have all been considered and discussed back before the CRM system was selected. It needs to be scalable, efficient, and most importantly, easy to use. When training takes place, it should not just focus on “button pushing,” but why utilizing a CRM can improve productivity, contact management, and sales opportunities. It is important employees understand why this system will help them do their job better. Ultimately, it will help ease any concerns they may have. Share success stories with the employees during the training and make it a positive experience.

By taking the “human factor” into account during the CRM rollout, there will be a higher chance of employee buy-in and ultimate success.

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