When we refer to CRM strategy at Tour de Force, we are not referring to the strategy of implementing CRM software. Instead, we are referring to the strategy that defines how your organization will manage your relationships with customers, prospects, vendors, and suppliers. Once your organization defines this strategy, software can be used to manage and drive those processes.
Projects that do address these fundamental areas do so by developing a focused strategy. They identify what business intelligence is needed and which processes can be improved by technology, and then configure the systems to accomplish these objectives. They focus resources on targeted improvements that will lead to increased productivity and business process enhancements.
1. Failing to provide immediate value to the sales force.
A CRM system must provide value to your sales team. If they view the system as a data entry tool and it provides no immediate value, they will not use the system and the implementation will fail.
2. Not identifying all of the business processes that impact customer relationships.
Before implementing a CRM software solution, you need to define your CRM strategy. What are the business processes that impact your customer relationships and how can you use software to manage those touch points?
3. Not setting clear goals to accomplish or defining metrics for success.
What are your goals for your CRM implementation? What do you define as success? What is your timeline for determining if the project is successful? Without a plan, your implementation is destined to fail.
4. Letting IT take the lead on the CRM project.
While IT plays an important role in a CRM implementation, they should not have the lead role. A successful CRM implementation is led by someone within your organization who is familiar with your customer relationship management strategy, such as a sales or marketing leader.
5. Failing to build a customer data integration strategy.
Implementing software applications that are unable to communicate with each other creates islands of data, which diminishes effective communication and reduces efficiencies with your organization. Your goal should be to centralize customer data, not to compartmentalize it.
A large percent of CRM projects fail each year, leading people to believe that success in a Customer Relationship Management software implementation is unattainable. At Tour de Force, we have a 98% customer retention rate, proving that success is attainable.
A successful CRM implementation can generate substantial returns. Payback within months and Return on Investment (ROI) of more than 100% is by no means impossible. This cannot be accomplished, however, in an implementation that focuses on a set of generic best practices, or with a system that cannot be configured to match your specific business processes.
When developing your CRM strategy you need to consider the functions of your existing ERP system. Most organizations already utilize an ERP or accounting business system to manage Accounting/AR/AP, Purchasing/Procurement/Production, Receiving, Inventory Management, Order Management, and Shipping.
Organizations have typically invested over the years in adopting these solutions and maximizing the efficiency of how they are using these systems to have the most positive impact on their customer relationships.
ERP Systems – Who works here?
When developing your CRM strategy, you also need to consider the functions of the existing systems that your sales force is already using. It’s important to make sure that your CRM system includes sales force automation in order to provide all of the features and functionality necessary for a sales person to manage and perform their job, while also minimizing the need for that sales person to jump back and forth between multiple applications throughout the course of their workday.
A Sales Force typically utilizes Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, Microsoft Word documents, and Microsoft Outlook for Email, along with other independent access databases, to manage all of the different areas of their job that ultimately involve contact with a Customer or Prospect. Whether it’s the Annual Sales Planning Process, Project Management, Opportunity Management, Call Reporting, Email Management, Support/Case Management, Expense Reporting, Sales Reporting, or Marketing Management, a sales person typically has to access many independent programs or data sources to perform their job. They are seldom able to communicate or build off of a centralized database of information.
Sales Force Systems – Who works here?
4 Key Steps