B2B companies have different approaches in implementing their CRM programs for better sales efficiency. Often, however, there is always a possibility of committing costly mistakes.
In an excerpt from his interesting articles in B2BMarketing.net, IT professional Rick Lyle has listed some pointers on identifying and correcting these common CRM mistakes.
1. Levelled By Legacy
CRM offers companies access to a vast range of new tools and skill sets, but old systems must work hand-in-hand with any new CRM platform.
The trouble is, is that some companies aren’t ensuring that the new and old systems have ‘tied the knot’. To ensure they don’t end up in the divorce courts:
a. Do a company-wide IT survey and learn how existing systems can be mated with the new CRM system.
Or at least be in a position to work together before the legacy system is phased out.
b. Do understand the impact that CRM will have on your entire IT structure – or you could pay dearly later.
c. Don’t jump in both feet first; run a pilot programme before full rollout so you can test that the new and the old will work together.
d. And most importantly, don’t simply migrate the data from your legacy system carte blanche, or else you could end up with…
2. Dirty Data
Ensure your database has been cleaned before you introduce the CRM solution. All entries should be standardised and any discrepancies dealt with.
These can include dealing with double entries, missing fields, gone-aways and non-compliant data. Remember – a CRM system is only as good as the data that’s fed into it.
3. Trials of the Unexpected
A company can change overnight; it may merge, be acquired, a department outsourced or a key stakeholder may be replaced.
Rolling out a CRM system needs to take such potential changes into account, so ensure you have the right budget and schedule contingency plan in place.
4. Those Damn Damning Doomsayers
To ensure that CRM is successful, it has to be embraced by everyone in the company:
a. The C-Suite needs to be on board – executive sponsorship is vital to promoting the new system across the company.
b. A CRM advocate is required from a department – say, the marketing manager – who can show results quickly and prove to other departments that CRM works.
c. A full training programme must be rolled out for all employees so they can grasp CRM’s benefits immediately.
5. DIY Disaster
The idea of carrying out a CRM implementation in-house might sound appealing – even cost effective. A CRM implementation is, however, a big job.
- It needs specialists who can:
- Help design and implement the CRM system.
- Provide that all-important training to employees.
- Aid in legacy system migration and management.
- Offer support during and after the implementation process.
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