Best practices for a successful CRM software implementation

Published on 28/06/2019 by Sonia Navarrete

Implementing CRM software can be one of the most important decisions a company makes during its lifetime. At present, more than half of British SMEs (55%) invest in new technologies and, according to Gartner, the global spend of CRM software grew 15.6% last year compared to previous years.

Thirty percent of small businesses are still using spreadsheets instead of considering a CRM tool as part of their strategy. They could miss out on the opportunity to improve the way they engage with customers and make it difficult for them to stay ahead of the competition and focus on long term business growth.

Best practices to implement crm software

A CRM solution should be regarded as a business decision, not just an IT one. A successful CRM implementation should take into consideration the wider business context, not just the tool’s functionalities. 

As mentioned previously, benefits of implementing CRM software include saving time and speeding up processes, reducing costs, and increased productivity due to a streamlined process.  

There is a broad offering of CRM software in the UK market, with solutions for almost every need. However, market fragmentation may be overwhelming for the person responsible for making the decision.

With so many options to choose from, it is important to consider the key features required in the software that would help achieve your goals and drive the best results for the company. 

In this post we’ll look at three things to consider when looking to implement CRM software: the business problem, usability, and staff engagement.

best practices to implement crm systems
Infographic: Best Practices When Implementing CRM Software

Define the business problem

The first and perhaps most important question to ask is: what problem is this software trying to solve? For example, if the focus is to reduce the time spent on updating spreadsheets or to increase task visibility for the team, the solution would be to look for software that helps streamline these processes. 

Ease of use

Usability is defined as “the degree of ease with which products such as software and web applications can be used to achieve required goals effectively and efficiently.” For a CRM tool to be successfully implemented, it needs to be easy to navigate by users.

When looking at ease of use, there are three features to look out for: simplicity, integration, and speed. The application should be easy to navigate and not cumbersome, otherwise it’s not worth your time.

Another key feature is integration: looking at how the application integrates with existing software or tools. An example of this would be users having to switch between programs when exporting or importing files or data.

The last feature, speed, is also linked to the previous one. An application that doesn’t respond fast may slow employees down and potentially not be used.

Make sure that staff is involved

Every CRM strategy needs to have the buy-in from employees, otherwise you may be faced with resistance from your staff. Involving them from the beginning of the project through training and providing access to resources is a good way to ensure they’re engaged during the roll out and implementation.

Things to consider when choosing a CRM software strategy

We’ve seen that implementing CRM software should be considered a key strategic decision that should be carefully planned. Not choosing the correct solution could have negative consequences for your company such as revenue and client loss.  

Businesses need to do due diligence and consider factors beyond the tool such as business context for the software, ease of use and employee engagement. These factors are key to ensure that the CRM tool integrates into the business, helping it tackle a problem and encouraging its growth. 

For more information on CRM software, visit our CRM software listing to find out the options that Capterra offers to small business owners.