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Steps to Create a CRM Implementation Plan – How To Get Going QUICKLY

Author: ClaritysoftUploaded: 06/04/2018

Find it, buy it and install it. Unfortunately, implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system is not that simple.


A CRM system enables success in managing customer relationships, but it does not guarantee it. In fact, according to research shared in The Secret to Achieving CRM Success, many CRM initiatives fail.


To develop a CRM implementation plan and ensure your initiative achieves the desired results, follow these ten steps:


#1 Create a Cross Functional Team

CRM affects several departments: sales, marketing and customer service. So, for a successful implementation, you need associations from each of these specialties on a cross-functional team to spearhead the CRM plan. Also, you’ll need the technical gurus who know how to work their magic with people, processes and systems.


#2 Find a Champion

Implementing a CRM solution is a project that could have a significant positive impact on your company’s profitability. However, it will require time, resources and budget. As such, you will need a project champion from your executive team. This individual will:


Serve as a liaison with other top managers, escalating issues as necessary.

Help resolve any internal conflicts with the implementation team.

Offer advice based on the company’s strategic goals and vision.

Secure funding and resources as necessary to keep the project rolling.

#3 Appoint a Project Manager

You need a project manager to schedule and coordinate the day-to-day details of the CRM implementation. He or she:


Works with the team to define a project schedule and realistic go-live date.

Ensures tasks are handled on time and within budget.

Facilitates collaboration and communication.

#4 Identify Goals

A soccer player would not be able to score a goal unless they could identify the goal posts. The same is true in CRM. If you haven’t defined your CRM goals, you cannot achieve them. So, make sure you start with specific, measurable objectives based on input from the cross-functional team and other key stakeholders.


Through open discussion, unearth the problems that need to be solved and determine which problem resolutions to include in your goals. For example, is it taking too long to answer customers’ questions? Are customers on hold for lengthy periods? Is follow-up with prospects sporadic and ineffective? All these issues likely affect customer satisfaction and company profitability.


#5 Prioritize Goals

When the team meets, you’ll probably discover a long list of problems and everyone has their pet issue. You cannot conquer everything at once, so you need to prioritize. Ask the team members “what happens if we do or don’t solve this problem immediately?” Then determine which problems to solve first based on which will have the biggest impact.


Also, look for the low hanging fruit. Some problems may not have a huge impact, but if they are easy to resolve, you may as well take care of them.


#6 Determine How Your Sales Team Will Use CRM

CRM systematizes processes. To do that, processes need to exist. Many companies, however, have not defined their processes well. Also, since processes often develop reactively rather than proactively, they are sometimes not as efficient as they should be.


Review, define and refine your sales processes before automating them using CRM. Map out exactly how you’ll:


Manage leads and opportunities.

Generate quotes and follow up on them.

Use the CRM system for forecasting.

These are just a few of the many processes you will need to define.


#7 Define Data Requirements

Your CRM system will only be as robust as the data it holds. Decide what information you want to gather about companies, accounts and contacts. Some data is necessary contact information, but you may also want to collect data on industries, revenues, the number of employees and more.


Once you’ve defined your requirements, you’ll likely need to clean up and append your existing data as well.


#8 Decide on Integrations

Since you’re already using programs to handle other areas of the business, you’ll want to integrate some of them into your CRM system such as:




Enterprise resource planning  (ERP)

Make sure that whichever CRM solution you choose, it is compatible with necessary integrations.


#9 Build Required Reports

What gets measured gets managed. And CRM makes measurement easy, pulling all required numbers into reports.  Identify the reports management and users need up front, so they are ready when you launch the CRM system


Note: Reports help to reinforce good habits by highlighting successes and problems. Thus, defining them is essential to your CRM system’s success. For a list of the most popular reports, check out the blog, Top 20 Must-Have CRM Reports.


#10 Conduct User Tests and Training

CRM technology gives a company the competitive edge, increasing efficiency and performance. However, the technology alone cannot do this. Your business’ associates need to adopt the CRM system rapidly and eagerly. To ensure rapid adoption, test the CRM system with users during the implementation process. Once launched, in-depth, accessible training and support has to be available to associates for your company to reap the rewards from the investment.


Claritysoft can help you to achieve success

with your CRM plan and implementation.

To learn more, contact us now.