Top 10 Things to do Before Implementing a CRM for Your Small Business
As a small business owner, you know that the most major key to survival is maintaining your current customer base as well as growing it. Customer loyalty is unquestionably vital, and implementing a customer relationship management system (CRM) can be greatly beneficial in achieving that goal. Here are 10 things you should do before choosing and implementing such a system.
Have Clear Goals
Before you get a CRM and put it in place, look at how other companies like yours fared with using one, and have clear goals as to what customers you are looking to get and how you will achieve that end.
Examine CRM’s Closely
You can always talk to others in your same industry and find out what CRM your colleagues use. From there, investigate each of your possible choices, not only from the vendor’s website, but via other sources that are more likely to be objective.
The CRM you are considering should be able to integrate with the applications you are using. Talk to the vendors of the CRM’s you are looking at if it does not clearly state compatibility.
Talk to Someone You Trust
Find someone who has experience with CRM’s and is someone you trust and ask for their advice.
Get the Necessary Things
Features are great, but why get a CRM with a bunch of features that you do not need? The system needs to work for your business goals and have necessary features, not a bunch of bells and whistles that complicate things.
Find an Adjustable CRM
If a CRM cannot be customized, it is not very useful now, is it? You may want to do new or different things as your business grows, so you need a system that can be customized rather than having spent all that money on a CRM only to outgrow it within a year or two and have to put out the expense of getting another one.
Be Fully Immersed
You are not the only one who will be using the CRM. Your staff will be using it to, and if you are not fully involved, then neither will those who will be using it most. Additionally, you need to get opinions and feedback from those that will be using the system so they are more likely to be on board with using it. If you find it will make your staff’s job more difficult to use the system you are considering, going ahead with it will create unnecessary problems down the road.
Organize Your Data
Having all of your data cleaned up and organized before you implement your CRM and enter the data into it will save a lot of headaches.
Know Your Success Criteria
Knowing whether your CRM was successful or not depends on the criteria you use to measure it. Make sure you set a realistic time frame for your investment to pay off.
Review Your System
As your goals are realized and you set new ones, you need to evaluate your CRM system and make necessary adjustments.