Sonoma Partners Microsoft CRM and Salesforce Blog

Cover the Bases of a Successful CRM Deployment

Today’s blog post was written by Kayla Silverstein, Marketing Specialist at Sonoma Partners.

We’ve seen customer relationship management (CRM) help organizations improve sales teams’ productivity, increase revenue, and optimize their business processes. Are you looking to invest in a tool that can transform your sales organization?

Here are a few tips to help you cover the bases of a successful CRM deployment.

Hit 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and make the dash to home to get a better sense of what you should be considering when investing in a new – or updating an existing – CRM system.

1. The Platform

Are you interested in a platform that can benefit all areas of your business? We suggest turning to the key market leaders, Microsoft and Salesforce. As you evaluate platforms don’t get distracted by impressive lists of feature/functions. At the end of the day, Microsoft and Salesforce are powerful tools that can be customized to meet your organization’s unique needs. Instead of conducting the evaluation based on features, spend your time looking at the systems your organization already uses. What integrations do you need to connect different aspects of your business? Which platform is best positioned to make these integrations as seamless as possible?

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Pro-tip: We highly discourage you from building your own platform, a.k.a. a Homegrown CRM system. Microsoft and Salesforce are market-leaders for a reason. They come with next-level enhancements, support blogs, customer forums, frequent updates, and so much more. Save yourself the headache of having to make adjustments and conduct maintenance all by your lonesome. Rely on your teammates at Microsoft or Salesforce instead.

2. Executive Buy-In

 The success of your CRM lies in the hands of your leadership. Getting executive buy-in at the beginning of your CRM journey is crucial to garnering meaningful end user adoption. The leaders at your organization need to actively use CRM and support change management and user adoption programs in order to make a serious and lasting impact on your users.

3. Scalability

Customer relationship management is not just a deployment, or a project. It’s a never-ending, ongoing program, and your system needs to grow as you do. As you optimize your business processes, your solution needs to adjust and evolve. It’s critical to view the initial deployment as just one piece of the bigger picture you need to get the 360-degree view of your clients that you want.

4. The Partner

Slide into home with an implementation partner that can help you achieve your CRM goals. When selecting an implementation partner, it’s important to make sure they understand your business. Which industries do they specialize in? Do you resonate with their case studies? If you’re interesting in getting a general feel for the organization, try to attend an in-person event or demo.

Different partners have different methods for implementation. What model does this particular organization follow? Do they have a strategy for change management and user adoption? Set yourself up for success by doing your research prior to investing in a partner who can truly make – or break – your implementation.

A poorly implemented system can go stale quickly when users are not committed, or motivated, to logging information within the system. With a failed partnership, you’ll find yourself entering the selection process all over again, and no reason to “fly the W” just yet.

Are you interested in getting started on a homerun of a deployment? We’d love to help! Fill out this brief form to contact us.

Topics: CRM Best Practices