By Jasraj Sandhu, Senior Business Analyst, and Prethiba Esvary, Marketing and Communications Executive, Lava Protocols

What’s worse than not getting what you paid for is an implementation failure.

Yes, we all know that having a great CRM system can minimise manual work, save you time and resources, and ultimately boost your productivity and revenue. But you don’t want to risk having a failed CRM implementation and end up having to pay for a CRM replacement cost!

It is therefore imperative that you know what you are getting your business into. Based on our decade long experience in working with customers across various industries, we came up with a list of 7 things to consider before getting a CRM system. Check it out:

 

1. Identify the Business Need

What is the problem that you want to resolve within your business?

Is it a sales/ marketing/ customer service (for example) need? If it is sales, be specific about which area within sales can be improved with a CRM. Some examples include:  

  • Lead and opportunity management
  • Sales forecasting
  • Reporting

Also think about how this can effectively help in as many business areas as possible.

 

2. Look at Your Processes

Think about your current processes and how will the CRM system fit into this. Which part of your processes need to change before you implement the CRM system?

Bear in mind that implementing a new system throughout the organisation means that some, if not, all departments will have to adapt to changes, both in terms of systems as well as (possibly) processes. Data migration and user adoption (training and learning) process are some of the things to pay attention to.  

Related: What You Need to Know about Security Before Migrating to the Cloud

 

3. Determine the Return on Investment (ROI)

Next, you ought to be thinking about the following:

  • By when do you expect the whole team/ company to be fully utilising the system
  • What is the projected revenue you are expecting to see and by when
  • What is the projected customer retention rates you are expecting to see and by when

4. Know That It Takes Time

A CRM system has a lot of features and the best approach is to do a step-by-step/ gradual implementation process. If your company intends to roll it out to more than one department, test out the system with one department first.

That way, you are giving employees time to explore and understand the system functionalities, and to see if it fits in nicely with your business process. After all, you would want a system that can simplify your processes rather than complicate it.

 

5. Does It Have Integration Capabilities?

We recommend you get a system that can be integrated/ connected to existing and back office systems such as your ERP software, accounting system, and online payment gateway.

Questions you should be asking are:

  • How robust is the CRM system’s API?
  • Does it meet well-known industry API standards such as SOAP and REST?

CRM systems like Salesforce have various readily available connectors that can help with this. What’s great is that they take an API-first approach when building features on their platform. Your developers can therefore “manipulate your data however you want”.

Want to know more about Salesforce? Read this case study.

 

 

6. Is It Accessible?

If you read our previous article, you’ll know that having a CRM system which is accessible anytime and anywhere is key to your team’s productivity. If the system allows you to do the following on both desktop and mobile, you’re good:

  • Putting up sales figures
  • Collaborating instantly
  • Quick access to customer accounts and contacts
  • Organising tasks and cases
  • Tracking leads

 

7. Get the Right People to Implement It for You

It is important to note that off-the-shelf products won’t necessarily work for all businesses. Each business is unique and will require some degree of customisation and there usually isn’t a one-size-fits-all magic bullet.

When looking for the right vendor, find out:

  • The experience and knowledge they have about your industry
  • Clients they have worked with
  • Go through their customer success stories
  • The extent of their services

 

If you’re looking for a vendor to implement a CRM system for you/ perhaps you need a solution which does not exist in the market, fret not. We can build something from scratch for you too. Email us at asklava@lavaprotocols.com or call +603 7885 9720 to speak to one of our consultants.     

Already have CRM? Go through this checklist to ensure that your CRM system is optimising your business processes, and not vice versa.

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