5 things to remember when setting up a CRM platform

Oliver Matejka spoke to Jade Winters, group marketing manager at DMC Software and Luke Hughes, co-founder of Origym, to narrow down the five most important things to consider when setting up a CRM system

A customer relationship management (CRM) system is arguably the most important tool in a marketer’s tech stack. Due to this significance, implementation can’t be undertaken lightly – rig up the wrong one and you’re in for a lot of hassle; bodge together the right one and the result will be similar. Get it right, though, and you’ll realise why Salesforce Tower is as grand as it is. 

1. Do the research

Before anything, thoroughly consider the role it will play in all areas of the organisation. Why does your business need it? What do you expect it to do? Do you want it on-premise or in the cloud? Will you require industry specific features? And what other resources – such as MA – will you need to integrate it with? Asking these questions early could save a lot of time later on.

2. Communicate your goals

Just because you understand the significance of customer centricity doesn’t mean the wider organisation does. Unless you communicate your vision – and why CRM is an integral part of it – assume no one else will realise its value. Demonstrate how the plan is in line with existing business objectives and expectations – try to ensure there are no grey areas and everyone understands what's required of them.

3. Get buy in (from everyone)

As touched upon above, when it comes to CRM projects it’s imperative to consult the people that'll be using it. But it might not be sufficient to simply explain the benefits for the wider business. Instead, tailor them to the individual. They'll be able to tell you what needs changing in your existing system, enabling you to shape a solution that helps them to be more effective, while achieving the broader business objectives. What’s more, involving others early on will give them a vested interest in the success of the project.

4. Appoint CRM champions

A CRM champion is a designated team member assigned to help drive your CRM project by assisting with the setting up and onboarding of other users. Select people who work closely with other users – this will help you to increase engagement and share information. It’s also a good idea to have a champion from each department involved, as they'll be able to provide representative feedback and aid their colleagues.

5. Reinforce (reinforce, reinforce)

Unfortunately, the hard work doesn’t stop when the new CRM system has been implemented and its users have been educated. Keeping everyone on board means reinforcing the new culture – managers need to lead by example, and KPIs should reflect goals. It’s even worth considering introducing incentives, with a view to stimulate competition and celebrate accomplishments which will in turn spread the word of your success.

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