Launching a CRM is no small project, it demands time and money, requiring full attention from upper management. The CRM Go Live date is a big day for an organisation and if managed correctly it will quickly transform your processes and drive productivity, enabling you to deliver better services. We've picked a few pointers that will help you manage this challenging period. Hopefully, this article can prevent teething problems that can cost you dearly.
Plan plan plan!
Planning months in advance will put you in a good position. You wouldn’t launch a flagship product or a new business process without research, consultation and testing so don’t push a CRM to live without a timeline in place. Set milestones on what you want to achieve and when and consider how long each phase should reasonably take.
Are your users trained?
When launch day is looming, and you are reviewing your business processes, user roles, fixing bugs and examining other technical issues, remember not to overlook one of the most important aspects when you have launched – Training. It’s easy to overlook but this is where mistakes creep in and user adoption can be dramatically increased. When your CRM has gone live, continuously review to see if your departments understand the solution and their role within it.
Ideally, try to plan for users to train on the system in the beta stage, that way they report feedback and find issues before launch.
But whatever you do, do not cut corners with training, It will hurt you in the long run.
Monitor the system regularly
You will likely face many unexpected bumps in the road during the first few weeks of launch. Monitoring the system's health regularly such as reviewing hardware usage (CPU, memory, storage availability) is important as it can bring your CRM quickly to a halt if suddenly many users are utilising CRMs functions. It’s important to examine connectivity and preventing any network issues if you are on-premise, make sure your firewall systems are configured correctly to enable CRM.
Lastly, we would strongly suggest having a consultant at hand to monitor error logs and be available to receive feedback, so you can quickly resolve any issues that have cropped up in the launch process.
Keep a partner on standby
Having a credited CRM partner to guide you through the process gives you the peace of mind that should issue happen when you’ve launched, you have a technical support team who can fix solutions quicker than you could on your own, and with all things in business, time is money.
Don’t forget to test!
Hopefully, your organisation has carried out rigorous testing and auditing of all the facilities, processes, data fields, reporting before the launch of the CRM. We would also suggest you continue to test it in the first weeks after launch. Configurations can change when the beta is switched to live, potentially causing issues that would not have appeared in the test.
Build an improvement plan
When you have launched your CRM, look at ways you can refine your business processes and data collection. CRM software is an ongoing and evolving project and needs to be continuously reviewed to further improve productivity and creating efficiencies. Review the scope for the next phase of development and prioritise what needs to be changed to better meet the needs of your organisation.
We hope this helps. Our biggest recommendation is to not skip any corners. Listen and trust your CRM partners who have experience in dealing with complex issues and when presented with difficult issues, be prepared to make bold decisions in dealing
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