Building a CRM solution fit for purpose can be one of the most challenging tasks for a business. The capability able to deliver a system that has buy-in from across the whole organisation and meets the needs of the company is hugely rewarding in the long-term. A Fit for purpose CRM system delivers tangible benefits such as a more productive workforce, improved processes, enhanced collaboration and communication, and visibility and ultimately facilitates long-term profitability. To achieve these benefits, organisations need to embark on a CRM project that can be challenging, however, clear objectives and disciplined project management can enable you to overcome this hurdle. We've put together some of the key ways to keep your CRM project on the right path and have a successful solution that enables you to reach your strategic objectives.
Clear goals and objectives
Defining clear goals and objectives for the CRM development process is essential. This may involve identifying specific business problems that the CRM system is meant to solve, such as improving customer service, streamlining sales processes, or gaining a deeper understanding of customer behaviour. The goals and objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). In addition to identifying the overall goals of the CRM system, it's also important to identify the specific features and functions that will be required to achieve those goals. This may involve conducting a needs assessment or gathering requirements from key stakeholders. Having a clear understanding of the goals and objectives will help to guide the development process and ensure that the final product meets the needs of the business.
Involvement of key stakeholders
It's important to involve key stakeholders in the CRM development process to ensure that the final product meets the needs of different departments and teams. This may include sales, marketing, customer service, and IT teams. Engaging with these stakeholders early on in the process can help to identify their needs and ensure that they are incorporated into the final product. It's also important to ensure that there is clear communication and collaboration among the various stakeholders throughout the development process. This may involve regular meetings or updates to keep everyone informed of the project's progress.
Agile development methodologies
Agile development methodologies involve rapid prototyping and iteration, which can be particularly useful for CRM development. This allows the team to quickly test and refine the product based on user feedback. Agile development also promotes collaboration and flexibility, which can be beneficial for a complex project like CRM development. In an agile development process, the project is divided into smaller, iterative cycles called "sprints." At the end of each sprint, the team reviews and adjusts the product based on feedback from stakeholders. This allows the team to quickly incorporate changes and make progress towards the final product.
User testing is an important part of the CRM development process. It allows the team to gather feedback from users and ensure that the final product is user-friendly and meets the needs of the target audience. User testing can be conducted through a variety of methods, such as focus groups, usability testing, or online surveys. During user testing, the team may ask users to perform specific tasks using the CRM system, and observe how they interact with the system. This can help to identify any problems or areas for improvement. It's important to involve a diverse group of users in the testing process to ensure that the final product meets the needs of a wide range of users.
Integration with other systems
A successful CRM development process will ensure that the CRM system is properly integrated with other systems and technologies that the business uses. This may include integration with other software applications, such as accounting or marketing automation systems, as well as integration with databases and other data sources. Proper integration will allow for seamless data exchange and more efficient processes. It's important to carefully plan the integration process to ensure that it is carried out smoothly and that there are no disruptions to the business.
Proper training and support
Providing proper training and support to users can help to ensure a smooth transition to the new CRM system and ensure that it is adopted and used effectively. This may involve training sessions for users, as well as ongoing support to help users troubleshoot any issues that may arise. It's important to make sure that users feel comfortable and confident using the new CRM system in order to maximise its potential benefits. Training and support may include in-person training sessions, online resources, webinars and team exercises so you can upskill your workforce using a variety of methods.
The above points are some key principles to keep in mind when exploring the process of a CRM project. It should help to keep you under budget and meet milestones. It should ensure everyone is informed and morale high as your business undertakes a large organisational transformation. These principles do not end when launching a CRM, as it's a system that should continue to innovate and change with the needs of your business. If you want further advice or support on a CRM project, please get in touch. We have over twenty years of supporting businesses from many sizes and industries to reach their CRM goals at different stages of the development process. We are confident in our ability to support your systems and help with your future success.