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Author Vadim
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9 cases of CRM. The complexity of implementation

Customer relationship management systems are on the market for about 20 years. The sellers of CRM systems rely on Your hopes to increase business profitability, improve relationships with customers. That is true, but not always successful operation of a CRM system depends on the quality of the software used.


DIFFICULTIES IN IMPLEMENTATION OF CRM SYSTEM

1. The data stored in the system is more important than its functionality. Even if Your system has incredible functionality, without real users and real data is just an empty phrase. Do not be fooled by the presence of a large number of system capabilities, and focus on enhancing the value of the data accumulated by the system.

2. Employee acceptance and involvement business processes in the work – the only indicators by which you can measure the success of CRM system. In such a system, there is a vicious cycle: the more users there are, the more data will be introduced. The greater value and accuracy these data have, the more value they present to users of the system. The more valuable the data, the more users you can attract, and they, in turn, will contribute to the operation of the system. If in a CRM system work few people, the majority of situations that arise when working with customers are not reflected in the database, despite the fact that the work efficiency of users increased greatly. In this case, a broad but superficial use is more valuable for general effect than narrow but a deep use of the system.

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3. Probably, You will have to spend a lot of time on data quality assurance. Even if the system implementation is done from scratch, there will be data quality issues that are irritants to every user and detrimental to the overall reliability of the system. 

Data quality must be approached on three levels:

  • When the initial migration and subsequent data import are made, be sure to clear the data.
  • Identify the sources of incorrect data and systematically correct them. Provide self-recovery of information.
  • Define business processes that violate the semantics of the data. The reason for the small but important changes can be Your team. Monitor business processes that include departments with different goals, providing a performance of different indicators.

4. There is no such a thing as a stand-alone CRM system. Any system of customer relationship management must provide users with an access to data that is beyond its own database. It would be important to have integration with other systems, and ensuring of this integration will not be an easy and cheap solution. Integration almost always reveals problems with the information that have been hidden in an isolated system.

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5. Almost always problems with CRM are the result of confusion in the business processes, the conflict in company policy or missteps of information used. Sometimes the CRM system does not meet the requirements of the task, but often the most visible and important problems arise as a result of errors in business processes. Identify and fix these problems before thinking about replacing the system, and You will have all the chances for success.

6. The benefits of CRM systems appear as the effectiveness of the business processes enhances and not just the system itself. The CRM functionality plays a big role in achieving both of these goals, it allows you to see better the problems and faster respond to them. But if You do not change business processes to take an advantage of the CRM, the existing meaningless functions in Your processes will just run more often.
In other words, to gain the maximum benefit when implementing a CRM system you will need to change some business processes and existing business rules.

7. Indeed the successful implementation of a CRM system is a complex political action. Any time you change a business process, policy, or rules, this can affect someone's job, tasks, budget. It is a political problem at all levels, because management changes will affect both lower-level professionals ("my work will be automated?"), and managers ("my indicators and bonus will be changed?"). Therefore, phased approach to the introduction and expansion of CRM system it is recommended.

8. Advantages of CRM system grow with the number of users, but You can't give everything at once. Even if Your have established a system of dissemination, integration, and resolved data quality issues, even if you mastered the process of implementing systems using the "Big Bang" method, and even if there is a budget for all user licenses, You don't have to go this way. There are too many processes to know and too many political problems need to be solved.
The implementation of a CRM system is a long-term process and you need to plan it that way.

9. How many customers have been lost just because the manager had no time to answer the call. As a key tool for customer retaining, CRM-applications minimize the human factor when working with clients and improve the transparency of activities in the areas of sales, marketing and customer service.
From the first month of implementation, the company will get more calls and sales will rise by 25-50%. Moreover, in the off-season (December, January, February, March) managers will be able to sell almost as much as in season. It is possible to do with the single database. Due to the fact that the number of contacts during the active period has risen, at winter time the manager has something to work on.

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There is another feature: the work of the CRM-system than any other application for the enterprise is largely influenced by the opinions and preferences of the head of sales and marketing. The period during which the same head runs a company is 18 months. With each new leader, You will see changes in policy that may require significant changes in the CRM system. Take a look at the 5-year-old CRM system, and You will see political decisions that negatively affect the quality and meaning of data. In the end, this limits the efficiency of the system what needs to be repaired or replaced.

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