Hassle-Free CRM Integration: The Best Practices for Adopting New CRM Tools
CRM is both the present and the future. CRM (short for customer relationship management) tools and platforms are giving businesses a real advantage today; CRM generates about $8.71 in revenue for every dollar spent, and when used in sales, can boost revenue by 41% per sales rep, improving lead conversion rates by over 300%, and decreasing spending by 23%.
And yet, some businesses are still slow to adopt this new technology. Often this is due to fears related to integrating it with current systems, as well as perceived costs and extra training that might be required. However, CRM integration is by design relatively simple, especially if you take steps to go about it in the right way; follow these best practices for hassle-free CRM integration.
Ease into the process of CRM integration.
One roadblock that deters many business owners is the prospect of preparing for a giant, Y2K-style switch over to new systems and software. The reality does not have to be quite so dramatic. It is much better to ease into the process; transfer over to new tools gradually, one department at a time if necessary. This gives adequate time to make sure that every employee has completed any training necessary, and is well placed to start on the new system right away, ensuring as smooth a transition as possible.
Easing into it also means giving your new CRM time to succeed. There may be a learning curve to begin with, or a few minor glitches as the new technology is introduced. These are not reason to panic, rather an opportunity to learn more about your new system. As time progresses and everyone becomes accustomed to the new system, you will start to see results that are measurable and will justify the decision to switch. You will also see a number of non-measured improvements such as less stress and busy work for employees.
Lastly, it is important to continue to work towards your company’s ultimate CRM strategy. Around 43% of businesses that utilise CRM are failing to use even half of their CRM systems correctly. Make sure that you keep working to get the most out of your CRM’s potential, regularly measuring how you use your tools against your ultimate goals.
Don’t let a perceived skills gap hold you back.
One reason why many business owners and IT leaders may be hesitant to implement new CRM systems is that they perceive to be a skills gap between the knowledge required to use a CRM and the actual skill set of employees. For example, only 25% of IT leaders say that they feel completely confident in the technical skill set of employees to execute an AI business strategy.
However, these fears are often unfounded. Many out-of-the-box CRM solutions are designed to be used by anyone, regardless of skill set. For instance, using the example of AI, many CRM tools use AI to simply provide better, smarter insights, without requiring anything extra on the part of the user.
Other systems provide quick training programs for new or unfamiliar tools, and when it comes to CRM integration with your current systems, experts can easily be contracted with to ease the process.
Prioritise your customers.
Ultimately, your greatest measurement of success is how your new system affects or benefits your customers. Returning customers are typically more valuable to a business than new ones, and a CRM platform can improve client relationships and retention by 27%, with a 66% increase in customer satisfaction when used in sales. So during CRM integration, make sure that your system is actively benefiting your customers, and that they are made aware of any changes that may directly affect them.
It’s also important to make sure that your CRM is cataloging every stage of the consumer journey. Start tracking your customers before you make first contact, and use these metrics to improve the implementation of your CRM system.
Find tools that are worth your time.
Not all CRM tools are created equal. One of the hurdles that many business owners face in adopting new CRM tech is selecting the right system. You may not be able to see the value of CRM integration simply because you are using a substandard tool. Remember the bottom line when you are browsing new technology: How will this tool benefit my business? Then, only adopt things that will actively improve customer experience, and your business’ bottom line.
Choosing the right CRM platform is essential for future growth. The right tools will help your company to grow by providing you with smart insights and metrics, as well as various add-ons that are designed for growing operations. You do not want to find your growth stunted by tools that are limiting in their capacity to aid growth.
In CRM integration it’s also important to sync everything. The best CRMs will have built-in programs that will imitate the functionality of other common applications, which makes it really easy to sync everything up. For example, notes, appointments, meeting schedules, and so on can all be automatically tracked by the CRM. The best tools will work with other popular programs to provide an easier experience all from one place.
As you implement your new CRM system, it’s important to maintain a consistent sense of evaluation and improvement. See which parts are working smoothly; and which areas require some improvement —– either with additional software or simply some extra training.
Gartner predicts that by 2021, CRM will be the single largest revenue area of spending in enterprise software. For any business, regardless of size, it is time to embrace the real advantages that CRM software can provide. Salesforce is a platform that has made a business of being easy to adopt and simple to integrate with current systems. Learn more about what Salesforce can do for your business today, view various pricing options for businesses of any size, or try out a free trial today to see the results for yourself. CRM integration does not have to be a pain, as long as you do it right.