Tips For A Successful CRM Implementation

When preparing for a CRM Implementation, there are a number of discussions that should be had internally as well as with outside CRM Implementation partners.  Many should take place before you even start the actual CRM implementation process.  This blog will attempt to outline what a successful CRM implementation process looks like. We've implemented CRMs for many organizations, and regardless of whether you are implementing HubSpot, Salesforce, or a different CRM, these steps remain the same.

Stakeholder Meeting

The very first step in a successful CRM implementation, after deciding which CRM to implement, should be a series of stakeholder meetings.  These meetings will cover a range of topics focused on the general needs of all departments that will be interacting with your new CRM.  Sales, Marketing, Customer Success, Finance, Operations, C-Level Executives all need a seat at the table to ensure a successful CRM implementation.  

During these meetings, each stakeholder will have the opportunity to discuss specific needs for their team, whether its particular KPIs they need tracked, workflows, custom fields, and any other number of initiatives that drive a successful CRM implementation.  At the end of these meetings, the group should have a great idea as to what the CRM might look like once implemented.

Have a Plan

Once you have made it through your stakeholder meetings, it’s time to write down your plan of action. This should actually start in your stakeholder meetings, as you take notes on each department’s needs. The plan doesn’t need to be overly fancy - we find that actual checklists of items that need to be added to the CRM are a foolproof way to ensure a successful CRM implementation. Another useful tool is to use a gantt chart to lay out your CRM implementation timeline to ensure you are staying on track, plan and budget.

Hire a Partner

Even when you have IT and other technical resources in-house, you may benefit from hiring a partner to help you with your CRM implementation. There are several technical steps that may call for a higher level of expertise. Implementations are something you don’t do frequently, so there are also benefits to hiring someone who does this day in and day out. Furthermore, if you are implementing a CRM new to your organization, having someone who specializes in that CRM can help you navigate the implementation process with ease. 

There may be some exceptions, but most organizations benefit from hiring a partner that can help and guide you through your CRM implementation, as well as one who can drive more of the technical aspects.

Develop a Process & Train Your Team

A CRM is only as useful as the data that it houses.  If your team does not understand how to use your new CRM, you will find yourself with a mess of a CRM and no actionable data.  For this reason, it's imperative that you create one unified process for your team to follow after your CRM implementation is completed.  

Once that process is complete, train your team on every step of the process, ensuring that everyone is inputting data correctly and in the same format.  If you let your reps “choose their own adventure” in the CRM, you will not see a return on investment.

Build Your Reports

What is the best way to ensure that your team is using the CRM properly after implementation? Create reports and dashboards to track the KPI’s discussed during your stakeholder meetings.  Once those reports are created, not only can you see the outcomes of your demand generation program, but you can also see any gaps in data due to user error and lack of adherence to process.  

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Implementing a new CRM can be a daunting task, but when done correctly you will have the data and reports you need to make better decisions for your business. If you need help, schedule a free consultation to learn more about working with FullFunnel.


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