Sunday, 17 November 2013

Do you hate your CRM? - 8 steps to make it work and energize your CRM initiative.

“We hate our CRM system. It’s terrible. No one is using it. We need a better one.”  
 “Too much to enter, can you recommend a CRM system that is more user friendly?” 

Sounds familiar... 

Some of the leaders whom I meet who have invested in a CRM always tell me one of the above. To learn more I interviewed a few of our existing customers who have seen huge success from CRM and wanted to share the approach and steps they took to make best use of their CRM investment. 

8 steps to energize CRM initiative and make it work for you:                    

1. Identify CRM advocate or a power user within your CRM user base to lead the energizing program 

The key to regain the energy is to provide users confidence and hope to fix the gaps and toget it right. Identifying a user to lead this change and the one who can provide adequate insight to identify and fix core issues is the first step. 

2. Involvement brings accountability. Connect with the users and understand their perspective. 

Users can make or break a system. No matter what measures the firm adopts, unless users are convinced that a CRM will make a difference to their work they will not use it and even if they do then it is not used in the intent it was designed. Management should take keen interest in listening to the users before defining CRM goal. 

3. Define integrated CRM to improve customer experience. The companies must go much beyond the goal of centralizing data for MIS reports

Integrated CRM means a system which provides complete 360 degree view of a customer. An integrated approach will provide complete data for your team also help improve adoption and quality of data. 

For example: One of our customer defined CRM by keeping the customer in the center and configured CRM to cover all the processes which touches the customer. This approach helped our customer build the CRM as the most important strategic tool to drive business. 

This integrated approach is helping our customer drive higher quality of customer engagement. 


4. Take smaller improvement initiatives but sustain it so that there stronger alignment with the process and also elevates excitement 

Define a CRM goal and document a detailed set of change initiative activities. But quickly prioritise the improvement plan to take smaller and achievable milestones. Identify a partner who can understand your current situation, who is able to add value to your processes, share best practices and also facilitate this change. Go-live with smaller monthly change management goals. Keep listening to the users and keep improving the system.  

5. Go much beyond forms - Focus on UI / UX

There may be a lot of app in any app store but the key difference from one to another is UI. So why not in your enterprise CRM as well? Looking at clicks, navigation flow, easy of useintuitiveness and simplicity which are key for holding users interest. Focusing on UI/ UX will improve adoption rates and helps create the WOW effect.

6. Improve performance review effectiveness using CRM - Detailed training for management and managerial staff not just for field force 

We always recommend and encourage our customer leadership to be trained first, we also participate during their reviews to understand their review structure. Ensuring management reviews team performance from the system is the secret sauce for success. This point is the most important aspect of the CRM success. 

7. Training, re-training and re-training 

Awareness bring confidence and comfort. We should equip the team with the right intent behind the system and also share the value / benefit of using system apart from the functionality. We suggest regular webinar's and awareness programs to improve user confidence. We also suggest internal certification programs and motivation incentives to improve adoption.   


8. Rewards and gamification 

Gamification helps create fun at work while driving change management efficiently. While rewards helps milestone based achievements but gamification helps sustain the initiative and fuels energy to the entire initiative. Mean-while be mindful that any gamification needs to be driven by a strong and well defined policy. Gamification can be double edged sword and can also demotivate if not defined thoughtfully. Also make sure gamification process, policy and points are transparently managed by system to eliminate bias and human error. 

While having said the 8 points we also recommend to our Customers that change cannot be an overnight process. Patience and constant monitoring is also important to drive change. 

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