A CRM implementation in a medium to a large company is, despite the fears of many, a profitable investment. It is also an impulse to develop the company and generate even more revenue. The proper adjustment of the system allows us not only to manage the contact database more effectively and measure the effects of work but also to automate tasks or optimize the sales process.
How to implement CRM in a medium and large company step by step? Here are our tips.
The idea behind the CRM system
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is an IT-based system that complements a philosophy of building and developing relationships with customers, as well as establishing loyalty between them and the company. As a result, it has a positive impact on the company’s development, revenue growth, and the achievement of set goals.
The high effectiveness of the CRM systems is appreciated not only by huge companies but also by large, medium, and small enterprises. Those who own the last ones believe that this solution will allow them to increase their chances of growth. And they are right! The only important thing is that it should be implemented properly, and to do so requires analysis and thoughtful actions tailored to the business character.
How to prepare for CRM implementation in the company?
If you want to implement a CRM system in the company, you should first determine its use. Only such an approach will allow us to achieve the planned benefits. It is also crucial to define the core functionality, which the system should have. And the most important is to make sure that the arrangements are set before you even start talking to the application provider and choosing the right one. If you want to be sure that the choice is proper, it is worth using the help of professionals and selecting a CRM provider with a partner’s experience and knowledge.
Identifying the company’s needs
The first step in the process of CRM system implementation in the company should be the identification of the company’s needs. For this purpose, it is worth conducting a pre-implementation analysis. The best way is to have it supervised by a designated group of employees, who will later participate in negotiations and arrangements with the provider but also will control the implementation of CRM.
First, it is necessary to analyze the current company’s business model in terms of technical resources, potential system users’ expectations, or defining the business processes that take place in the company. It is also worth performing an analysis of available CRM systems and verifying the offered solutions.
Specialists point out that at this stage, it is crucial to determine the purpose of CRM implementation. Among the main benefits to be gained, we could mention, i.e., reducing indirect costs, increasing company revenue, or reducing the time of lead processing.
The result of this phase should not only limit up to the list of business processes but also the hardware and software requirements needed to implement CRM. Again, this is crucial because you may need to adjust your equipment depending on the technological state of your business.
Establishing a budget
Setting a budget is also crucial in the CRM implementation process. For this purpose, you need to establish a financial framework, within which to implement the system. To determine the cost range, you should take into account the impact of changes on cash flow, stock quotes, and other financial implications that are associated with the implementation of changes.
Some experts also recommend consideration of the situation when the implementation will not bring the intended results. Then you should decide whether the failure will allow you to bear the expected costs without serious consequences, or will it threaten the company with bankruptcy?
System implementation and launching
Implementation and launch of the system are the last stages of CRM implementation in the company. The first one is the longest. During this stage, the vendor customizes the system to the company’s needs following the prepared analysis. Currently, we also verify its performance in terms of technical, logical, and ergonomic. After the positive assessment or implemented improvements, we can start to use the system. It is also important to train users on how to manage the system in practice.
Keep in mind that the implementation of the system may take several months. End time depends, among others, on the project’s scope or budget.
CRM implementation in a medium-sized company
Mid-sized companies’ CRM system needs do not have to and even should not differ from those of large enterprises. However, in the case of medium-sized enterprises, it is worth pointing out that the software should be properly adjusted, transparent, and easy to use and at the same time, it should meet the company’s expectations when we start to use it widely.
What should a CRM for a medium-sized company have?
CRM software for a medium-sized company should facilitate customer relationship management and map business processes for customer acquisition and retention. For this purpose, we should design a database not only for existing customers but also for potential ones. For more sophisticated software, it should be possible to integrate with other IT tools and business processes. As a result, the information and task flow in the company are smooth and without any disruptions.
Customized CRM solution implementation for a large company
CRM software for a large company, i.e., one with more than 50 employees, should be personalized to the company’s needs. In such a situation, it is necessary to provide individual solutions relevant to the specific nature of the business. Often these are tailor-made, non-standard applications. It results from the fact that large companies struggle with different problems. The changes often are possible, but we should support them with a detailed analysis. Then the coordination of the most complicated processes becomes easy and pleasant.
Essential features of a CRM system for large companies
CRM system used in a large company should enable coordination of work of many people. Proper customization of the system makes it easier to schedule activities and verify their progress. Many applications also allow for reminders when some actions are due. It helps the user to prioritize and complete their duties more efficiently.
For companies in the sales industry, the system should support customer service and be compatible with sales systems. On the other hand, users also appreciate access to a consistent database of contractors or business partners. Data in the CRM are not only well-organized but also secure.
The CRM system should also allow access to various types of reports, both in terms of sales and the financial condition of the company. Having access to a lot of advanced data makes it easier to run your business and allows you to pay attention to areas that need improvement. As a result, it leads to optimization of the company’s performance and better results.
The decision to implement a CRM system in a medium or large company is often not easy. However, it is helpful to hear the opinions of other software users. Their experience gained while using the system is invaluable. They also can point out some specific benefits of implementation or indicate areas where you need to pay extra emphasis.
An interesting option is also the possibility to use a demo version of the software for a while. Both the owner of the company and the employees can get access to the basic functionality and check how the whole system works.
Undoubtedly, the implementation of CRM will be a challenge, whether it concerns a small or large company. There will also be risks. However, it is worth keeping in mind that the possible benefits will be much more substantial.
Lider Sprzedaży Region DACH Trener biznesu oraz trener sprzedaży. Manager z 13-letnim doświadczeniem w obszarze sprzedaży i zarządzania strategicznego. Pracował w Niemczech oraz w kilku innych europejskich krajach, m.in. dla Oracle Corporation, Cisco Systems oraz Riverland Reply GmbH. Na co dzień wspiera klientów anglo- i niemieckojęzycznych.