CRM challenges are still a reality in today's market. The question is: How do you overcome them? In our last installment, we asked some industry watchers to identify what they view as key challenges for CRM in the enterprise.
Now, these same experts are offering insights on how to overcome these challenges. The bottom line is getting buy-in throughout the organization, from the cubicle worker to the executive suite. How you do that, though, requires an intentional strategy.
Monitoring and Articulating
We started by asking Saby Mitra, a manager at ZS Associates, a global sales and marketing consulting firm, how to tackle the user adoption challenge. As he sees it, a comprehensive user adoption strategy is a key enabler for successful CRM implementation and adoption.
"Alignment on the benefits and risks of the CRM solution is required at multiple levels ranging from executive management to field sales," Mitra said. "It is imperative that headquarters continues to monitor and articulate to sales reps how the solution can make them more successful in terms of improved commercial performance and productivity."
Besides compelling value articulation, specialized trainings such as iPad usage, formal coaching and incentivized reward programs can aid with improved adoption, Mitra said. What's more, he continued, alongside headquarters, executive management can play an important role in CRM usage by appointing and empowering CRM Champions as change agents who can help the organization embrace CRM.
Understanding the Impact
Marshall Perez, a partner with marketing-recruiter Chief Outsiders, offered us some clear strategies for incorporating CRM into the daily grind. It all begins with senior management clearly understanding the direct impact on increasing revenue.
"They need to understand that a good CRM [system] actually captures the customer and keeps them customers. Once there is buy-in from senior management, the entire organization needs to be motivated to embrace the CRM technology and make it work internally," Perez said. "It needs to become the new culture of the organization."
Personally, Perez stays on message to motivate teams. The message he uses: "Let's efficiently capture the client and the prospect, so we can make them customers for life and increase revenue."
Finding Success Stories
In order to implement CRM, Perez said a team leader needs to be empowered and supported by senior management to drive the process of changing the culture. Goals, objectives, strategies, action plans and responsibilities need to be clearly defined and communicated upfront.
"Metrics need to be identified to measure the progress and impact. Routine communication on the progress of implementation and impact of implementation must be reported throughout the organization," Perez said.
"This is essential to changing the culture and gaining ownership and commitment. Success stories help. Organizations need to celebrate the implementation and draw attention to the positive impact."