Often CRM implementations go awry because they have treated the users as an afterthought. You may have zeroed in on a CRM system you like, but there’s little point in going further without getting your team and senior management on board. It takes more than budget approval. You can describe the benefits of CRM all day long. But you need to ensure the CRM adoption goes smoothly. That way, you will see Return on Investment as soon as possible.
What you will learn in this article
- How to convince management and team of CRM
- The information you need to collect and the questions to ask
- A step-by-step guide for doing so
- How to pitch the final product
- How to get started with CRM
Convincing management and staff
You cannot overestimate the importance of having everyone on the same page with CRM. Here is what you will need to compile first before pitching your CRM idea.
Collect the evidence
You need to gather the evidence to support CRM and how it will address your company’s pain points. Illustrate the benefits of CRM with examples of how it can benefit users and the company.
Identify the key features
List the key features that will help the business and how. The features must specifically address the pain points. Illustrate the benefits with relatable examples.
Find out which tools will integrate with the CRM. The critical point is to find a CRM that fits your business needs as closely as possible. Avoid trying to shoehorn your company into a CRM that’s not a good match for your needs.
Have an exhaustive list of every app and platform used by your company before you start this process. You are trying to make life easier, not more complicated.
People understand the bottom line. Build a business case setting out how CRM will save money, time, and money.
As well as promoting interest, it would help if you also had a sound plan for implementing CRM. This is vital if you want to avoid naysayers picking holes in your CRM project.
The implementation plan needs to be detailed and deal with the nuts and bolts issues. Map out which CRM features and functionality will replace the spreadsheets you have been using until now. Add in some wiggle room to accommodate any unforeseen problems with transitioning to CRM. The implementation will be the catalyst for questions and feedback.
Your CRM charm offensive
The next step is critical to success: rallying internal support. By explaining the benefits and what’s in it for staff and management, you can develop strong support for the introduction of CRM.
Talk to all the stakeholders to get their thoughts on the matter. This is an invaluable way to obtain helpful feedback and answer questions. You may also dig up aspects you hadn’t previously thought about. It’s also a good idea at this stage to sound out your decision-makers. Then, if they have reservations, you have an opportunity to address that later on.
How to do pitch the idea
When you have compiled your case, have estimates of costs and savings, and a bullet-proof implementation plan, the next step is to pitch the idea. If you are presenting to your boss initially, tailor your presentation to suit their style and focus on the headline benefits and bottom line.
When presenting to a team, you should again tailor your presentation to the audience. A good starting point is walking the team through a typical day using CRM. Use real-life examples to which people can easily relate. Emphasize how users will benefit.
It’s important to instill in the users a sense of ownership of the project. Ask for their feedback and questions; getting this early on will pay later when adopting the technology. Remember that there are many stakeholders and decision-makers to sway. Other potential stakeholders outside of sales include:
Before presenting to these stakeholders, ensure you have a firm grasp of their short and long-term goals. Remember to stress that CRM isn’t just about helping out the sales team. Demonstrate how there are benefits across the board for the company. Always give a summary of how each department stands to benefit from a CRM implementation.
Of course, after all your hard work, the people that sign off the budget could still say no.
What to do if they still refuse
- You could move on. They might need some time to digest the idea.
- You could suggest a free trial.
Even if your pitch lands on stony ground, distribute your hand-out document. You should cover:
- The pain points being addressed
- The benefits of the specific vendor you have selected
- Examples of sales rep feedback
- Case studies of CRM implementations in similar companies to yours
- FAQ you have compiled during your research
Make the document shareable and available to decision-makers so they can refer back to it.
Suggesting a free trial is always a good idea. This will allow you and your company to have exposure and see the system in practice for themselves. Bear in mind that people are always resistant to change as it involves uncertainty and fear of failure.
How to get started with CRM
If you hope to win over people, you must have some first-hand knowledge. So you gain some hands-on experience by taking up a sneaky free trial in advance. These are 14-day no-obligation demos that let you get to grips with a provider’s CRM system for free. You may have done all the research, but there’s little to beat having had first-hand knowledge of the system. It may even help you deal with the occasional curveball that gets thrown your way.
A successful CRM implementation has everyone on the same page from the outset. This means every use and a commitment from senior management to lead from the front by visibly using the system every day. The next step is to contact us. Please do it now. We are cloud CRM specialists and fully attuned to the needs of small businesses.