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The Introduction of a CRM-system. Achieving Maximum Results with Minimum Costs

Quite often we read the news that a particular company has successfully completed the process of implementing a CRM system, they uncork the champagne, cut the red ribbon, talk about the importance of this step and its huge place in the history of the company. It becomes clear that the project was large and expensive and its completion is like a huge load off the mint of the entire staff. Why does it happen that in some cases the implementation of a CRM system is fast, simple and effective, and in others it’s lengthy, expensive and unprofitable? What influences the ratio of the resulting effect to expenses incurred?

If you analyze the implementation of the CRM system from a mathematical point of view, the equation is very simple: the result is divided by the financial and time costs. The more significant the result - the better. However, if the result equals to zero - even the most minor material costs were simply let go down the wind. The final factor is the time spent. If the implementation is delayed for a long time, it means the company loses profit, pace of development and market share.

Forecasting Results

The CRM solutions in the market are very diverse and substantially differ in terms of functionality. To predict the results, it’s a good idea to divide the entire automation project into a few key tasks, solving which will directly affect the efficiency of the enterprise. Next, each task should be assessed in terms of its importance on the scale of 1 to 10. Then you can start checking out CRM systems, trying to notice whether they have all the necessary tools, how user-friendly they are and what they don’t have. Evaluate the implementation of each task on the scale of 1 to 10. If you don’t find the desired function, but the supplier promises to implement it for extra money – give it no more than 5 points. Why so little? In practice, the client and the supplier of software solutions almost always misunderstand each other, this is why such an addition will most likely cost more than the initial budget, will take a lot longer to be implemented, or will function not the way it should.

Multiply the points and summarize them to get sort of an estimate of how useful each of the selected systems is for your business.

TaskImportanceSystem 1System 2System 3
implementationresultimplementationresultimplementationresult
Speeding up the work of managers7 1070 535 321
Increasing the efficiency of advertising5 840 1050 315
Possibilities of working remotely8 1080 220 220
Indicator analysis3 1030 515 26
Delineation of responsibilities8 864 648 18
Total: 284 168 70
The table shows that System 1 is the leader and will cover your needs better than all the others.

Estimation of the CRM Solution Payback

Divide the cost of the CRM solution by the amount of points - the resulting figure will give you an idea of how quickly the product will pay for itself.

SystemPointsCostResult
System 1 284 328 000 0,00087
System 2 168 52 000 0,00323
System 3 70 32 000 0,00219

The results show that despite the fact that System 1 has the best functionality, it will pay off in a much longer time than other systems. You can also see that despite the low price of System 3, the effect of its implementation will be negligible and it will pay off worse than System 2. System 2 is the leader because it has the best value for money judging from the number of its characteristics.

Important Factors for the Successful Implementation

What should we look for when selecting a system? After all, every vendor will hype up the features of their products, hiding their own flaws and pointing at competitors' weaknesses.

1. Ready-made solutions are always cheaper than the custom ones. You can see the features offered in the final product, which functions it has and how they are implemented before paying for it. If you order the creation of a corporate system, most often the result will differ from what you originally expected.

2. Pay close attention to user interface. Simple and intuitive interface can be comprehended by a wider range of people, such interface will save a lot of working hours to your employees. Moreover, in case of a complex system you will have to hire consultants for training your employees, and the problem of staff turnover will become more acute, just like the dismissal of an employee, whose training was such a large investment for your company, in addition the costs of training newly hired people can be quite significant.

3. Try to learn from other companies who are already using a particular CRM system about how effective the implementation was. It would be better to contact the company with business processes similar to yours. Of course, it is unlikely that someone will reveal to you their financial performance, but you still can get their overall impression.

4. Find out in advance how to solve a particular problem and try doing it yourself. Sometimes we face the problem, when a consultant from a competing company swore that such a system can be easily used via the Internet, but in practice it turns out that the speed of work dramatically decreases.

5. Have your employees test the system. People in the team have a different perception of information and solve different problems, so you can get a more objective picture. However, do not forget that for most of the people don’t need any changes, so don’t ask: - to buy or not to buy, just ask them to choose the most suitable option.

The Process of Implementing a CRM

The implementation of a CRM system, as a rule, comes down to training the staff and adjusting the program to the company's business processes. Likewise, you may need to change how the company work - a good CRM system provides proven business practices, the use of which is guaranteed to yield positive results.

Training Staff

Any new automation system requires an initial exploration. The simpler and the more intuitive the interface, the less time your employees will spend on its mastering and the easier it will be to start working productively. Pay very careful attention to how easy it is to work with information. If you have difficulties using some functions of a very low priority, you can put up with that, but when it comes to performing common operations - everything must be extremely smooth.

Motivating the Staff to Use the CRM

We have repeatedly faced with a situation where a potential customer has already had a negative experience of implementing a CRM system. That is, money was spent, efforts were made to ensure that managers have started using the CRM instead of their notebooks, but after a while the base was abandoned, and new information wasn’t simply entered into it. The most common response to the question "Why don’t you use the CRM system?" was "It’s inconvenient." The second most common one was "Too slow – impossible to work." And we can understand these people: it is no secret that entering the information into the database somehow takes time: this is the disadvantage present in all the systems. But users must get something in return - some service functions that make life easier and save time. If such functions are absent, nothing will prevent the system from abandoning. And on the contrary, if the users notice significant time savings, they will readily work with the system. With a good CRM system, the time saved is a lot more than the time users spend entering data.

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