A CRM software is a business application that helps an organization centralize, manage and maintain customer relationships. It allows the company to track customer interactions across marketing, sales & customer service and help deliver superior customer experience across all channels of communication and business divisions.

A CRM software should be selected keeping in mind the need of automating business processes. When selecting the software, the company should identify the business process it wants to automate, gaps in the current process, pain points, and visualize the ideal state. Key stakeholders should be identified and selected to take up the responsibility for identifying CRM vendors, and implementation companies. A CRM committee should be formed which should drive the project from product evaluation, implementation and adoption. The following points should be considered when selecting a CRM software

  • Features as per business need
  • Industry fit
  • Ease of use
  • Implementation platform (Cloud/On-premise)
  • Licensing and product plans
  • Customization and integration capabilities
  • Implementation partner network & their domain understanding
  • Customer references/case studies
  • Cost of purchase across software licenses, implementation fee, ongoing product & partner support

The success of a CRM project depends on user buy-in. It is vital to demonstrate clear value to all users (direct and indirect) of a CRM by focusing on ease of use. Otherwise, implementations have a high risk of failure.

  • Make users an integral part of the CRM selection and implementation journey
  • Don’t cut corners during implementation. Clearly define workflows, integration points and automate mundane and repetitive tasks
  • The system should be easy to use. Don’t implement all the features in one go. It can make the system complex
  • Show value: Make users see the value of how a CRM helps them sell more and serve customers better
  • The ‘C level’ user and senior executives have to use the system. It has to be a top-down approach
  • Get a CRM manager – Appoint him to ensure the entire system works as a well-oiled machine

A CRM consulting firm works closely with the company to implement a CRM software. CRM consultants assist in CRM selection, implementation, and adoption. Additionally, CRM consulting services include process consulting that identifies process gaps and recommends improvements that improves process efficiency and prevent leakages. With experience across industries, CRM products, and departments, CRM consulting firms can recommend the right product and implementation plan to ensure project success.

Key consulting services offered by a CRM consulting firm include:

Process Audit

CRM consulting strategy begins with a process audit. CRM consultants spend this phase understanding the customer journey and business needs. Current processes and systems are analyzed to identify areas for improvement. The firm also evaluates a company's cultural readiness for CRM implementation. As a result, potential laggards who may not use the system can be identified and coached to ensure successful adoption.

CRM Selection

CRM consulting firms assist in choosing the right CRM product. With the experience of working across industries and CRM products, a CRM consulting firm is in a good position to advise on a CRM solution. Part of its CRM consulting services includes CRM evaluation. The firm closely works with the management in evaluating CRM vendors as per business requirements and advise on the right product fit.

CRM Implementation

A CRM consulting firm helps implement, onboard and launch the CRM system. CRM consultants work with customer teams to configure & customize the CRM, carry out user training and roll out CRM adoption strategy. In some business setups, it acts as a conduit between the customer and the implementation company and works to define the CRM roadmap and future enhancements

CRM Adoption

As part of CRM consulting services, a CRM consulting firm offers CRM adoption services. CRM consultants/managers help clients to:

  • Provide top management with CRM metrics, dashboards, and reports.
  • Roll out training and incentive programs to help teams adopt the system, monitors laggards, and improves the rate of adoption
  • Monitor sales pipelines and customer service KPIs closely with department heads and alert them to deviations and important milestones
  • Implements new processes, customizations, and integrations as processes and strategies evolve

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