It’s a great decision that you decided to implement a CRM solution in your organization. Before going ahead to finding the right partner for your implementation project, It’s important to ask the right questions in order to win the CRM game.
Being a consultant with working experience on multiple Dynamics 365 CRM projects, I have often come across prospects who make a simple choice to implement CRM yet wondering what should be expected of the new system.
The decisions are made by Top management in general or the board. Implementing CRM can become a tough task for the partners without a clear definition of goals and corresponding business requirements from the client.
Everything went well as per the plan in one of the implementations. The processes are perfectly mapped to the CRM and configured exactly as per the expectations of the management. In the end, the sales team simply ignored to use the system simply citing lack of time and the management couldn’t help address it.
The key challenge here is with a Management that simply decided to implement the CRM but without addressing the right questions before giving nod to the project and failure to set up the right expectations for their sales teams in line with the organization future business needs.
Such common issues and their fears must be addressed by the management in order to gain confidence among the end users to ensure a successful CRM solution that delivers the expected results in the ongoing future.
20 key questions to ask before implementing a CRM solution?
Simply gather all the stakeholders into your boardroom and start writing the answers from everyone for each question. You’ll surely be happy to see the end results once you finish the meeting.
1.What is the goal of implementing a CRM solution for the organization?
Defining and identifying the goal of implementing CRM is vital and important. Without setting up specific goals, you’ll not be able to measure the success of the solution.
The goals can be like Improve my sales performance by X % over the next 2 years, bring customer satisfaction rates higher by 20%, increase our lead conversion ratio, measure efficiency of my sales, reduce the number of complaints in service, 360 degree view of my clients, automate the sales cycle, automate marketing operations. The list can go on.
2. What are the existing business processes for sales and marketing?
Evaluating and reviewing the existing business processes as is will help in gaining visibility into the requirements for the CRM solution.
3. What are the gaps in existing business processes that should be addressed in the new CRM solution?
Once a review of existing business processes is made, it is easy to identify the gaps that are blocking the organization from achieving the business needs.
4. What are the pain areas experienced by the users in their day to day work?
When this question is put to the users, they will come with several pain points in their day to day work. Just making notes of those points will be extremely useful to consider while implementing the CRM.
One user will explain how he has to constantly remind his manager for a pending application, another user will explain how the calls received by the receptionist are being missed out without proper channelling of information.
5. Is there a need to change the existing business process?
After going through the above questions, the next immediate question to answer remains whether a change in the existing processes required? Define the new process that will address the gaps identified in the existing processes.
6. How is the information stored currently and how it should be maintained in the CRM?
Find out how the information about accounts, contacts, leads, proposals, marketing materials, opportunities are maintained in the organization. Are they being maintained in Excel? Where the records are stored? In a central location or in the respective users’ computers in separate files? What if a salesperson resigns from the job? what will happen to that data?
7. How secure is my data in the CRM?
Find how each CRM solution to help allay your fears on losing data or how secure the data will be stored in different CRM applications. Ask your implementation partner how data remains secure with the CRM. This will also help select between an on-premise and cloud solution.
8. What is the budget to be allocated for the CRM?
Find how much is required to be budgeted/allocated for the CRM. Get high level estimates from the partners and set up a clear budget
9. What is the level of proficiency of the users with computers?
Imagine you have users with no basic computer knowledge, the whole purpose of a system is defeated. Understanding the skill sets of users is important.
10. How well the new system will be adopted by the users?
Understand how the new system will be welcomed by the users. This is highly essential. In the end, if the users simply ignore to use the system what purpose would it serve for the organization?
11. Whether change management required to ensure higher user adoption?
Having acquired a clear understanding of the users’ skill sets and adoption rates, it is important to ask how robust the change management process to be.
12. How much user training will be required?
Possessing a clear understanding of the users’ skill levels will help estimate the level of CRM training required during the implementation.
13. What are the reports being made now and whether the same reports can be generated in the CRM?
Find out what reports required in the CRM that will bring maximum time savings from manual efforts. Find out what key reports and analytics/dashboards required in CRM
14. What is the present organization hierarchy? How the sales teams are set up?
Check how the present sales teams reporting hierarchies are set up like how many business units, divisions and departments. Check whether different sales teams are working in different countries and different locations or within the same country. Do we require a territory wise reporting? Is there a currency different from the local currency in another country of operation?
15. Is there a business need to integrate with other applications?
Typically, some may want to integrate the CRM into the ERP application or other systems that talk to each other.
16. What data is required to be integrated with CRM from other system?
If there are integration requirements, important to find out the information flow between the two systems.
17. Any data from current system to be migrated to the new system?
Checking the data available in the current systems and finding the relevant data to be migrated to the new CRM is important.
18. Do we require a CRM that is scalable enough for future needs?
Choosing a CRM just delivering the expectations set right now will result in additional expenses for future requirements. Instead, investing in a product like Dynamics 365 offers the scalability at no additional or minor costs
19. What is the ROI from the CRM?
Achieving maximum ROI is one of the key indicators of successful CRM. How do you measure it after all? Make some calculations with the ROI from different CRM products?
20. Ask yourself if you can commit?
It is very important to adapt to the new system once it is finalized. One should not fall back to old habits and embrace the change instead with the new system in place.
Do you think there are other key questions to ask before a CRM implementation?