Key considerations prior to implementing your CRM

Sven Lens
2 min read
27 Feb 2023

Successful businesses need to have a central system to host their account, contact and opportunity data to enable future growth.  But it shouldn’t stop there as many new & interesting features can be found in today’s CRM (Client Relationship Management) systems today.  Implementing a CRM system can provide numerous benefits to a business, such as improved customer relationships, increased sales, better alignment between sales & marketing and better data management.

However, when considering implementing a CRM system, there are several topics you need to take into account:

  • BUSINESS NEEDS & GOALS:  understand the specific needs of your business and the problems you want to solve. Based on this, you can set the goals you want to achieve with the CRM.  Multiple interviews with different internal stakeholders will help to shed some light on the CRM strategy.  In the majority of the cases, businesses forget to include the buyer in this exercise.  In today’s world, you should start this exercise with the buyer in mind and create buyer journeys to see how the CRM can support the customer experience.  As a final deliverable, you want to determine what features & functionalities are necessary to meet those needs.  It might be interesting to involve external expertise as it will pay-off in the long run.
  • BUDGET:  implementing a CRM system can be expensive so it is important to consider the costs associated with purchasing, implementing and maintaining the system. This cost will be part of your cost of sale. Of course, as part of this business case you need to also recognize the efficiency increases & higher revenue because that’s in essence the main reason why you consider CRM, right?
  • INTEGRATION:  a CRM should not be a stand-alone system, but needs to integrate with other tools in your business such as email, marketing automation, accounting, and other sales enablement tools like Showpad. Integration can be complex and require technical expertise.
  • DATA MANAGEMENT: you probably won’t start from scratch and already have lead, account & contact data available in a structured way. That needs to be mapped with a new data model in your new CRM. Also, consider how customer data will be collected, stored and used. Compliance with data privacy regulations such as GDPR must be taken into account to avoid lawsuits. Moreover, it might also be good to think about the required sales & marketing reports or dashboard you want to see at management level.
  • USER ADOPTION:  this is the secret key to success.  Implementing a new tool requires change in the human behavior.  Your new tool can only be as effective as the people who use it. It is important to consider how the CRM will be adopted and used by employees. Adequate training & support are essential to ensure that employees are comfortable and productive with the system.  User adoption is a real dealbreaker if it’s not taken seriously.
  • SCALABILITY:  how modular does the CRM need to be? Ensure the CRM system can grow with your company and can adapt easily to changing needs.
  • SECURITY: data is the new oil, right? Make sure your data is protected and choose a CRM system that has appropriate security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access or data breaches. In many cases, security is not taken into account as a selection criteria to shortlist, but you don’t want this to go wrong one day …