Avoiding Pitfalls in CRM Implementation
A manufacturing CRM upgrade can lead to positive results for your company. However, there are some common mistakes when implementing a new CRM. Listed below are the common mistakes and ways to best avoid them:
- Not fully exploring requirements
Implementing a new manufacturing CRM has numerous requirements, and not just technological. Prior to committing to a CRM upgrade, first learn about implementation details including software and workflow needs. Importantly, you will need to consider whether you will need to make changes that are not technological. A readiness assessment with an expert can ensure a CRM upgrade is a sound investment and will address your company needs and will not just become underused, frustrating technology.
- Not including end-users in the decision-making process
Nearly all CRM upgrades that fail suffer from user adoption issues, not technology issues. This problem affects everyone, including end-users like the sales team, engineers, IT personnel, and customers. Engaging end users in the decision-making process gives them buy-in and a stake in the success of the project. Engage the primary end users at the beginning of the project and task them with responsibilities regarding planning and implementation.
- Underestimating budget
Upgrading your CRM will cost more than the technological change alone and can be particularly expensive if goals change mid-way through the process. New ideas and solutions during the implementation process lead to big budget increases. From the start, be specific about what aspects of your business you want to improve. Address the budget with your provider and consultants at the beginning of the project, but also remember that CRM upgrades are demonstrated to decrease costs, increase revenue, and enable your company to grow more quickly.
- Underestimating time or resources
Like underestimating a budget, a CRM upgrade will likely take more time and/or resources than expected. Factor an underestimation into your projections and ensure that you have time and additional resources that you can devote, if needed, and consider the long-term positive impact on efficiency the CRM upgrade will have.
- Irregular communication
Poor communication can leave employees frustrated and fearful of the changes being thrust upon them. Help employees get excited and engaged with the project through effective communication by providing vendor selection announcements, quick win highlights, and regular process updates.
- Not taking advantage of features and customization
Today’s manufacturing CRM software from Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement is immensely powerful, capable, and customizable.The software also continues to change, which makes it even more important to work with a partner you trust. When you work with a manufacturing CRM expert to implement an upgrade be sure they can train end users in relevant features. Consider making a select few employees super users who are trained in nearly all the features and able to advise colleagues and customize the system.
- Not investing in training and change management
Many CRM implementations fail due to a lack of an effective change management plan. Implementing a new business system is a major change that many organizations take for granted, and the best way to address this is to receive change management guidance from an expert. Ensure that new staff onboarding training plans are created during the implementation process while the information is fresh.
- Making assumptions
When implementing a manufacturing CRM upgrade, it is critical that you do not make assumptions about your internal team’s abilities or knowledge. Instead, be open and curious in the process and seek out a way to continue to develop your company’s abilities. This open mindedness and desire to learn will ensure your company can benefit as much as possible from the upgraded software and implementation process.
Many implementation partners start and end with the technology. But consider choosing one who believes that the technology should be addressed only after the people, process and performance management goals have been determined. Having a plan for training and informing end users for your manufacturing CRM implementation facilitates a smooth transition from start to finish.