You might be looking forward to updating your CRM to an advanced system, or you might feel that you should finally upgrade from the infamous Excel spreadsheet to a brand new CRM system. 

In both cases, you will need to get started with the CRM implementation process, and you need to ensure that the system you choose suffices your needs. 

Let’s take a look at critical steps to implement and validate a new CRM: 

Step 1: Get to know all your end-users.

Your ideal CRM will depend on your end-users. Thus, identify who is using it and why. 

Primarily, a CRM is operated by the sales team to keep a tab on essential lead and customer data. Enlist people who will operate the CRM, from the director of VP of Sales to every individual contributor on the team. 

Other teams might also use your CRM to keep a tab on customer interactions with your organization throughout their lifecycle. Thus, get important inputs from them as well before jumping to the next CRM implementation steps.  

Step 2: Find out how the team will use your CRM.

Once you find out who will operate your CRM, it’s time to understand how they will operate it. 

You can consider asking the following questions to yourself and your team: 

How much time is spent by your team in CRM?

Is this time enough? if it’s more or less

How much time is allocated for sales activities, and how much is allocated for data entry?

Questions like these help you understand your team’s day-to-day process. Thereby facilitate a smoother and efficient process with CRM. 

Step 3: Give your entire team a share in the game.

The process of a significant software change necessitates that a project manager should oversee the entire process. 

However, it does not imply that you have to operate the entire project alone. 

Delegate tasks to your team as you go through the different stages of your CRM implementation process. Be open to their ideas and suggestions. 

When the entire team has a part to play in implementing the new CRM, they will have a vested interest in its success. 

Step 4: Enlist important features and integrations. 

Apart from enlisting the people who will be operating this tool daily, make a list of important features and integrations you will want for your new CRM. 

You might find some of the features in separate software. In that case, you can integrate that software with your CRM. You don’t necessarily need to have all the features in a single CRM system. That way, the CRM will become very cumbersome to use. Instead, having a modular system with core features built-in will be much more effective. You will need to add some features through integrations or an API. 

Also, make sure that you are paying for features and integrations that your team is actually going to use.

Take a look at some of these features you will need in a CRM system: 

  • Lead tracking
  • Call/email tracking
  • Visual pipeline view
  • Simple integration with the rest of your tool stack 
  • Pricing transparency
  • High-quality customer support 
  • Outreach automation 
  • Activity logging to reduce manual data entry 
  • Deal and revenue forecasts

Step 5: Demo different kinds of CRMs.

Now that you know what you and your team require in a CRM. It’s time to explore your options. 

Consider going for demos, free trials, and chats with sales reps. That’s how you will be able to make informed decisions about the purchase. 

While taking demo, lookout for:

  • How easy it is to learn and operate the software
  • If the software is adaptable to your own sales process
  • How approachable the support and sales teams are 
  • If it has well-developed must-have features 

Step 6: Set forth the problems you want to solve.

You might already have chosen the perfect CRM to this point. Now you will need to start putting the right resources together to get buy-in from higher-ups. Consider defining the problems you are trying to solve. 

Conclusion 

This blog has outlined the steps for implementing a new CRM and getting buy-in from stakeholders. Use these steps to get started with a new CRM, validate it, and make it work for your business.