How to Ensure CRM Initiatives Drive Strong ROI

Want to hear a scary statistic? 63% of CRM initiatives fail.

63% of all CRM initiatives fail.

DMNews

So you’re telling me that more than half of all CRM initiatives fail? Yes, that’s right but just because most CRM intiatives fail this doesn’t mean yours has to. In fact, most of them fail for one, single reason – poor user adoption.

Most CRM intiatives fail because of one thing – poor user adoption.

Luckily, there’s plenty you can do to ensure your CRM project goes smoothly and drives a strong ROI.

First, we take a deep-dive into why CRM initiatives fail and then look at how organizations can use their CRM solution to drive better business outcomes.

Let’s get started!

The current state of CRM initiatives

So where exactly do CRM intiatives go wrong?

In most cases, companies in the midst of CRM initiatives don’t use the solution to its fullest potential.

To make matters, worse, most CRM initiatives aren’t company-wide, which means businesses only realize a fraction of the benefits CRMs have to offer. The reality of most failed CRM initiatives is that departments limit themselves to certain futures and many teams don’t use the technology at all.

With those issues in mind, it’s no wonder that CRM initiatives fail.

It’s like baking a cake but leaving out the baking powder. Without the rising ingredient, you’ll get something closer to a pancake. Still edible and possibly even tasty, but not the treat you were hoping for.

CRM implementation without fully committing to the project is another risk to watch for. While this kind of initiative will yield some results, it won’t give you the strong ROI you were hoping for.

7 Tips for Successful CRM Implementation

In this day and age, there’s no doubt that a CRM is an essential tool for your entire business. From improved data management to better workflows and higher revenue, the pros of a CRM go on and on. These benefits, however, will remain missed opportunities if you fail to get your CRM initiative off the ground. The following tips will make sure this doesn’t happen and will let you get the most out of your CRM project.

1. Encourage CRM usage across your organization

First thing’s first – software solutions are only as good as the information they hold.

When CRM solutions are adopted organization-wide, they provide a shared sense of truth about prospects and incoming sales pipeline. They allow for greater visibility into the sales funnel and make it easier for sales reps to see which leads are ready for a follow-up.

These benefits are only realized, however, if every employee documents their prospect interactions in the CRM.

And this isn’t happening as regularly as you might think.

According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Report, 22% of salespeople don’t record sales activities in their CRM while 40% use disconnected systems such as email and notes to store customer data.

While we can hope that these figures are improving, it’s best to nip this problem in the bud. By creating a protocol for CRM usage and training all employees on it, you’ll ensure that your CRM enables deals to move forward.

2. Align your sales and marketing teams

Sales and marketing should work hand-in-hand.

Often times, however, there’s competition and animosity between these two departments. And when you have two siloed teams, the end is result is that information isn’t shared and deals fall through the cracks.

Making CRM use mandatory for all teams is one step towards sales and marketing alignment, but you must go deeper than this to ensure successful CRM implementation.

To take things a step further, you can run joint CRM training sessions for your marketing and sales teams. The focus of these sessions should be on how each group uses the CRM as well as how they can collaborate on this platform moving forward.

3. Use the reporting features

While CRMs, make it easy to access to sales and customer data, they also allow organizations to understand the performance of their sales teams through reporting.

With these reports available on-demand, CRM solutions make it easier to analyze and iterate sales processes; enabling organizations to fail fast.

CRM solutions make it easier to analyze and iterate sales processes; enabling organizations to fail fast.

CRM reporting, for instance, can breakdown the quantity and stage of each opportunity in the sales pipeline; making it easy for sales reps to know where to strategically focus their energy.

CRM reporting also allows sales managers to forecast and strategize better as they can look at how many sales closed last month as well as where those sales came from. By providing visibility into the sales process, CRM reporting makes it much easier to proactively identify areas of opportunity or risk and act upon them. With time theft, inefficiency and lost deals costing companies millions of dollars each year, the insights CRM reporting can give your organization, make the ROI of your CRM initiative crystal-clear.

4. Make sure your CRM integrates with key programs

For maximum ROI, your CRM needs to integrate seamlessly with the other software solutions you rely on.

For example, if you use QuickBooks for accounts receivable then you want your CRM software to sync directly with QuickBooks. One reason this integration is beneficial is that it allows sales reps to close deals faster as they can create quotes, send invoices and log payments directly from the CRM.

Email integrations are also highly beneficial for sales reps, as they cut down on time spent switching between programs and the distractions that follow. When reps can view CRM data right in Gmail or Outlook, it allows them to take the time to personalize emails to prospects and in turn, makes their nurture efforts more successful.

5. Take advantage of workflow management features

Using the workflow management tools available in your CRM allows you to simplify processes while avoiding costly errors. With a set workflow in place, employees always follow the same path and can’t accidentally skip a step ahead as the system will let them know if something is missing. In addition, information entered in one part of the CRM can automatically populate in another, eliminating the need for double data entry.

A customizable CRM is particularly valuable here, as it enables you to automate tasks that are specific to your business. By tailoring your CRM solution to your sales process, your team will be able to close more sales in less time.

6. Set your sales team up for successful upselling

While new customers are certainly important, loyal customers are the lifeblood of your business. One great way of using your CRM to its fullest potential is to look closely at the end-to-end customer journey.

With each customer’s communication and transaction history in one place, it becomes easier to identify opportunities for repeat business as well as to make this a priority for sales teams. If you could, for example, filter your customers by the date of their last order to determine which ones might be ready to purchase again, you could follow up with each customer when they are most likely to buy.

7. Focus on mobile capabilities

Being able to access data remotely is essential for modern businesses, especially if your sales reps often meet with clients out of the office. To get the most value out of your CRM initiative, make sure you choose a solution that offers mobile apps so that reps can log sales activities as they happen – not whenever they’re back in the office. With a mobile CRM, it’s much easier to close sales anytime and from anywhere as employees always have access to the data they need.

Successful CRM Initiatives Recap

To make sure your CRM initiative delivers on ROI, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Encourage wide-spread CRM usage
  2. Foster collaboration and alignment between sales and marketing
  3. Take advantage of the robust reporting CRM solutions offer
  4. Integrate your tech stack with your CRM
  5. Utilize workflow management and automation features
  6. Use your CRM to incorporate upselling into your sales process
  7. Make sure your CRM works on mobile

With the right CRM in place, it becomes easier than ever to deliver top-notch customer service and drive a better bottom line.

Best of luck with your CRM initiatives!


Kickstart your CRM initiatives with a free 30-day trial of Method:CRM!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

About the author