It’s a big ask, but someone has to take it on. If you’ve realised that your business needs to start driving efficiencies through CRM, you need a champion to be in the driver’s seat.
Let’s face it. Small businesses just don’t have the specialised resources, multi-disciplinary teams and project methodologies that big businesses have. But then again, that’s probably a good thing, as red tape can just slow you down.
We work with a lot of small businesses, and there’s usually one person who has been trusted with job of moving the business forward on its CRM journey. Often it’s the business owner themselves, but just as often, they will charge someone else with the task – usually the person with the most to gain from getting the best solution in place, or the one who’s known for whipping things in to shape.
Putting aside your real job, your role as CRM champion is important. It’s a big task with a lot riding on it. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t be the chosen one.
So here’s a little pep talk to help you on your way. These are our tips for being a great CRM champion.
- Sell the vision
You are bringing your own unique perspective to the role, but not everyone sees things the way you do. When everyone is doing a different job, they have different frustrations – or might think everything is just fine the way it is. It’s your job to sell the vision of what the future looks like.
Just about everyone will be impacted when you introduce a CRM solution in a small business – and some people are simply resistant to change, especially if it sounds anything like more work. Your challenge is to paint a picture of how CRM will help them, rather than be a hindrance.
- Search out the sticky problems
You need to get some clarity on what problems you’re trying to solve by implementing a CRM. What are the big hitters? What are the niggly annoyances?
You need to gather this intelligence from the people who matter – that’s the people who will be using the CRM. Launch an investigation. Talk to everyone. Learn what they do and how they do it. Ask what frustrates them. Cover all of your bases – the production team, the receptionist, the sales manager – everyone. Understand the flow of work, and what problems are created by the step before. Listen for things like “Those sales guys make it really hard for us in production when they don’t …..”.
There’s clues everywhere for how CRM can help drive consistency and efficiency in your business.
- Make a list – check it twice
From the results of your investigation, make a list. Then you can prioritise what’s urgent and what is nice to have. This is important as you might not be able to do everything at once. You might need help from your CRM implementation partner at this point. If you find the right help from a good implementation partner, they can inject their knowledge of what is standard functionality and what requires greater customisation effort. You might find that it’s possible to tick everything off your list on day one.
We’ve seen enough to know that you can also get great results from breaking the project into phases. There’s a lot to be said for getting the basics right and focusing the big transformational pieces of work.
Once people start using the system they have a much better perspective and context for what else is needed. You might find that some of your second phase priorities might change or be unnecessary and new ideas will arise for how your CRM can better support your processes.
Redo your list, resell and vision and get moving on Phase 2.
- Find a partner who understands you
We might be biased, but it’s essential you get the right help. You need to find a CRM implementation partner that gets you and gets CRM. Every business we work with is different, and every CRM starts and grows in different directions because of the unique problems you need to solve for.
That’s why we work exclusively with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It’s extremely flexible and we can make it fit just about any business problem we come across. It’s a matter of intimately knowing CRM and getting to know your business and what you want to achieve.
Ok, so now it’s time to get out there. Start championing the cause!