3 ways a CRM success plan can help you maximize ROI Customer by INSIGHTLY TEAM September 27, 2023 “I’m already paying enough for my CRM. Why should I pay extra for ongoing support?” It’s a fair question that many midsize companies ask when implementing their first or a new Customer Relationship Management system (CRM). At face value, an annual CRM support plan seems like an unnecessary expense that could be better allocated toward revenue-producing activities, such as this year’s marketing budget. On the other hand, failing to achieve liftoff with your CRM represents a significant risk to the company’s future success, which could far outweigh the de minimis cost of a success plan. So, is a CRM success plan actually worth the cost? Let’s see if it’s right for your business. 1. Structured approach to onboarding and training elevates user adoption To effectively implement a CRM at a small, midsize company or even an enterprise-sized company, one must possess a unique blend of skills and knowledge, ranging from sales pipelines to database management and third-party integrations. It’s unlikely that you have this talent in-house. Some companies try to leverage in-house technical resources, such as an IT manager, to oversee implementation and training. Although this approach can work, there’s a chance that the IT manager lacks the practical sales knowledge to customize the platform to the company’s unique customer journey. Such misalignment causes a never-ending loop of confusion between sales and IT, which delays onboarding and stifles user adoption. Your IT manager can be an asset to have on the CRM selection and implementation team but is likely not the leader this project requires. Hiring a CRM consultant is another common solution. However, this strategy has its own set of drawbacks. Granted, a good CRM consultant may be more conversant when it comes to sales pipelines, and he or she should certainly know the software. That being said, a skilled CRM consultant’s time is not cheap, and every consultant’s onboarding methodology is bound to be slightly different. You’ll also need to be sure that the consultant has implemented your CRM of choice in the past, since all platforms have differences. What’s worse, if the consultant fails to deliver on his or her promises, the client has few options other than starting over with a new consultant. How a CRM success plan helps: Signing up for a vendor-provided CRM success plan can lessen or eliminate many of the aforementioned risks. Remember, the CRM vendor has a vested interest to ensure you’re up and running quickly and with a high level of user adoption. (Otherwise, they won’t be getting your signature for next year’s renewal.) An experienced and dedicated success manager will listen to your business objectives and apply his or her CRM expertise to align the technology to your exact needs. Better yet, you’ll be guided through an onboarding and training workflow that’s already been tested on countless other midsize companies. In short, a vendor-provided CRM success plan standardizes your onboarding experience, reduces the workload for in-house staff, and minimizes your dependency on high-priced consultants. 2. Personalized guidance creates stability in the face of change To grow and compete in today’s competitive market, all companies must constantly adapt and evolve. Change is good, but each new change has a downstream impact on business systems—and a CRM is no exception. Just because a pipeline was accurately configured at implementation does not mean that it is useful today. Cluttering a CRM with unnecessary data fields and relying on outdated processes slows down business development, thereby increasing the chances that users will abandon the system altogether. Despite the necessity for change, companies often hesitate to make adjustments to their CRMs. Fear of “breaking something” usually outweighs the unquantifiable gains to be had by maintaining an agile CRM instance. As a result, user adoption erodes over time, leading to a CRM that becomes even less relevant with each passing day. How a CRM success plan helps: A CRM success plan can provide staff with the confidence they need to overcome the fear of “breaking something.” As your business grows, your customer success manager walks alongside you to co-develop strategies for adapting the software without business interruption. And, as your CRM vendor rolls out new features, your success manager will be there to brainstorm innovative use cases that maximize the system’s impact for your situation. Simply put, a vendor-provided CRM success plan provides you with a sense of stability and a comfort level to make updates in a constant world of rapid business and technological change. 3. Accountability to ensure consistent usage When done correctly, adopting a CRM can be an exciting opportunity for a company to accelerate growth and increase efficiency. Of course, this can only be possible when users buy into the system and leverage it as their central source of truth. Sadly, some companies invest significant resources into the upfront onboarding process, only to resort to bad habits a few months after the switch. Without proper accountability checks in place, users inevitably gravitate toward familiar data silos, such as isolated inboxes and spreadsheets, which, ultimately, leads to a high-caliber CRM full of low-caliber data. How a CRM success plan helps: With a vendor-provided CRM success plan, you’ll gain an added layer of accountability to keep users engaged with the system. Collaborate with your customer success manager to configure and update data-driven reports and dashboards that monitor usage. After establishing a baseline, it may be wise to set up email alerts to notify you (and your CSM) when usage falls below a desired level or exceeds a predefined goal. From there, brainstorm new opportunities for maximizing system utilization. Lean on your customer success manager’s experiences with other clients to implement best practices at your company. CRM Success CRM success is effectively implementing and utilizing customer relationship management (CRM) systems and strategies to achieve desired business objectives. This concept has gained substantial relevance in recent years as companies recognize that nurturing and maintaining strong client relationships is paramount for sustainable growth. A well-executed customer relationship management (CRM) system can offer advantages. For example, higher customer satisfaction, boosted sales revenue, improved communication and collaboration within teams and departments, and optimized resource allocation. To fully grasp the significance of CRM effectiveness, it is vital to delve into its elements. One key aspect is managing client success. Success management refers to companies’ proactive approach to ensure customers derive maximum value from their products or services. By implementing effective client success management strategies within a CRM system, businesses can track customer interactions more efficiently, identify potential issues before they escalate into serious problems, and offer timely support tailored to individual needs. The acronym “CRM” meaning customer relationship management, encompassing the software platform and the broader set of practices to make customer interaction seamless and productive. CRM extends beyond merely tracking transactions; it involves leveraging technology to gather valuable insights about customers’ preferences and behaviors, enabling businesses to anticipate their needs better. CRM allows organizations to implement targeted marketing campaigns catering to individual clients’ interests. Why is CRM important? Effective customer relationship management enables companies to retain existing clients by continually meeting or exceeding their expectations. This helps foster long-term loyalty while providing an essential foundation for long-term sustainable growth. Furthermore, solid CRM practices typically translate into streamlined processes across various aspects of business operations. From sales prospecting to order fulfillment, CRM can help reduce operational costs. Overall, what is CRM? It is a comprehensive strategy encompassing various activities to foster and maintain fruitful relationships between companies and their customers. CRM success is critical for businesses to stay ahead in an increasingly crowded marketplace. It helps ensure customer satisfaction while facilitating internal efficiencies. Key Factors For CRM Success Customer Relationship Management is critical to survival in today’s competitive landscape. Companies worldwide are implementing CRM systems to help them get to know and interact with their customers, streamline sales processes, and boost overall profitability. To achieve CRM success, organizations must focus on several key factors: data customization, customer engagement, sales automation, and customer data management. Data customization is another one of the key factors for CRM success. Effective CRM empowers companies with valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences. A CRM system can be tailored to individual users’ or user groups’ needs and preferences. As one of the critical CRM success factors, customization can lead to more targeted marketing campaigns, improved personalization measures in customer interactions, and, ultimately, higher customer satisfaction. Customer engagement is another critical component and a key factor for CRM success. Engaging customers effectively through various channels such as email marketing, social media platforms, or personalized web content can keep them informed about your company’s offerings while encouraging loyalty and repeat business. Successful organizations leverage CRM tools to create segmented customer lists based on specific attributes or behavior patterns. This allows tailored communication strategies that resonate with each segment, promoting greater levels of engagement. Sales automation is a powerful tool for achieving CRM success by streamlining the sales process from lead generation to closing deals. Through automation features available in many CRM systems today, such as automated email follow-ups or lead scoring based on predefined criteria, companies can save valuable time for their sales teams while maintaining consistent nurturing efforts towards potential clients. These efficiencies can translate into increased revenue streams through faster deal closures. Effective customer data management is integral to realizing the full potential of any CRM system. Maintaining up-to-date records on customer information – including demographics, transaction history, and communication preferences – enables businesses to make informed decisions regarding their target audiences. By regularly analyzing this data and adjusting strategies accordingly, organizations can ensure they remain aligned with changing consumer trends while continually optimizing their outreach efforts. Implementing a robust CRM system that addresses these factors can help organizations manage customer relationships effectively while driving growth and profitability. Why CRM Projects Fail And How To Make Them More Successful Exploring why CRM projects fail and how to make them more successful is a topic that has garnered substantial attention from businesses worldwide. CRM systems have become essential for managing customer interactions, streamlining processes, and improving sales performance. However, despite the apparent benefits of implementing CRM strategies, many projects ultimately fail. To mitigate these risks and enhance the success rate of CRM initiatives, it is crucial to examine the reasons behind their failures and devise effective solutions. One common reason why CRM projects fail is due to a need for clearer objectives and expectations. Before starting a CRM project journey, companies must define customer satisfaction, revenue growth, or operational efficiency goals. An unclear vision could result in a misaligned strategy, rendering the effort futile. CRM failures often occur due to poor user adoption rates among staff members. Implementing a new system requires significant time and resources; therefore, employees must effectively adapt to this technology in their daily tasks. Another one of the CRM failure examples includes end-users. If end-users are not adequately trained or do not see value in using this new software solution, it will inevitably lead to low user adoption rates and, ultimately, project failure. The importance of strong executive support throughout the CRM process cannot be overstated. Leaders should actively promote the value of CRM systems within the organization and ensure that all team members understand how these tools can benefit their roles and the company’s overall objectives. Data quality management is another critical factor in determining why CRM projects fail and how to make them more successful. Inaccurate or incomplete data can severely hinder a CRM system’s effectiveness by limiting its ability to provide meaningful insights into customer behavior patterns or sales trends. Ensuring that all data entered into the system is accurate and up to date should be a top priority for every organization looking to implement a successful CRM strategy. Scaling CRM Success Scaling CRM success is essential for businesses looking to maximize the benefits of their customer relationship management systems. As companies grow, so does the need for robust CRM tools to handle increased customer interactions, more complex sales processes, and larger teams. It’s essential to consider aspects such as customization capabilities, integrations with other software platforms, and overall system scalability to ensure that your CRM scales effectively along with your business. CRM tools are crucial as they help manage customer data, streamline sales processes, and foster stronger relationships between clients and businesses. However, not all CRM systems are created equal; some may be limited in features or functionality. To scale CRM success as a business grows, selecting a tool that offers advanced capabilities such as detailed reporting and analytics tools, automation features to reduce manual tasks, and the flexibility to adapt to unique business requirements is important. CRM customization is particularly critical in ensuring scalability. A one-size-fits-all approach may work for smaller businesses but becomes inefficient as an organization expands its operations or targets new markets. Customization allows for tailoring a CRM system to specific business needs – from setting up custom fields and workflows to automating repetitive tasks based on unique criteria. By adapting the CRM platform to changing requirements over time, businesses can improve productivity while maintaining close customer relationships. Another critical factor when scaling CRM success is ensuring seamless integration. Integration with other software platforms within an organization’s tech stack is vital for success. CRM integrations with marketing automation tools or accounting software can save time by eliminating manual data entry while providing valuable insights into customer behavior patterns. These integrations simplify processes across various departments while improving decision-making based on real-time information. Considering the overall CRM scalability should always be considered when aiming for growth. Scalable solutions must have the capacity to accommodate increasing numbers of users without compromising performance or reliability. This requires selecting a platform built on a robust architecture designed for expansion and capable of handling large volumes of data. Measuring CRM Success Measuring CRM success is critical to managing customer relationships and driving business growth. As organizations continue to invest in CRM solutions, it becomes increasingly important to assess the efficacy of these tools and their impact on key performance indicators. By evaluating the results of CRM software, businesses identify areas for improvement, adjust strategies, and ultimately maximize their return on investment. One popular method for measuring CRM success is using predictive analytics. This technique involves leveraging historical data patterns to forecast future outcomes, allowing businesses to make informed decisions based on tangible evidence. By incorporating predictive analytics into their CRM solution, companies can gain valuable insights into sales trends, customer behavior, and marketing effectiveness. This supports data-driven decision-making and enables organizations to proactively address potential challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Another crucial component in assessing the impact of CRM software is tracking various performance metrics that align with organizational objectives. Some common indicators include customer satisfaction scores, retention rates, lead conversion ratios, and average deal sizes. By monitoring these metrics over time, businesses can identify patterns and trends that signal the effectiveness of their CRM solution or highlight areas for further optimization. In addition to quantitative measurements such as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and predictive analytics models, qualitative factors should also be considered when evaluating CRM success. For example, user adoption rates reflect how employees utilize CRM tools effectively in their day-to-day operations. High adoption rates suggest that users find value in the software. In contrast, low adoption could indicate a need for additional training or modifications to streamline workflows. Integrating feedback from internal stakeholders and external customers is essential for obtaining a holistic view of your organization’s CRM efforts. Collecting this feedback may involve conducting surveys, focus groups, or analyzing customer interactions via social media channels. Measuring CRM success entails a multifaceted approach considering quantitative data (e.g., KPIs, predictive analytics) and qualitative factors (e.g., user adoption, customer feedback). By continually evaluating the performance of CRM software and adjusting strategies accordingly, businesses can optimize their customer relationship management processes, enhance overall customer satisfaction, and drive sustainable growth. Choosing the right plan for your needs Most CRMs will offer one-time onboarding services and ongoing success plans. These will be priced separately. Ongoing success plans will often require that onboarding services be ordered since it’s unlikely for a customer success manager to be effective if proper onboarding has not taken place. Customer Experience | Customer Relationships | Customer retention | Customer Success | Delivery management INSIGHTLY TEAM Insightly is the modern, affordable CRM that teams love. It’s easy to use, simple to customize, and scales with companies as they grow, solving common pain points that legacy CRMs can't. Powerful in any vertical, Insightly CRM customers can add companion products for marketing automation, customer service, and integrations in the same platform. Insightly is trusted by more than a million users worldwide.