Customer Relationship Management software help in managing and building customer relationships and increase the operational efficiency of an organization. This is why, when you are planning to use a new CRM or switching to a new one, you must ensure that data management, implementation, and other data transfers are done as securely and effectively as possible.
You need to make a proper, fool-proof transition plan to increase the probability of your success with the new CRM system. The following are a few steps you need to follow to ensure a smooth transition to a new CRM software.
Steps to Ensure a Smooth Transition to a new CRM
The key reason to get CRM software is to boost the efficiency of business operations. If you get a hang of the new CRM software and you can operate it at its optimum capacity with command over all its features, you will successfully be able to take your business to its best operational capacity.
However, keep the following steps in mind:
1. Choose the Right CRM for Your Business
The first and most essential step to ensure a smooth and productive transition is to choose the right CRM software. There are hundreds of such software available in the market and each one is created for a specific industry or function. Therefore, you need to identify your CRM needs and then choose one that offers the functions you desire.
For example, if you are running a real estate business, you need to choose a CRM for real estate specifically.
How can you do that? Go through this list of best CRM for real estate and choose one that best fits your needs and wants. Similarly, research and find out which CRM software works best for your particular industry.
2. Make a Transition Plan
A transition plan deals with the practicality of adopting new software. If you were already operating with one software previously, you need time to scrub the old data and transfer it to the new one. You need to decide on time limits and dates.
Therefore, if you were working with Agile CRM software, and now want to switch to Freshworks CRM, you would need to work on transferring your data from the old software to the new one.
If you have only 30 days' worth of data, the transfer is easy and won't take you much time. On the other hand, if there is a lot of data you need to work on securing, then you probably would want to make a six-month or eight-month timeline.
Always be in touch with your IT manager to make your transition plan precise and effective. Make sure that your stakeholders are available as well.
3. Appoint a Project Leader
You must select a project leader for this CRM transitional plan. They should have the right leadership and technical skills needed to ensure a smooth transition of this major company change.
The right leader would also be able to ensure that the employees accept the change. A leader who has the perfect mix of leadership, authoritative, technical, and empathetic skills would be able to take this project towards successful implementation.
4. Keep Your Employees Informed
You must keep your employees aware of the operational changes because nothing can work in an organization if your team is not on board with the decision. Therefore, it is best that you discuss the transition with the employees beforehand and ask them if they have any opinions or suggestions regarding that change.
Additionally, include the employees in the decision-making process. This means asking them what CRM software they suggest and ask them why they think it will be good for the company to adapt to that particular CRM software.
The odds are that your employee might end up recommending software that will be just the right fit for your business. Moreover, when employees are in the loop, it will be easier to manage the change.
5. Tell Employees about the New CRM Software
Employees are best able to adapt to a change once they know about the software. Therefore, we suggest holding a meeting to inform employees about the features of the CRM software the business is planning to adopt, its benefits, and how employees can use it to be more efficient.
Give them a few examples of how this software can help them with their daily jobs. If employees understand the change that is coming and how it will benefit them, they will be more willing to accept it.
6. Analyze Existing Data
When making the software switch, the first thing that comes to your mind is probably “what do I do with the data?” Especially when you are working in the real estate business, that data consists of a lot of leads and contacts that can soon turn into your customers.
So, what do you do with the data?
- You need to understand what data is important for your business. Perform detailed analyses and pick and choose what data you want to be transferred and what can be left behind.
- Once you have made that decision, the next step is to transfer that data and test it on your new CRM model.
- Do not import unnecessary data. Keep a limit on the data transfer.
- Understand that the new CRM might have some features that might delete duplicate data.
- Last, compare the records. You can do that by looking at your CSV and CRM files
This is the most important phase of transition. Holding training programs for your employees is extremely important for them to learn how to operate the new software. If you do not give proper training, you might end up losing a lot of contacts, leads, or other crucial data.
Therefore, schedule training sessions for your employees and make sure that they are comfortable enough to learn the new software and to ask questions to get as much information as they need.
It is also possible that you might encounter a few employees who need one-on-one training sessions. Do not be hesitant to do that. The more time you give to your employees’ training, the better your results will be!
Enjoy Your New CRM Software
Working with new software can be exciting for employees, provided you have a proper plan. In organizations, software adoption can become a hassle if not prepared carefully. You must make a transition plan that includes communication, transparency, management involvement, and training.
You will only be able to reap the rewards of a sophisticated CRM if you have managed to integrate it efficiently in your organization. However, one misstep can make useless even the best software.
This is a guest blog from Shaheryar.