Customer Relationship Management software are among the most important sales tools in the market today. Any business that wants to make the most of market situations should look to invest in one of these. They offer great value for money by streamlining and organizing your sales process. They are also critical for developing client relationships and this makes them essential for businesses of all sizes. This includes both B2B and B2C businesses.
With that said, implementing your CRM is often more important than the CRM itself. If you don’t establish your office air conditioning in the right way, then you won’t really benefit from it. So, getting the right CRM implementation process is very important. Now, some CRM sellers might give your CRM implementation methods while others may not. Either way, you should have a good idea on how to do it yourself. Here are 5 steps to help you implement any CRM in the right way:
5 Essential Steps for CRM Implementation for Your Business
1. Understand Hardware and OS Needs
The first and foremost thing you will need when preparing for CRM implementation is knowledge of the hardware and OS needs. Most CRMs are developed to work with Windows and Mac. However, if you are using an outdated version, then this may cause functionality problems. So, for the sake of clarity, you should ask the CRM leasers for the system requirements. This will include all hardware and software requirements.
Be mindful any enhancements you may give to the CRM. When you do that, your software or native OS may need an upgrade as well. The same is applicable to your hardware. For example, if you have an old system software, then it can have problems in handling high volume sales driven from a CRM. Of course, this can be solved by upgrading to the proper degree of system capacity and then using it in the right way.
However, this will require you to know what the requirements are beforehand. If you get a CRM and then find out what it needs to operate efficiently, then you will be wasting valuable business hours. Also, if you have a limited budget, then the requirements may fall beyond your range. This can happen if you have not setup your technological infrastructure yet or are looking to expand without enough financial investment.
In case you want to implement plugins into your CRM, you will also need to consider your hardware and OS parameters. It is quite common to seek plugins which enhance CRM functions like business analysis without getting the right hardware config. This leads to loss of time and of course, it results in you facing business redundancies. So, when you are discussing CRM implementation with your service providers, you need to understand fully how the CRM and any possible enhancements will affect you in the future.
2. Understand the Collaborative Processing
The best thing about CRMs is that they allow for dynamic customer relations development and sales processing. Companies which make CRMs can tell you that things get a whole lot easier when you operate through a single unified system. Of course, this also has its own set of challenges. If you are new to the CRM world and have never worked on one, then it might take some getting used to. This is particularly important for first-timers since it ensures they can get started on the right foot.
Now, the core benefit from the collaborative processing is basically to see how one CRM feature affects the other. Most CRMs contain accounts and contacts which are parent and child features respectively. This means the Accounts contain the Contacts. The Contacts themselves are made from leads. As such, they can be one-time contacts or long-term business contacts depending on your market. In all such cases you need to know how each CRM feature affects another.
If you have a proper understanding of how your CRM will function, you can divide up the working much more easily. So, when the time comes to actually start working on the CRM implementation process, you will have no problems. For the most part, it is best to get your CRM implemented by the service provider. However, when you understand how it will function, you can keep pace with them and ensure every function is segmented perfectly. Naturally, this will improve the software uptake period of your workforce and start delivering results form the CRM quicker.
3. Establish Hierarchy in the CRM
One of the most important features of a CRM is that it allows you to control the workflow through an established hierarchy. The top-level has all the access and each layer in your business structure works on an individual segment. These segments would them come together to give you the overall business derived from market opportunities. The key thing to do here is to create a hierarchy right when your CRM implementation process is ongoing. This will increase the degree of control you have over the software and all activities made through it.
Establishing a hierarchy during CRM implementation requires strategy. The best way to do this is to plan out how you will be using your CRM. The top-level i.e you or any other business partner should retain administrative rights. The account managers would come next and oversee business and person accounts. If you have many accounts, then consider dividing them up amongst your account managers for better functioning. Each account manager would have access to their accounts on the CRM and all related functions. They would, therefore, have oversight of any sales executives and their activities. They will also be able to generate reports and use analytics to validate any data metrics.
Sales executives and interns will have the lowest degree of clearance in the CRM. They will only work on certain aspects like Opportunities and Leads. This is the only part the needs to be given to them since once a lead qualifies they will hand it over to the account managers. If you have an existing client database, then the sales executives might need access to it. This applies when you want to generate repeat business and the information should be provided under the supervision of the account managers.
4. Distribute or Segment Human Resources
As we have said earlier, CRMs help businesses grow bigger by streamlining customer relations and associated sales processes. Now, the best way to use CRMs is to segment your workforce as per the functions of the software itself. How you choose to do that is up to you. However, there are certain rules which should be followed to ensure you get the maximum value from your CRM software. These have to do with operational efficiency, data requirements, reliability and seasonal preferences.
A good example of CRMs needing workforce segmentation is when you look at the operability. You need someone to work different segments of the CRM. As we mentioned above, account managers are the mid-level professionals you should choose. However, merely handing them access to accounts and managing reports is not enough. You need some way to segment the account such that your professionals can specialize in specific categories. For example, you can segment accounts based on geography, revenue earned, type and many other categories. Doing this will increase your overall operational efficiency and allow you to work faster.
The same goes for sales executives and any possible team leaders. When you grow large enough, you will need to segment your executives into teams. Even if your travel agency has only 3 or 4 professionals, it is best to club them together by common points. One of the best ways of doing this is to see which part of the CRM they use or will use most and then section them accordingly. This should ideally be part of your CRM implementation strategy and worked into your software by the service provider.
5. Initiate Long-Term Business Applicability
This is the final CRM implementation step we are going to discuss here. When you are getting your CRM installed, you may not think much of the long-term. However, it is wise to have some idea of how you’d like to evolve its functionalities. Doing this will help you in plotting how your business can leverage your CRM to grow at peak potential.
While it is difficult to predict how CRM technology in travel domains will evolve, you can get some idea from experts. Then you can look at your own business process, target demographic etc. Once you have done so, you should be able to consult with your CRM service provider. They will then make the right modifications to your CRM to allow future expansion. Otherwise, they can develop custom modules for you to use as you grow larger.
Where Can You Get the Best CRM for Your Travel Business?
TutterflyCRM is one of the very few highly versatile and travel industry-centric CRMs in the market. It combines functionality and performance efficiency to deliver unparalleled value to subscribers. Its SaaS model also means you do not pay for the CRM but on the subscription for using it. If you want a smart, responsive and effective travel CRM for your agency, then this is the right business software for you. Visit the website to find out more!