After more than 10 years of selecting and implementing CRMs for my small business clients I have seen more than my share of struggle, strife and stress when it comes to these tricky systems. We have experienced programming across 14 different platforms and at the end of the day it is basically the same gears and pulleys and what you are truly selecting are systems integrations and the interface. So how is a business owner to choose the right one and set it up for success? Let me share our hottest tips:

1. Align to how your company thinks.  

Every organization has technology and systems plugged in long before they start thinking CRM. Heed this advice: Pick the CRM that most closely aligns with the tech you already use! If you are an Apple shop do not pick Microsoft’s most recommended CRM! If you are Google based, use a product that was designed to integrate (I recommend Insightly).

2. Start with the end in mind. 

If you are attempting to program your system yourself, the easiest way is to identify what reports are going to be most valuable for your organization. Do you need to track how long it takes a digital suspect to become a qualified prospect? Do you need to hyperfocus on the usage of your website by current clients? A little brainstorming about the results will allow you to create a map that truly works.

3. Get out of your head.

Creating a map that you can look at and play with OUTSIDE of your own head or in the system itself is critical. Map out the flow of how a prospect flows through the system, which drip marketing campaign it gets added to, and what activity sets need to automate to get them effectively in the pipeline. This kinesthetic, visual exercise will give you the clarity you need to set the program up right.

4. Be dedicated.

I hate to break this to you but, except to a few geeks like me, CRMs are not sexy.  Your staff is not going to be salivating to learn a new and complex system that can feel like busy work. As a leader, you must be 100% engaged with the system and be the example your team can look to. Log in daily. Get excited about the automations and reports. Geek out…and show them the power of systems.

5. Create a training and engagement plan.

Your team will need you to educate them, over and over again, about the power and functionality of your CRM. Create a training schedule, incentive program and stick to it! Think of it like dating. You want to introduce them to each other, and let them go on a few dates before they start seeing each other every day. And, once they are married to it, sometimes it helps to find something to reignite the spark. If you are a soloprenuer then make a date with yourself to keep engaged!

Your CRM can help you automate activity, track the true numbers and bolster sales, but it’s going to take some love and time in the beginning.  @revenue offers assistance with selection, mapping, programming, training and more! Enlist an expert today, we are just a phone call away! 630-631-7713