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How to successfully roll out your new CRM

How to successfully roll out your new CRM

Selection of a CRM vendor is a marriage, not a date. Enterprise buyers must think carefully about the vendor partner they choose and understand the long-term commitment of these decisions.-     William Band

William Band has very well explained the importance of selecting a good CRM for your company, as implementing and rolling out a CRM software for a business is a big commitment and we should make a wise decision to not to fall in a trap of unwanted expenditures and unhealthy business deals.

Once we come up with a final list of selected CRMs, we need to go through the different phases of software implementation before actually rolling out the CRM for the company. Let’s discuss further on some of the prerequisite of CRM execution.

1. Features of a CRM software

Creating a list of required features is a good starting point to understand your company’s business requirements. In addition, it provides meaningful estimates on the budget and the training requirement for the company before investing in a CRM software. The CRM system must support the following features in today’s world of technology:-

Features of a CRM software :

2. Business Requirements

A high-level business requirements document is a broad survey of company’s current pain points and possible business solutions. This document is usually derived from business stakeholder and end-user discussions to understand the requirements of a futuristic plan. The document can include business problem/solution pairings and its current state/desired future state details.

A business analyst generally documents the business requirements, some CRM experience will be helpful for the interview process, and for assembling interview information. The document of business requirements should have an associated slide deck that can be used in the workshop for the presentation and validation of findings.

3.System Design

System design is the specification of the business to gets down to the actual design of how the system should work. In the CRM world, this system design will specify how the actual data will be listed and how the system has been formulated to help the company in different phases of the sales process. System design will have a complete list of spreadsheets and details about the software design.

System design is the process of defining and developing the system to satisfy the requirements of the system users and stakeholders.  System design is also known as blueprint or specification. This gives us the actual design of how the system works. System design includes details like custom field names, data types, and picklist values.

4. Non Functional Requirement

The non-functional requirements can include specifications such as:

  • System availability: 99.9% uptime
  • Scalability: Easily scalable to handle the company’s incoming user traffic.
  • Backups: Complete data should be backed up continuously without any leakages.
  • Disaster Recovery: Redundant data centers with a minimum failover time
  • Cost: The system implementation and running cost should not cross a particular limit.

Once we understand the prerequisite of the CRM software selection, we should be in a comfortable position to select the best CRM software for your business needs and good to go for rolling out the software. Let’s understand further on how to successfully rollout CRM software for our firm.

5. Functional requirements: 

The functional requirements document takes the amount of detail to the next level. Generally, this is expressed as “ System must allow for doing the specific thing “. 

  • Why the requirement is needed
  • Details of the use case
  • Business results of addressing the requirement 
  • A description of the required behaviour
1. Understand the “Why” of the CRM adoption
Why you must use software to grow your business :

Before coming across the functionalities of a CRM system, it is required to define the strategic objectives and vision of the organization. In essence, understanding the “Why” behind the desire for a CRM system is the initial step. This includes engaging the executive leadership team members to pinpoint realistic and measurable requirements. For instance:

  • Evaluating the customer base to reduce the risk connected with introducing a new CRM.
  • Building a comprehensive 360-degree view of customers, encompassing interaction, issues, and profitability areas.
  • Increasing the comprehension of sales and marketing campaign performance to know about the future marketing budget decisions.

It is necessary to prioritize and define these objectives to clearly figure out business challenges and understand the pain points that will be acknowledged through CRM migration. A precise understanding of the sectors demanding the functional support from a CRM system enables for the seamless integration of this latest technology into the business framework.

While several startups and latest ventures recognize the requirements for CRM software, their implementation often leads to the addition of inefficient processes for the team members. Figuring out the pain areas within the company, that could be an unproductive customer service measures, unorganized contact details, and manual report generation systems, becomes necessary in shaping the selected CRM system to catch up with the specific requirements.

Effective CRM Adoption Strategies:

  • Co-opt Users: Project success depends on sharing the vision with employees. Engage effectively by soliciting feedback on the CRM, acknowledging the pain points, and reducing the bottlenecks before implementing the latest system.
  • Advocating CRM Implementation: Reducing the stress by employing the advocates for CRM implementation. These advocates will coach you through the flow of your CRM adoption program strategy.
  • Plug Holes: Acknowledge the potential pitfalls during the CRM adoption process to resist losing imperative leads. Introduce immediate solutions to rectify gaps in the process, such as manually gathering and inputting leads into the CRM.
  • Getting the Right Training: Figure out the systematic training program for users while managing training expenses. Having champions in your team members is beneficial; train such advocates, who can subsequently train the complete team during the CRM adoption process.
2. Build a roll-out team
Build a roll out team :

CRM adoption in a firm is a group effort. Once we decide on the right CRM software for our organization, the next step is to formulate a team to handle implementing it. Along with sales, marketing and IT team, company’s management and leadership members must be on board in order to successfully adopt a new system. You should also assign a team leader who should be in charge of the operation and will be responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the CRM implementation.

Often CRM adoption need to change entire mindset with regard to customer relationships, therefore it’s important that business leadership is not only involved in seamless adoption, but also proactively communicate its importance to the entire firm. All managers and leadership team should be fully trained and ready to support their team members in adopting the system.

Different phases of training should take part to explain the idea of CRM to your employees, especially the sales staff who will be most affected or benefited of the lot after the CRM implementation. If your employees don’t believe in the CRM effort, adoption will be slow and painful, even if it does not implode entirely.

Also, training the system administrators and users will also play an important role in CRM adoption into your system.Plenty of time and sufficient resources for training should be provided to team members to make them understand how the parts fit together and why they’re doing what they’re doing.

3. Identify the timelines
Identify the timelines :

One of the most important factor during a rollout is the initial timetable and milestones for the CRM implementation. Minor alterations in the overall implementation schedule are expected in something as complex as a CRM implementation as long as they are communicated early and carefully controlled. However, it’s important that every stakeholder understands that changing the requirements in order to meet the timetable is unacceptable and it’s everyone’s job to maintain the schedule and deliver the milestones on time.

Meanwhile, the higher management and team leaders should be well aware of the system limitations and plan the human resource availability as per the business requirement. Some of the main criteria which should be taken into consideration while the rollout process are as follows:-

  • Stakeholder Availability – The more involved stakeholders are, the faster the CRM implementation will go. Team leaders should be well aware of every team members availability during the rollout process so that no dependency dreadlocks are not created and a smooth transition of CRM implementation can be done.
  • Business Need – We should consider the sales and marketing team campaigning timelines so that we need not hit any major existing business deal due to rollout process. Also, we should understand any business upgrades and scalability activities scheduled during the rollout period which may because unwanted delays in CRM adoption process.
  • Training schedules– Consider the amount of time it will take to create training content/materials, demo videos,schedule inhouse training, and coordinate with team members and more. These help us to plan our rollout process effectively and schedule our work items accordingly.

These regular phases of rollout process should be planned effectively to create a seamless transition of CRM software without hindering day-to-day business work.

4. Are you System Ready?

One more common issue which arises while rolling out the CRM software is when the business system is not ready to adopt the CRM integration. With improper integration steps and dangling features, employees tend to become reluctant to use the software further. Hence we should add system adaptability in the list of prerequisite for the CRM implementation.

We should also make sure that CRM system should increase efficiency and collaboration of business processes and not inhibit it.

5. Employee Insight

One more important point to determine in a CRM rollout is the people who will own your CRM application. Every employee involved in the transition should understand the value of the rollout and should be mentally prepared to adopt the new methodologies involved as part of CRM implementation. Ideally, the individuals who will continue to own CRM beyond the initial implementation project are the real stakeholders during a rollout. Training sessions and workshops on the daily usage of the software is very important to make the staff aware of the complete details of the software and appreciate the full worth of the software.


Ultimately, adopting a new CRM system means changing our old habits, many old employees and traditional process may feel the pitch of new implementation in the initial phases but if the transitions of these rollout methodologies is efficiently implemented then CRM will be one of the most helpful tools that can be used for business process and customer relationship management.

Also, after completion of the rollout process,  an organization should indulge in regular follow up with its employees to gather feedback around the usefulness and value perception of the software.

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