by Steli Efti, CEO
Last updated September 10, 2021
Your CRM is the hub of activity, the place where information about prospects and customers is gathered and stored, the main tool for your sales team.
If it’s not helping your team accomplish their goals, close more deals, and develop stronger customer relationships, it’s time to make a change.
But CRM implementation is a big move. How do you know your team will like the new CRM? How can you choose a CRM that fits your business and your sales process? How can you overcome challenges and get your team up and running on a new CRM?
Don’t sweat it: we’re about to take you through the whole process for CRM implementation, from deciding on a new CRM to getting your data migrated, to proving the success of your choice.
Wondering what to expect in this guide? Here’s the full breakdown:
1 9 CRM implementation steps to choose and validate a new CRM
How do you know you’re choosing the right CRM? What questions should you ask (and answer) before you start going down this road? This chapter will discuss the specific steps involved in choosing and validating a new CRM, plus a CRM implementation questionnaire that will help you determine your team’s key needs in a new system.
2 The only CRM implementation plan you’ll ever need
A well-developed CRM implementation plan starts with data clean-up and only ends when your team is fully onboarded and excited about using the new system in their daily process. Learn how each of the steps in between will lead you to a successful implementation.
3 CRM implementation timeline: a roadmap to finish in <6 weeks
In this chapter, you’ll learn how to set up your own timeline with a proprietary, goal-based roadmap that takes you through each step. Plus, you’ll get a customizable roadmap template that you can swipe and use during your project.
4 CRM implementation success factors: 5 signs you nailed it
Your new CRM is implemented—how do you know whether you made the right choice? This chapter discusses how adoption rates, visibility, and better collaboration should look in a successful software migration, plus 4 essential KPIs to prove the success of your implementation project.
5 6 most common CRM implementation risks + how to fight them proactively
Learn why proper research, a well-built sales process, and deeper communication between sales leaders and reps are all essential to fighting CRM implementation failure. This chapter also digs into common risks, such as going over budget, extending your timeline, or facing low adoption rates with the new CRM (plus solutions to combat these risks proactively).
6 CRM implementation cost: 6 ways you’re spending + how to save
Seeing too many zeros at the end of your forecasted budget? Or are you worried you’re missing some hidden costs that will sneak up on you later? This chapter digs into the real-world costs of CRM systems, plus the extra costs of implementation that you need to plan for. This includes training, data migration, VoIP and telephony services, and extra integrations.
7 CRM implementation checklist: requirements start to finish & beyond
The short and sweet version—this checklist is everything you need to know from this guide, condensed into 39 steps that you can swipe and use to guide your process from beginning to end.
Before we dive in, let’s talk about:
CRM implementation is the process of choosing, purchasing, setting up, and using a new CRM system. The process begins when you start actively searching for a new CRM, goes through the decision and purchase process, and finishes when you’ve successfully migrated your data and have your whole team using the new CRM.
That CRM your team is currently using is only slowing them down. No one is updating their information or adding important deal details, and you’re never quite sure exactly what’s going on in your team’s sales pipeline.
This is the beginning of your CRM implementation project—acknowledging there’s a problem and getting ready to solve it.
After you’ve decided on a new CRM software, you’ll need to get it ready for your team to use. That includes setting up customizations, third-party integrations, and automations. Finally, you’ll migrate your data from the old system into the new one, and set up your users.
That’s the meaning of CRM implementation (in a nutshell).
Are you starting to wonder if your implementation project is worth the work it’ll take?
Trust us: the right CRM is worth its weight in gold.
Whether you’re moving into a real CRM software from a messy Excel spreadsheet CRM, or switching to a system that fits your team and sales process better, here are the top 7 CRM implementation benefits you’ll see once you finish:
So, what exactly does implementing a new CRM involve? Here’s a preview of the strategy you can use to implement a new CRM system for your team:
Pro tip: Want a more detailed look at a CRM implementation strategy you can use to cross the finish line? Jump ahead to Chapter 2 of this guide.
As with any big software purchase, there are challenges and risks involved with your CRM implementation. Being aware of these risks and preparing for them in advance can help you smooth out the process:
Pro tip: Don’t get burned by hidden migration fees. Talk to the friendly sales team at Close about how we can help you migrate your data with a transparent pricing structure.
Curious how you can prep for these common CRM implementation challenges? Jump ahead to Chapter 5.
When you set clear goals, prepare for the risks, and build a solid plan, you’ll set yourself up for success.
Ready to build your own CRM implementation plan from start to finish? Jump to the first chapter of the CRM Implementation Guide.