November 11, 2013 – Unlocking the benefits of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can lead to an improved bottom line through more efficient teams and increased customer retention rates, but many companies are failing to use CRM systems consistently and effectively.
The solution is to simplify the system and make it easier for staff to use, according to Matthew Tan, CRM Practice Lead, OBS.
Tan said, “A CRM system can offer many benefits to a business and its customers. It increases visibility of the sales pipeline and customer interactions. This in turn lets managers track against targets and provide support where required. Customers now expect a company to have a record of all the interactions that have taken place and for transactions or complaints to be dealt with quickly and efficiently. A CRM system ensures that all the relevant information is recorded.
“The more complex a system is the less people are likely to use it. That might sound obvious, but once they realise the benefits of a CRM system, many organisations attempt to implement too many features too quickly. This becomes intimidating for users and ultimately risks the project failing. The message is clear; don’t try to tackle everything at once. In other words, stick to that time-honoured advice of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).”
How to KISS:
1. Capture the important stuff first
A phased implementation ensures that users don’t become overwhelmed and implementation remains as simple as possible. First, start to capture the most important data such as customer details, the service or product being proposed, and the estimated value and close dates. Even with just this basic data, organisations will immediately benefit from the ability to create dashboards and reports, which can then be used to create other information such as sales leader boards and progress charts.
2. Don’t burden users
Some organisations place too much responsibility on the users of the CRM to figure out how to navigate complex user interfaces and remember all the different fields to fill in. Using the system should be intuitive and simple. Make sure that your CRM is clearly navigable and have support in place for any questions that might arise.
3. Choose a simple interface
A busy screen can be intimidating. Highlight important fields and make it clear when to fill them in. Key data should be kept to a minimum to avoid overwhelming users, particularly in the early stages of adoption.
4. Don’t ask for superfluous information
Only ask for information that is actually required. Anything else is time-consuming, unnecessary and risks irritating the end-user. Make sure that the benefits of capturing each piece of information are clearly explained.
5. Present information in a meaningful way
An organisation might have a significant amount of data, but if it is not presented in a clear, easy-to-understand format, it will not be used and will go to waste. Make sure your information is presented in the simplest way possible.
Keeping it simple doesn’t remove the need for training, change management or executive support. It will help the implantation run more smoothly and increase adoption across an organisation.
OBS is a leading Australian IT Services Company focused on helping organisations transform their business with Microsoft technology. OBS provides world class consulting, implementation, development and managed application services around Microsoft SharePoint, Dynamics CRM and Cloud technologies.
OBS is recognised for its passionate people, innovative solutions, and proven success in more than 300 organisations across Australia including a quarter of the ASX 200.
Part of the Empired Group of Companies, OBS has over 150 staff in offices across Australia that service Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth