Small businesses tend to manage customer relationships through a number of different applications—documents, contact managers, spreadsheets, etc.—and it is those companies that have the most to gain from implementing a unified CRM system. To help quell some of the apprehensions and concerns small businesses may have with CRM, CRM Buyer recently outlined some tips to help SMBs get the most out of the service.
When introducing a CRM system to employees unaccustomed to using one, the most important step is get them to buy into the system. Without employee support and faith in the product, the product will have little worth and SMBs won’t see the ROI they hoped for. Also, every employee must be encouraged to use the platform, because some will likely eschew the system in favor of familiar methods they know have previously yielded success. It is therefore important to stress the benefits of CRM implementation will give the company, rather than the system’s features.
Training is also important for proselytizing employees. Ideally, training will be included with the purchase or subscription chosen, and online documentation, videos, and tutorials are also helpful. For teaching non-technical people, sometimes it is most effective to familiarize them with certain features that are most relevant to their role. Ongoing training for the office is necessary for keeping up with the system’s innovations. CRM Buyer also recommends training users in groups—training at intervals will allow those first familiar with the system to help others.
Lastly, it is important to choose the right CRM platform. For small businesses, this often means a simple system. Managers should outline the company’s needs and then select a system based on those requisites, and not by the bells and whistles certain vendors may offer.
[Photo courtesy of cyberfision.]