Adopting a CRM solution can be a game changer for SMBs. The right solution, when properly implemented, can provide companies with extremely valuable insight into their customer’s behaviours, generate more sales leads, drive more sales, and enhance customer service. For a growing business, it really is a must-have.
Still, many businesses considering new CRM solutions or upgrading their existing solution face a difficult decision with the ever-looming potential of unexpected costs. Deploying a new CRM solution and successfully adopting the business processes that go along with leveraging that solution is not a simple task. It is a major digital transformation for your organization and an investment into your future growth. The planning, implementation, deployment, and adoption of a CRM system is a complex undertaking. While horror stories about ballooning budgets and lack of internal adoption may give decision-makers some pause, businesses shouldn’t let that stand in the way of potential future growth.
With our years of experience implementing and supporting business solutions for a range of small and medium sized businesses, we’ve learned first-hand how to avoid these types of situations by utilizing our specially designed four-stage Success Framework which we’ve discuss in more detail in our latest eBook. Here, our team has put together three key tips SMBs can use to help them avoid ballooning CRM costs.
1) Start with a lean deployment
One of the biggest pitfalls we see SMBs fall into when building an implementation plan is the inclusion of unnecessary capabilities. Implementing capabilities that don’t fall within your current business needs can be a costly mistake.
Instead, your CRM solution plan should stay narrowly focused on addressing the needs that align with your current goals. Allowing yourself to get swept up in capabilities that might be useful down the line, but don’t directly impact your stated goals could leave your business on the hook for capabilities that it is not yet ready to adopt.
This is not to say that your business shouldn’t be planning for future growth. In fact, that kind of planning is essential. That’s why our suggested lean deployment approach focuses on building a solution that aligns with current specific needs, but that can also be evolved over time.
At Catapult, our CRM implementations are built with Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications. Because the Dynamics 365 apps are cloud-based and use a common Dataverse, they are easily integrated into one another or built on. This allows our team to provide a solution that fits an organization’s current needs while still allowing for iteration and growth over time. As your new CRM solution is adopted throughout your business and you begin to see the benefits of the efficiencies it provides, new opportunities to evolve your business processes will emerge. Because your initial deployment has been built with future growth in mind, those processes can easily be added with new deployments.
Using this approach, SMBs can avoid implementing costly solution capabilities that go unused or unnecessary business process that don’t directly impact your goals. With an initial lean deployment approach your solutions will grow and evolve with your business while significantly limiting scope and budget creep.
2) Stay focused and responsive
Our second tip for avoiding ballooning CRM implementation budgets is one we see far too often and concerns expectations around the level of effort involved for a successful adoption. Adopting a CRM solution within your organizations is a major digital transformation and should not be taken lightly. Time and again, we see organizations that hand over a solution vision and expect their implementation partner to take it from there until the switch is flipped and their new CRM solution is live.
In reality, the implementation and deployment of CRM solutions requires significant testing and feedback from users across your organization. This is the only way to ensure that this newly built solution will align with your current business processes.
Organizations that delay feedback requirements will slow down their deployment and inevitably be left with less effective business processes in needed of further costly refinements. Adopting a CRM solution that fits into your organization’s business processes and addresses your current goals requires focused and responsive attention throughout the entire implementation and deployment process.
3) Look for clarity and honesty in an implementation plan
Looking for an honest partner is obviously always good advice, but when it comes to implementing CRM solutions, having your partner provide you with a clearly mapped out plan is essential. The easiest way to avoid unexpected costs and delays is for all stakeholders involved to fully understand from the outset exactly what is expected. That includes not only being honest about timeline, but about the effort involved from both your partner and your organization.
At Catapult, we pride ourselves on our ability to lay out a clear and honest roadmap for our clients that will set them up for long term success. You can read more about our CRM Success Framework for small and medium sized business by downloading out latest eBook.
Is your organization interested in learning more about how Catapult can help grow your business with a CRM solution? Get in touch today or click below to schedule a demo.