By Michael Copestake, Head of Consultancy, Call Pro

So having put in all the groundwork and made your plans, the time has come for the actual implementation of a new CRM system within your business.

A key consideration is both the means and the extent to which it is going to integrate as part of the wider marketing mix and what will be the level and depth of functionality.

Establishing if the system will automate and nurture leads and provide full visibility of all interactions and conversations with prospects and existing clients is a key consideration as is whether multiple channels will be used and integrated seamlessly with social media.

Furthermore, a decision on the respective merits of using an individual, all-encompassing system or a process that involves multiple systems that feed into the main CRM must be taken.

Engaging employees as well as customers
As the name spells, out, CRM is a customer relationship tool, but it is just as important to invest time and effort in ensuring the team that will be using it fully understand and embrace the new technology if the full potential is to be reaped.

It is worth running an internal branding campaign that highlights the core functionality, benefits and how this will enhance the role and performance of the team. Positioning the system properly is vital to establish a positive mind set from everyone in the team which is key to optimising the efficiency and dispelling any negative preconceptions that can arise if people are unfamiliar with a software and do not understand it.

The User Experience
Finally, it is imperative that the experience for each and every user is successful and runs smoothly. Only by a positive experience will people want to repeat it, so every effort must be made to ensure that the correct data is presented to the user.

Automating as much of the business process as possible is a must to minimise the number of user interactions and potential errors. Flexibility is also essential to meet the different requirements and to encourage users to think about potential configurations that will best suit their requirements.
Providing detailed and clear user guidance is essential for establishing the guidelines and identifying what is best practice with regard to the CRM.