5 steps to get started with a Customer Relationship Management system

A fully integrated use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System can reduce churn, drive engagement, increase revenue, help you learn more about your customers, and even make them more successful. Sounds great, right? Not so fast. CRM system is not magic software which will benefit your organization without setting up and implementing a clear strategy. 

So what are the five steps you should take to have a painless start with a CRM system?

1. Identify your needs

There are many CRM systems on the market. Making your choice is not so easy in the first place. Before you are making your decision, you should answer questions, like:

  • Which benefits do you seek?
  • Which CRM features do you need to get started?
  • Which problems should the CRM system solve for your company?
  • Who and which teams are going to use CRM? 
  • Which collaboration methods are currently used to share knowledge amongst the teams?
  • How does the CRM system fit in the workflow?
  • Which bottlenecks can you foresee and eliminate before the CRM implementation?

2. Start small

Don't start with a big bang. Pick the core features you really need for starting up. Identify a few groups who will use the system the most. Get them involved and make them feel part of the design and decision making process. If you are able to convince them, they will become ambassadors who will help other users in their team adopt the system early and easily.

3. Place CRM into the workflow

Think about which workflow would make the most sense for your teams. Talk with your teams to learn how they imagine using the CRM. Don't overcomplicate the working processes in a way which might cost your teams extra time and energy. Try to find a way to make using the CRM system as convenient as possible. Which brings us to the next step.

4. Seek for the professional guidance

Train your employees to use the CRM system correctly and to the full extent which is suitable for your needs. If you are unsure of your expertise, get a team member trained. If you need some external input, consult experts. Make sure that everyone has the full understanding about what are their responsibilities, what is expected of them and how it benefits their daily work. 

5. Evaluate the progress and identify the bottlenecks

Take time to learn how the CRM system is adapted. You might have to make some changes or reflect back to the previous points highlighted before. Also, don't forget to measure the turnover of the use of the CRM system. Look back to the benefits the CRM system adoption has had for your organization and identify what you can still improve to benefit even more.

Pro tip: Integrate with your existing software

Try to find CRM systems which seamlessly integrate with your existing project management and collaboration tools. Adopting a new way to work with the CRM is much less complicated if you can use the software you already use. For example project management and collaboration software company Atlassian offers many possibilities to connect your daily work with your CRM systems. If you don't want to use external CRM system, there are other options. For example on the Atlassian Marketplace you can find the Atlas CRM add-on, which is built especially for Atlassian's Jira and Confluence. Atlas CRM believes that easy access to your customer information for everyone in your company means the ability to make better-informed decisions at all levels of your company.

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