The CRM Implementation Process Explained
Back to articles

The CRM Implementation Process Explained

Maintaining customer relationships is something that a lot of companies struggle with as they grow and get more customers.

Manually building relationships feels unscalable.

Manually keeping up with customer expectations becomes difficult.

Manually managing communications is messy. 

So, automated customer relationship management (CRM) processes are the way forward across all industries, especially with online and digital platforms proving to be the future for businesses.

Finding the correct CRM platform to use can be confusing for business owners, with step-by-step procedures hard to find. Taking you through the CRM implementation process will give you a better understanding of what your next step must be.

Step-By-Step Guide to a Successful CRM Implementation Process

One of the most common things we see when working with businesses to provide CRM consultancy is that they're just completely overwhelmed with the amount of work that has to be done at once. 

Time management is essential for CRM implementation success (plus once set up correctly, it can save businesses hours every week across repetitive admin tasks!) 

Installing and implementing CRM software is also key if you want to be efficient in your workplace and customer relationships, but using the correct software and techniques is essential. 

> What are the benefits you should be looking for in a CRM? <


Hiring a Dedicated CRM Team / Outsourced Specialists

You need the right people in place to support your CRM implementation project.

CRM specialists have worked in this field for years and know how to plan for success.

Whether you decide to hire an outsourced agency or create an in-house team, the choice is yours. In fact, we'd suggest both! 

You're going to need someone internally to champion your CRM for the business – managing the data, automation and campaigns in the long run.

Rather than spending time trying to figure it out on your own, appointing an in-house CRM specialist to work alongside an agency will not only save you time but also make sure you don't miss opportunities to create the best customer retention strategy.

Here are some of the roles that will become prominent in your workplace:

  • Project Manager - leading all of your projects for up-and-coming CRM projects.
  • Customer Service Representatives - people who will be speaking to your clients.
  • CRM Analyst - responsible for data migration and cleansing (fixing duplicate errors, organising cluttered data, etc).
  • System Developer - In charge of the software customisation when specific roles need to be carried out. 

But there's also a strong case for hiring an agency to support you with this project, too. There are plenty of specialist CRM agencies out there that have the best knowledge of CRM platforms and business processes that need to be targeted, etc. which will give you a huge headstart. 

You can hire external vendors and agencies to...

  • Consult around best practise and optimisation of your CRM
  • Guide you through the initial set up and onboarding onto your chosen CRM platform
  • Set up the CRM for you, with guidance from you around business processes 
  • Provide ongoing technical support and consultancy around how to maximise ROI from your CRM 

Here at Fuelius, we’ve had people come to us who’ve tried to navigate CRM software on their own without hiring a team and it can become a time-consuming task. It is one of the most important platforms at the heart of your tech stack to keep your business running smoothly.

Building a team of professionals for CRM implementation, ongoing management and customer support will be your first step to seeing ROI from your CRM.


Choosing Your CRM Software

If you follow the first part of this guide, you will have a team of specialists who should recommend a CRM platform that's right for your business needs.

However, if you've still not come to a decision, we’ve seen clients gain massive success from choosing the HubSpot CRM.

No matter the niche, we’ve seen tremendous results come from the HubSpot CRM for all industries.

Not only does this part of the process begin your journey of creating long-lasting customer relationships but HubSpot offers five Hub 'bolt-on' products across Sales, Marketing, Service, Ops and CMS.

HubSpot provides more than just a CRM. Marketing campaigns, customer support, sales processes and CRM data will all be in one handy place for CRM users to access.

With other CRM applications, there are gaps where tools can’t be accessed or integrated with other areas of your team’s responsibilities. This leads to siloed data, misaligned processes and a lack of full visibility of the customer's journey with your business.

> Check out our Guide to Choosing a CRM <


Plan Your CRM Implementation Budget

Before you commit to your CRM platform, you need to make sure you have all the necessary funds to invest in your assets and continue with your CRM to achieve the desired results.

What do you have to take into account when plotting your CRM implementation budget?

  • Hiring an in-house or outsourced team (planning out wages or monthly retainer)
  • Paying for the CRM software
  • Number of add-ons you need to pay for
  • Number of contacts and customers in your system
  • Potential integration costs  

Although the backend can add up and the costs will begin to increase, this is the reality of running a successful business. More customers = more money spent on CRM implementation. 

However, an increase in customers means that you will be making more internal profit in your company, so at the end of the day - keeping all your customers happy will be worth it. 

If you’re looking to implement a CRM system, HubSpot stands out above anything we’ve seen. There's a free version great for startups and small businesses, with paid tiers starting at around £25 for the entire CRM pipeline per user, which could seriously benefit your daily tasks. 

Depending on what you think you need as a business (as it differs for everyone) CRM adoption will be the key to automating customer service and successful customer journeys. 



Going Live and Keeping Track of Performance

When going live, it is important for your CRM solution to align with all your third-party pipelines. If your CRM isn’t in line with your sales funnel, it’ll be extremely difficult to manually derive the customer data and put it into your CRM software.

If you already have a wide customer base, for the best chance of keeping track of everyone (including new customers coming in) - data migration must be carried out to ensure that everyone is running through your CRM system and not just the new customers.

Once everyone is in your system and all third-party integrations are connected to your CRM funnel, you must monitor how the CRM user adoption is performing. If there are clear mistakes in your CRM implementation, they will need to be rectified immediately.

This will not be a one-time check… you will need to look at this continuously as the months go on.

One of the biggest long-term issues we see in CRM implementation is low adoption, usually due to a lack of training. So it's really important to get everyone that's required to use the system onboard, with comprehensive training in a range of formats, i.e video guides, 1-to-1 sessions, gamification and more.  

If you have a trusted, highly-rated CRM team behind you, this should happen naturally.

If you’re on the lookout for a CRM-focused company with all the tools at hand that will give you all the assistance you need for success, book a free discovery call with our team today below, and we’ll be more than happy to help!


Images: Envato Elements