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CRM Implementation is Just Like Choosing a Sports Coach

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs and great sports coaches have a lot in common. They are many and they are diverse. They need to provide you with intelligence, motivate your team, produce results and help you to achieve your goals. Choosing the best CRM solution for your business can be the difference between winning and losing. Follow the steps below to ensure you come out winning.

Step 1 – Needs Analysis

The first step is to have clear goals and a thorough thought process. This includes being clear and concise about:

  • What is it that you want to achieve?
  • What are the key requirements that your solution must be able to perform?
  • What have been the identifiable problems and what impact has that had on the business?
  • What do you expect to gain from implementing a solution?
  • How will the system fit into the goals and strategies of your business?
Step 2 – Evaluate

Once you have a clearer picture, the next step is to start an evaluation process to find the right system to achieve this. Like in sport, you pick a coach that will best solve your problems, implement sound strategies and allow you to achieve your goals and objectives.

When evaluating, you need to be willing to ask any questions if you are not sure of anything. Don’t leave a meeting or presentation without being certain that the decision you are going to make will be the right one.

Step 3 – Implementation

Once you have chosen the right product, the time then comes to implement it within the business. The implementation is a formal process of integrating it with your IT, employees and current data then structuring it so it is seamless and formal.

In sport, the coach must be able to relate to everyone, form relationships, pull together what they have and understand what they don’t have to make it work cohesively.

Step 4 – Training

To get the best results from a CRM system, training and development is key. The very best teams and players strive to be the best and put resources and energy into getting better.

If employees know how to use the system and can see benefit to them on a day-to-day level, they will be more inclined to use it. From there, the information that is pulled via reports/dashboards and analytical tools will paint a more accurate picture.

Like in sport, if players see results, they will buy into the game plan.

Step 5 – Data Import

The old adage ‘you only get out what you put in’ applies to CRM as well. The more data you put in that is of value, the greater the results that will come from it.

Step 6 – Ongoing Development

Even though it might seem like your implementation is complete, it doesn’t stop there – you need to keep developing it. To do this, you need to keep coming up with new strategies and business objectives. This can be in marketing, sales or customer service. Once you have an objective, you can use a CRM system to help achieve it.

Sporting teams always try to adopt best practices. The same applies with CRM. The key is to have drivers and people within the business always looking at new ways of doing things. New ideas present new opportunities and a CRM system has the ability to play a vital role in the success of these.

A CRM system should aim to maximise business opportunities and productivity, increase the efficiency and effectiveness of processes, provide structure and accountability and allow you to make informed business decisions.

These same principles apply in sport. The best teams maximise opportunities that present themselves in a game and are always working harder than the opposition. The process in which they go about winning is ingrained in the team. They are structured, organised and everyone is accountable for their role and decisions. They also make informed decisions. At any time, the data they have allows them to make the right decision and be one step ahead of the opposition.

When deciding what CRM system to go with or how to get more from your current system, remember that everything starts from the first decision you make, so make sure it is a good one.

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