CRM implementation

How does it work?

A typical implementation process begins with a thorough analysis and review of your requirements, goals and plans. To achieve this, we conduct a series of interviews with key stakeholders and team members to gain a full understanding of your business. We can then set your short, medium, long-term goals. Once this is fully documented and agreed upon, we can begin deployment, configuration training and support.

Once you go live, we have several support options, from fixed monthly service level agreements (SLAs) to hourly packages for consulting, training or support.

CRM implementation

To help you implement CRM into your business successfully, it is important to understand several different elements.

Firstly, we need to understand your vision for the business. Scoping is a vital part of the process. Implementing a new CRM system into any business is a serious undertaking. Implementing CRM is a cultural change, with the potential for lots of internal processes to be changed or reviewed. Scoping, as you can imagine, can be disruptive.

So the first stage of the process is to fully understand your business and, secondly, to get buy-in from key stakeholders and staff members. Users of the system need to feel they have a say in the process.

Secondly, we document the differences between your preferred CRM's standard functionality and your business needs. These differences are documented in a spreadsheet, and this process and document are called a GAP analysis.

Once the GAP analysis is completed, normally with one of our functional consultants, the document is handed over to one. The functional consultant will review your business needs using the GAP analysis and add his own technical comments, as well as the estimated hours required to complete the work.

The document is then handed back to the functional consultant to review the technical comments and estimated hours with you. At this stage, you’ll have the opportunity to approve, reject or postpone the task. Items are normally rejected if the work required to implement/automate a process isn’t cost-effective. Some items can be postponed for later phases.

Approved items are converted into tasks inside our own Project Management system. All Project Tasks are accessible via the client portal, which allows you to review at any stage. You’ll also have the ability to comment on tasks via the portal.

The next stage of the process is called User Acceptance Testing (UAT). UAT enables you to test the core CRM functionality and test the completed tasks in a safe environment. More complex tasks may have several sub-tasks, so they may not be available testing until all component tasks are completed.

You’ll liaise with your Functional Consultant or your Flowbird Project Manager, who will advise which elements are available for testing.

It’s not unusual at this stage to request additional changes to the system. As you dig deeper into the CRM platform, you start to see additional potential areas that can be included or automated. Our advice at this stage is to document these changes, but don’t include them until after you go live.

Obviously, if something fundamental to the whole process has been misused, we will complete a mini implementation process again to include these additional requirements.

Once UAT is complete and happy with the functionality, we will agree on a go-live date. Before going live, we will train users, and normally we will complete a final importing of data. At the Go Live date, one of our technical consultants will be on hand to carry out any last-minute changes and correct any issues that arise.

For most clients, Go-live is not the end of the process. Most clients work with us on a continuous improvement process as you settle your new CRM system and processes in.

If no further work is required, we will agree on a Gold, Silver or Bronze support package to assist in any technical/training issues. At every stage of the process, you’ll have access to the documentation and project plan.

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