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Customer Relationship Management Checklist

The acronym CRM stands for "customer relationship management." As the name suggests, these types of software solutions have a way to positively impact your business or organization in a variety of ways. For starters, they have the potential to connect you directly with your customers in a way you've never experienced before. Secondly, you can use the information obtained from those customers to increase productivity, improve products and services and much more. Successful CRM deployments have several key components in common. One of the first things required…

Have a Clear Goal

Before the necessary software is installed, you need to sit down with the heads of various departments and figure out why you want to take this admittedly large step forward. Determine if you're trying to make it easier for customers to place orders or if you just want to connect with customers to find out what you can do to make your goods and services offerings more appealing. Having clear goals allows you to develop a more concise strategy for a CRM deployment, which in turn will ensure no part of the system is going to waste or is under-utilized.

Find the Right Software Vendor

The CRM vendor is the company who will provide both the software product as well as their installation expertise. Not all CRM deployments are created equal, so you need to weigh the pros and cons of each vendor carefully before making a decision. Don't let low cost become the only criteria used. Entering into an ongoing working relationship with a vendor is critical to the initial as well the ongoing success of the CRM initiative.

Arguably the most important factor for a successful CRM deployment…

The CRM Rollout

It is always important to keep things as simple as possible. Even if your business relies heavily on technology on a day-to-day basis, there will still be individuals with different skill sets working with the new software. Someone who grew up around computers and software applications may get used to the new system more quickly than someone who was forced to learn later in life. Keep things as simple as possible and make all aspects of the deployment easy to understand for all types of users. If your roll out makes it easier for your employees to understand the benefits the system offers and the ways in which it will positively impact the business as a whole, they will have a much more satisfying experience with regards to performing their jobs.