We’ve talked a lot in the past about why you need CRM, and when to implement CRM into your workflow, but the one thing we’ve never really discussed is how to afford CRM implementation.
Not surprisingly, with all of their incredible value, some CRM systems can be very expensive undertakings. Above and beyond the cost of training and adopting the system, the actual cash expense can occasionally be rather daunting (depending on the size, complexity and type of system you wish to implement).
Let’s take a look at some effective budgeting and planning techniques you can use before you purchase a CRM system.
1. Understand Your Budget
Not surprisingly, the first step to staying within your budget is to understand your budget. Get to know and understand the ins and outs of your budget, specifically how it is planned. Also consult your CFO (or relevant position) and consider any suggestions or insight that they might have. Take advantage of your resources, they might see something that you’ve missed.
2. Try to See Things in Reverse
Start by deciding what your end goal will be. Construct a timeline that explains how you will reach this goal. By starting with the final goal, you will know exactly what you are trying to achieve and hopefully this will make discerning the necessary steps to take along the way just a little bit easier.
3. Plan a Project
If you’re facing some resistance from the higher-ups about your CRM implementation, who not try and initiate a smaller plan that can demonstrate the benefits of CRM for everyone? It’s a great way to get a foot in the door.
4. Be Ready to Defend CRM
Don’t just “set it and forget it” when it comes to CRM. Chances are you’re going to face some opposition, so be sure to diligently monitor the cost-benefit of your CRM system. Demonstrate clearly how CRM can increase your ROI and drive further sales or success in the future.
5. Don’t Lose Sight
While CRM implementation is obviously a great goal to shoot for, there’s still going to be a lot of other things going on at your company. Keep you focus where it needs to be, and don’t neglect the other things to focus solely on CRM.
CRM is an incredibly powerful tool for the modern business. However, it is a sweeping change for most businesses, and it often faces significant opposition. That’s why “CRM evangelists” need to know the facts, and work hard to prove the effectiveness of CRM.
Once CRM is implemented and adopted you will begin to see why it is worth all this time and effort. By streamlining and monitoring your sales and marketing efforts with CRM you will see dramatic improvements in your business’ performance in years to come.