CRM Adoption Timeframes
Factors and steps that affect its CRM Adoption for companies
“It takes exactly 6 months to strategize, migrate data, and train users to achieve full CRM adoption.” is what I wish I could tell you straight off the bat, but in reality, there is no exact timeframe that applies to all companies wanting to adopt a CRM.
Customer Relationship Management(CRM) has become a very important tool for companies to leverage the power of technology and create stronger customer relationships. It essentially allows companies to get to know individual clients better, so sales, marketing, and service reps can deliver quality and personalized offers. However, the problem is not the CRM itself, but the adoption and how long it takes.
Each company and each CRM software will have different durations in implementing each step of the process. However, it’s not the exact duration that matters most, rather, it’s recognizing the needs of each stage and knowing how to prepare for it. This way, you’ll have an estimate of how long each step will take, under circumstances specific to your company.
Factors to Consider when anticipating Timeframes
Taking on CRM, or even switching to a new one, is undeniably going to take time, or less, depending on factors such as:
- Company Size – More users mean more data, and more people to train. Deployment of the CRM will also take more time under a larger company.
- Vendor Negotiation – Choosing which CRM vendor the company will subscribe to, and negotiating with each one, will also take time. Each vendor will have a different response timeframe, and the features required by your company will also matter.
- Customization and Integrations – Setting up may take longer if you have many pre-existing third-party apps that need to be integrated into your new CRM, as well as required system customizations.
- Amount, Complexity, and Overall Quality of Data – Relevant company data prior to CRM will need to be cleaned and migrated. A bigger amount of data will take more time to assess and transfer, but one thing is for sure: the cleaner the data, the faster the process.
- Data Migration procedures – Besides the data quality issue, the process of how the data will be transferred will also affect the duration. You need to connect the pre-existing data to the appropriate CRM data fields, so if they’re formatted differently, migration may become a challenge. On the bright side, it is common for CRMs to have a data import feature that can streamline the data transfer.
- User time and Devotion – The speed of implementation will also depend on the availability of your users, especially in the testing and training phase. Aside from trying to learn how to work the CRM, they are also busy doing their jobs, so it needs the right balance.
- Peak seasons – In conjunction with the previous factor, peak seasons will be the busiest weeks for your soon-to-be users, and planning a speedy CRM transition at this time may not be the best idea. Timing is key, and it would be better to train and have the implementation phase at a time where your company is not yet too busy.
- CRM ease of use – A complicated CRM will require a longer period to learn and train for, so the more user-friendly it is, the better. One effective way of increasing usability is by using Voice to CRM software.
Do keep in mind that the more you prolong the implementation process, the more likely you will lose money. It will increase the risk of low CRM adoption rates and delay the company’s ROI. Additionally, if you’re planning to subscribe to a CRM from a vendor instead of developing your own, you’ll also be paying the fees, whether it be monthly, per user, or both, all while you’re still in the implementation stage.
3 Phases of CRM Adoption
To simplify, the entire process of adopting a CRM can be categorized into 3 chronological phases: Strategizing, Implementation, and Training.
Bear in mind that the timeframe estimations will be based on mid-sized companies with 40 to 100 users, and in reality, it will always vary per company. These estimations, however, are the most commonly observed periods based on experts in the field, and according to them, it takes approximately 11 months to one year for a full CRM adoption. It can be used as a baseline for comparison and a useful guide in how your company may structure its CRM adoption timeline.
Strategizing (3-5 months)
The start of the CRM adoption journey will always be the planning and communicating stage. At this time, executives need to set business goals and communicate the reason behind the CRM initiative to stakeholders, the IT department, as well as future users. It is also very important to identify what features the users will require, which vendors to choose from, and who will oversee the CRM project. Strategizing ahead will set the stage for what is to come, and prepare the company for the actual CRM implementation.
- Goal setting and consulting with stakeholders
- Determining the Budget allocation
- Communicating the importance of CRM as well as Collaborating with future users
- Gathering data on the users’ functionality requirements
- Vendor Selection and Negotiation
- Appointing CRM administrators and leaders
Implementation (5 months)
After you have chosen which CRM system to use, data cleanup and migration can begin. This is also the phase wherein the CRM will be customized and other applications will be integrated to suit your business needs. When everything looks good, beta testing will take place, to check if everything is in working order and to verify different components/functionalities. This phase is where you and your team can make sure that the CRM is functional and ready to be used.
- Data Cleansing, configuration, and Migration
- CRM Customization
- Adding the necessary Integrations
- Beta Testing and verification
Training (4 months)
In this phase, users can start training on how to use the software. To streamline the process, we recommend using a Voice to CRM integration. It helps reduce the complexity of data entry (which is usually the cause for low CRM adoption rates) and allows users to easily input data by speaking. With this, training time can be reduced.
When training is done and the CRM is being used, it’s also important to track your team’s CRM usage and adoption rates, as well as implement regular post-implementation training sessions.
- User training
- Gathering data on CRM usage and Adoption
- Follow-up Training Sessions
Onboarding with Voice to CRM data entry services company such as Hey DAN, can take a little over a month or so depending on the complexity of your CRM and more specifically the legality of the knowledge transfer process. Once onboarded, sales teams gets data on the CRM as if it was on steroids. Fast turnaround times, more accurate data, and most of all more free time for sell.
CRM adoption does take time and more often than not if not supported properly may also lead to failure. Getting to maximizing the potential of your CRM and the selling of your team is where Hey DAN plays a part of. More often than not, it actually less the average time for companies to adopt to a CRM.
In conclusion, strategically drafting out your timelines and as much as possible, sticking to them, will help with the overall CRM adoption. Having a timeline will serve as a guide to make sure that everything is done appropriately and on time. Always remember that these timelines are unique to every company, and having one will help save time and resources for all parties involved.