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CRM - Campaigns - UK IT Association (UKITA)

UK IT Association (UKITA)

CRM or Customer Relationship Management

is one of the most talked about and influential communications tools any business has as it helps to drive audience loyalty, increase awareness and ultimately drive sales by using the latest database technology. To many people, CRM is a daunting prospect, so… Phil Callaghan – managing director of Batley based Caltech, one of the UK’s leading suppliers & implementers of customer relationship management systems – outlines his Top 10 Tips on what to look out for and what to do!

1. KISS – ‘Keep it Small and Simple’
CRM has to be nurtured, used, grown and developed to reap the major benefits. However, within
a year most clients see a return on investment. The system can be expanded over time once the
initial stage is complete.

2. Ensure it's a business driven application
Involve all stakeholders within your business to ensure there is a common, company-wide goal for
implementing CRM. It is a cross functional solution that is used by many teams from marketing
and sales to customer service and senior management, so each department needs to take
responsibility for their own part of the system.

3. Look to the future
Decide what is it you want your system to do – both now and in the future by thinking out of the
box. Do not focus on the specifics but do think about your visionary requirements. How do you
see it working for your organisation long term? A good CRM organisation will tailor the selected
system to fit your evolving needs.

4. Setting & agreeing the correct processes
Defining processes is more time consuming than difficult. Always think in a methodical way; “the
phone rings” now what? How do you manage enquiries? Does each user follow the same route?
What information is sent to the caller? How is the call followed up? Are they followed up? Think
about processes for customer service, sales and marketing. Also, carefully consider what other
systems you would like to be integrated with CRM, such as accountancy programs.

5. Choose the right system for you
Always invite a number of CRM experts in and review their ideas and solutions. Prepare for the
meetings by ensuring that you have questions about them and their systems, i.e. Have they
worked with your industry before? Does the solution fit your requirements? Also ensure that you
are thinking about how user friendly the system is and choose one that has been tested,
pioneered and developed to get the optimum outputs.

6. Analyse the risk
CRM is a big investment so make sure you are aware of the risks you are taking such as working
with and trusting CRM experts as well as the system not being used properly. Your CRM
specialist should have a risk planning document to ensure that they have a back up plan if there
are issues.

7. Agree the correct reporting
It is all very well having a system in place but to get maximum benefit you need to know how it is
working through detailed reports and information breakdowns. Always ensure that you speak with
your CRM specialist about the kind of reporting that you need and make sure you understand how
to access them.

8. Integrate all your data
Think about and discuss with your CRM partner how all your current data can be imported and
used in the new system – it is what your business is built on. Also, talk to them about how you can
maximise other data that you might want to incorporate. Most importantly, ensure all data is clean.

9. Make sure there is buy-in
Everyone has to adopt CRM for it to work. Without them, the system just won’t give you the
results you need. CRM is not a single silver bullet and it will only work if you put the effort in
which means bringing all relevant people to the table early in its development.

10. Review the system and reflect on what you set out to achieve
Review the impact that CRM has had on your organisation - both internally and externally. Once
the system has bedded in, set up a CRM user group to discuss ideas, problems or any issues.
Being able to “nip issues in the bud” before they become too big is the key!

Our thanks to Caltech CRM for the articles on this page.

UKITA Members - CRM Suppliers

caltech Caltech CRM is one of the UK's leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software specialists. They specialise in CRM implementation, project management, development, training and support. View their UKITA directory profile here or visit their website.

Other UKITA members
working with CRM technologies
Concentrix Ltd - CRM and Business Intelligence

Piandi Ltd - CRM through our Hypercloud solution.

Outserve Ltd - consultancy on implementation of open source CRM

Borwell Ltd leading edge software solutions

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