There are many reasons to implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system in a company.

You might want to improve customer relations, increase productivity with automation, generate better sales prospects, or develop more comprehensive reporting techniques.

But the road to CRM implementation is paved with good intentions. If not done right, introducing a new software system can backfire and leave employees jaded.

Here are the Top 3 Tips for Implementing a CRM System Successfully

1. Keep your goals clear and communicable

Make sure you are implementing a CRM for the right reasons, having nothing to do with hype or keeping-up-with-the-Jones. Outline clear goals and keep your employees in that loop, while soliciting their input.

Above all, have reasonable expectations about what the CRM will do for you. Figure out the problems you want to solve and your strategies for accomplishing them. Put those things at the top of your wish list for CRM features.

2.  Have the bosses involved and engaged

Implementing a CRM system is kind of a big deal. Some people may not appreciate its power and opportunities, and might push back. Your biggest cheerleaders should be executives who can inspire employees to get trained and dig into CRM use, leading by example.

The bosses have to be part of the strategizing, contracting, and implementation because when problems arise, the typical finger pointing will be replaced with honest problem solving.

3. Choose your system carefully and not just based on price

The cost of anything is meaningless if it’s not what you need. Find out what the staff needs in the software, identify what the industry calls it, and seek it out.

Just because at CRM vendor says their system has the features you want, double check that it’s all there. If you require a tool to streamline Customer Service, for example, be sure it tracks names, answers questions, measures results, and routes requests to the right department.

Get a demo of the system and run your data through to be sure it accomplishes the tasks you need done. Talk to the customers mentioned in the company’s testimonials to see if they are happy with the service. Be sure you have good support from the vendor when you start implementing a CRM System.

Keep it as simple as possible

When implementing a CRM System, it’s best to bite off as much you can chew. The last thing you need is an overly complicated system that includes more features than you need. That only gets in your way.

A CRM is the kind of tool that should adapt to your business processes, not the other way around.