An effective data strategy and a change management pathway are the starting points of a successful CRM project. Here are some of our tips on how to get the most out of a CRM project.
Data Strategy: why a data strategy is important in a CRM project
According to a recent study by IDC and commissioned by Tableau, 83% of CEOs would like their organisations to be more data-driven, i.e. for them to base their decision-making process and entire business on data. However, many companies are still having a tough time accessing data in a structured way.
For example, often companies already have the information they need to improve processes, but they simply do not know how to make it available and make the best use of it within their decision-making process. This negatively impacts all company processes, especially the development of new products, services and strategies that keep pace with relentlessly evolving demand. So a data-driven approach is fundamental for staying agile and keeping up with a constantly evolving market.
This is why an efficient data strategy is an essential part of any digital transformation project devised by companies, as it secures the success of an internal digital roadmap. With specific reference to a CRM project, implementing a data strategy means improving decision-making processes, supporting customers more effectively and bringing new business opportunities to light. This can help map the customer’s journey, understand their desires and needs, provide suggestions on products and create a customised purchase funnel. In turn this also makes it possible to offer products or services customers did not necessarily have any intention of purchasing, thus generating additional business opportunities.
Thanks to an effectively structured data strategy, companies can pool sets of data from different sources, generating readable insight immediately that is invaluable for their business. Unfortunately the lack of a solid data strategy very much limits company data use. Instead of strategic assets, data become a mass of information that is practically unusable for generating value.
An effective data strategy must stem from a few fundamental questions linked to the management of company data. Do what-if environments exist within the company? Is governance structured according to data quality, type of access and security? What software analytics are in use? These and other questions must be answered before setting up a process for defining a company data strategy, without forgetting to define the customer’s touchpoints, how and what kind of data the company acquired.
But what are the benefits of a data-driven approach?
A truly data-driven approach ensures the real time usability of company data by employees. This enriches the internal decision-making process with a remarkable degree of agility and ensures data are transformed into assets that are fundamental for the business.
A company that grounds its business in data culture creates a favourable environment for cooperation between company teams and by eliminating data silos, is able to deliver a personalised end-to-end experience to its customers. Moreover, all information shared internally regarding company customers can generate new business opportunities, on both single customer and market levels.
From the identification of new trends, to forecasting results and real-time sending of suggestions for potential next steps, with Tableau, data can be turned into a resource that generates high added value for the company. Thanks to the use of easily configurable advanced artificial intelligence models – no coding required – Tableau can execute in-depth analyses, identifying cross-selling and upselling opportunities, increasing conversions and automating all repetitive operations. This provides each customer with a simplified and personalised experience.
The power of change management in staff engagement
Most CRM projects fail to achieve set targets as they are met with resistance to change in companies. Companies often underestimate the importance of the user adoption process and take it for granted. This gives rise to problems in the implementation of solutions, as the reservations and resistances of the company’s end users risk sinking the digital transformation pathway built by management. This is why a structured approach to change management is fundamental for accessing all the benefits linked to CRM.
So, the correct implementation of a CRM solution or project requires all company levels, from management to end users, to understand the need for change and internalise motivations. An understanding shared by everyone is fundamental for a successful project.
What steps need to be taken to encourage user adoption of a CRM solution? Here are some tips for an implementation that truly involves all company stakeholders:
- Define targets to be achieved: the definition of targets is an inescapable starting point. Identifying a clear and unambiguous end point to aim for is the best way to map the route you want to take. Monitoring will be based on the achievement of these targets and will need to be continued over time.
Activate measurement tools in advance: without adequate measurement tools companies run the risk of misinterpreting achieved results or being unable to monitor the implementation process in a continuous way.
- Involve the organisation: this is without a doubt the most important step. People to be involved in the implementation process are different and operate in different ways. Hence the need for a sponsor in the organisation, along with people managers. A coordinating figure must also be identified, tasked with liaising with sponsors and people managers, as well as the company’s IT department. Lastly, methods for involving end users, those who will materially adopt solutions, whose level of engagement can make or break the entire implementation process, need to be considered.
- Activate measurement tools in advance: without adequate measurement tools companies run the risk of misinterpreting achieved results or being unable to monitor the implementation process in a continuous way.
- Define a change management support system: this step mainly focuses on defining the tasks and values on which the cultural change necessary for adoption is based.
- Apply CRM best practices: The application of CRM best practices provides companies with a starting point on which they can build their own implementation pathway, encouraging internal cultural change. The success stories of similar companies give peace of mind to everyone involved in the entire process, from company management to staff.
At Atlantic we are tirelessly committed to providing solutions and methodologies that promote a culture of change in companies and provide invaluable insight for the decision-making and operating processes of businesses.