To get the most from your digital communications CRM integration, it is essential to prepare for migration. Many businesses mistakenly assume that integration is simply a matter of incorporating new tools within current CRMs and letting the tools do the rest. In reality, many things can go wrong if the integration is not done properly. Poor integration is one of the leading causes of digital communications failure. When systems are not able to merge, frustration quickly builds. Sales teams battle to use the new tools, marketing teams are not able to keep sales in the loop, management is unable to oversee projects easily, and chaos soon reigns.
Luckily, you can avoid these issues with the help of some planning. To help you get things underway, we've put together a list of common mistakes to avoid when integrating your CRM with a new digital communications platform.
Avoid These Digital Communications CRM Integration Mistakes
Although this may seem like a long list, these mistakes all boil down to one crucial thing: preparation. Just like everything else in life, integrating new platforms within your current systems cannot be done instantly. Failing to plan is the fastest way to lose every benefit that a digital communications platform offers to your business. It's not just upper management who needs to plan for the migration, either.
Every single member of your team needs to be involved in the process. These tools will be used by all departments. With that in mind, all departments need to know how to get the best from the tools. They need to be fully on board at all stages of the process. They need to do their part to make the move to the new system as stress-free as possible. As for management, they need to oversee the integration and be extremely clear on everything from problem-solving to scope, tracking and the choice of platform. Here are some of the most important things to avoid when planning for a CRM integration.
1. Ignoring key business problems
What are your major business problems right now and how will the new tools solve these problems? Every company will have its own problems. Some may be battling to automate marketing processes to get better results from lead generation. Others may be struggling to handle debt collection or statement delivery. Some companies may have been putting off building a custom AI solution because it is too much of a challenge on top of all the other tasks involved in day-to-day operations. Then some companies are finding it challenging to handle all aspects of digital communications, with a siloed approach that is no longer working.
2. Failing to set specific goals
If you have not identified key problems, you will struggle to set realistic, specific goals that help you solve these problems. You need to know what is not working in order to fix things. You need to have measurable goals that help your business grow. If you are setting very vague goals, such as getting more customers, it will be very difficult to know HOW to get more customers. It will also be hard to know which solutions will best help you achieve these goals. To get the most from your CRM, you need tools that add genuine value. Setting very specific goals is the best way to get the full value of the integration.
3. Not putting your customers first
CRM platforms are, by nature, all about the customer. Your customers are the ones who should be getting the biggest benefit from your platform. Rather than focusing purely on how the tools help you internally, you need to consider how they will help your customers. Integrating a digital communications platform should add value. You should be looking at tools that provide a better customer experience and a higher level of satisfaction. This could include automated payment solutions, USSD solutions, and various other tools that put your customers first.
4. Integrating without a plan
We cannot stress this one enough. Starting the integration with no plan is a huge mistake. It can cost you a great deal more than you realise. Planning provides a realistic time frame with actionable tasks, allocated time for training and software integration, planning for potential downtime, and various other steps. It does not happen overnight. If you do not plan, you will end up scrambling to get things set up. Some employees will be using the old system and others the new system. There will be mass confusion on how things work. This can lead to downtime, customer complaints, and, ultimately, failure to use the system due to the mistaken belief that it is the system at fault.
5. Allowing scope creep
Scope creep applies to projects of all types. In integrations, it refers to the way that scope slowly starts to change. Before the integration, you likely had very set ideas on deliverables, responsibilities, requirements, and other tasks. You may have planned to some degree, but you did not factor in the chance of scope creep. Slowly, you start to notice that responsibilities have shifted. Some teams are doing far more than they should be doing and the list of requirements has grown within the space of a week. This is why it is essential to plan to do the migration slowly and properly.
6. Not involving your teams
Your teams will be the deciding factor on whether your updated CRM succeeds or fails. If you do not involve your teams right from the start, you cannot expect the integration to go smoothly. Sales and marketing need to be on the same page. All managers and upper management need to be up to speed, too. You will need to provide full training if and when that is needed. You will also need to create and deploy policies on your new digital communications processes. This will make sure that there is little room for error.
7. Getting too pedantic about budgets
Budgets are always a big concern. You do not want to end up spending more than you should – especially if you are not getting much value. But it is possible to put budget above everything else. You do not want to go with the cheapest solutions purely because they cost the least. Choosing a cheaper solution that offers limited features will end up costing more in the long run as it will not give you the full benefit that an updated CRM offers. Instead, you want to make your decision based on costs as well as value.
8. Limiting yourself with too few tools
While we're talking about limited tools, this is another mistake you want to avoid. Choosing 'cookie cutter', generic tools may help you in some areas of business, but seldom in all areas. One of the biggest benefits of an omnichannel communications platform is that it provides a comprehensive range of tools. These tools will add value to all areas of your business, from marketing to sales and customer service. You will be able to get the benefit of an automated solution tailored to your needs.To avoid the risks of these mistakes, it is crucial to invest in a trusted solution from an experienced partner.
Grapevine has extensive experience in CRM integration, ensuring that your move gets underway with minimal issues. Contact us today to find out more about our Digital Communications Platform (CPaaS) and how it can integrate within your current systems.