• February 20, 2024
  • By Danny Estrada, Vice President of Consulting, Rare Karma

Regular CRM Health Checks Are Critical

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I had a conversation with another CRM magazine contributor recently in which we contrasted the good old days of CRM compared to the state of CRM today. Even though we run in different circles within the industry, we have one experience in common: how companies still struggle with so many different aspects of CRM. There are common issues that stymie users at the firms I consult with, so here I’m offering a CRM health check that can help you assess and resolve sources of frustration.

When CRM platforms were first deployed, their functions and capabilities were limited, but for many companies today, CRM is the operational heartbeat. Knowing where you are on your CRM journey and road map will help determine how deep you should dive into the following recommendations.

Step 1: Establish a Baseline

Most organizations have KPIs and dashboards within their CRM meant to provide metrics on business performance, but few have established KPIs or expectations related to data, modifications and customization, and integrations. Lacking this information makes the health check process much more difficult. The steps below go into each of these areas in greater detail as well as some of the operational considerations to ensure future alignment between your business needs and the CRM platform.

Step 2: Review System Configuration and Customization

Evaluate the configuration of your CRM system to ensure it aligns with your business processes and objectives. Verify that fields, workflows, and automation rules are set up correctly and are still relevant to your current needs. Assess any customizations or integrations with other systems for compatibility and functionality. Document what is “core” and came with the platform and what fields, tables (objects), user interfaces, code, workflows and notifications, reports, dashboards, and integrations have been added.

Step 3: Assess Data Quality and Integrity

Data is the lifeblood of any CRM system. Conduct a thorough audit of your data to assess its quality, completeness, and accuracy. Identify duplicate records, missing information, and inconsistencies in data entry. Establish data quality standards and data purging policies. Implement data cleansing processes to rectify any issues and establish protocols for ongoing data maintenance.

Step 4: Evaluate User Adoption and Training Needs

Identify any gaps in training or support that may be hindering adoption. Conduct surveys or interviews with users to gather feedback on usability and functionality. Develop targeted training programs to address specific user needs and promote greater utilization of CRM features. Gather platform usage statistics and establish metrics and KPIs for future coaching as well as recognition.

Step 5: Review Security and Compliance Measures

Ensure that your CRM system adheres to industry standards and regulations for data security and privacy. Review access controls, permissions, and authentication mechanisms to safeguard sensitive customer information. Conduct regular security audits and penetration tests to identify vulnerabilities and mitigate risks. Document any legislative or compliance requirements that relate to CRM data or processes.

Step 6: Analyze Performance and Scalability

Monitor system uptime and response times to identify any performance bottlenecks or issues. Evaluate the scalability of your CRM solution to accommodate future growth and expansion needs. Document all third party integrations and their mappings and functions, inventory all custom code, and document whether connectors are maintained internally or with any cloud providers.

Step 7: Gather Feedback from Stakeholders

Collect feedback from key stakeholders, including sales teams, customer service reps, and management. Solicit input on pain points, challenges, and desired improvements. Use this feedback to prioritize enhancements and optimize the CRM system to better meet the needs of your organization. Develop a CRM road map for future releases of new features, customizations, integrations, or third-party integrations. This makes it easier to communicate to stakeholders how the feedback they provided will be incorporated.

Step 8: Develop an Action Plan

Based on the findings of your health check, develop an action plan outlining specific tasks, timelines, and responsibilities for addressing identified issues and implementing improvements. Establish a CRM committee with varying levels of stakeholders and an operating model that documents the evaluation process and the methods for how future CRM changes will be implemented and funded.

By conducting a comprehensive assessment of your CRM system, you can identify areas for improvement, optimize performance, and drive greater value. Most important, establish a structure and document everything. If this seems daunting, consultants can be valuable the first time around and help you become more self sufficient.

Danny Estrada is vice president of consulting at Rare Karma. Throughout his career Estrada has been a CRM evangelist and expert at leveraging technology platforms to create business value. He has been a senior director at KPMG and a thought leader for Salesforce and Microsoft, and was published in an industry white paper by the Harvard Business Review. He also holds an executive MBA from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

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