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Create a CRM routine guide - your secret weapon to CRM success

Getting everyone in the company to use your CRM system in the same way can be a challenge – but don't despair. A routine guide can be the answer.
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Since you’ve got a CRM system, you most likely know that it is a “must have” in today’s business world if you want to be successful. But how do you get the users in your organization on board and moving in the same direction as you?

This is always a challenge since your CRM solution is a voluntary system.

A CRM routine guide is one great way to get everyone on board. 

Reinforce the right actions and behavior

A  routine guide is the documentation for your organization  that tells them what to do, in what systems and when. It is the description of how your strategies are to be implemented. It can be equated to a recipe book and when you consolidate all the recipes for your different business development processes, you end up with a pretty useful cookbook your employees can refer back to.

Like all recipes, when you use them often enough, you no longer need them as you remember them by heart. But they are really handy in the beginning and ensure that your output actually tastes and smells the way it should.

Having a routine guide reinforces the desired behavior and actions you want your team to take in order for you to achieve the goals you have set your organization.

Supporting a common understanding

The saying “rubbish in means rubbish out” applies to most business systems. If you have no rules and guidelines on what information you want and how to register it, then the quality of your reports are likely to be poor. The users of your CRM system must understand the consequences of what their usage (or lack of) means.

Let’s take sales reporting as an example. If one sales rep forecasts a 60% probability of winning a deal, then it is important that “60% probability” means the same to everyone, otherwise you would have chaos.  

A routine guide should set the rules and definitions of the CRM and will assist your team to understand your business processes and what their actions or input means.

Furthermore, we often see that having a CRM routine guide also cements management’s goals and visions by describing in detail how these goals will be reached.

Who should create one?

In our experience, creating and maintaining the routine guide is best done internally. You know your business and your team better than any outside consultant. A consultant can help you with user training and help you get started with a routine guide, but by taking ownership of the routine guide means you also have ownership of the processes. 

What should a routine guide contain?

A Quick Guide or Reference Guide can be a 2-page laminated document that a user can keep on his or her desk and can quickly refer to when they are in the process of performing tasks. It can be a little fold-out pamphlet or a poster to have by your working station. Often it is specific to a process for example:

  • This is how we report on sales in our business.
  • This is how we register and track leads
  • This is how we update and manage our contact profile

We have also seen quick guides presented as business cards, or mouse maps, and other fun items that a user can enjoy.

The more traditional routine guide is typically a longer document or set of documents that you distribute to your organization.  

In our company, we use a PowerPoint outlining how we use SuperOffice internally, defining different processes for different roles,whether you work in sales, services or administration. Remember that this is a living document that has to change with your changed business practices.

The routine guide is in addition to the standard “help-file” available in the SuperOffice software or the training you give your users in how to use SuperOffice. For this reason, you shouldn’t need to include what happens when a user clicks on a button, but instead outline what information you expect to be entered in which screens to support different processes.

How do you ensure that it is used?

Creating a routine guide is only half the battle. Once you have your routine guide there are some additional things to do and consider:

1. Make it easy to find

It could be available as a button or link in SuperOffice or published on your intranet. It is important that it is easy to find whenever a user is stuck and need to check the guide.

2. Get top management endorsement

If top management isn’t behind this endeavor then the likelihood of success diminishes. Make sure to get top level commitment.   We increasingly see examples of where companies even appoint a person as CRM responsible which reflects the importance of the solution and its success.

3. Repeat, repeat and then repeat again

We all need reminders and often just the one reminder is not enough. Actively using and referring to routines in team meetings will help everyone to remember what you mean or the importance of different aspects to be correct in your CRM solution. After all, it is merely a description of how you do things to create value for your customers.

4. Appoint a CRM responsible from your business line

Your CRM solution is a business application and therefore should be the responsibility of business managers and not just IT. It’s very helpful to appoint key people to administer your solution as well as to have a clear process on how people can suggest changes. For example, use a standard form mailed to a specific address so that all suggestions are captured and handled properly.

5. Review and update regularly

For all your business processes it is necessary to have regular reviews. Of course, one needs to make changes when necessary, but scheduling specific dates for a review of how either user groups or certain processes can be optimized, will ensure that you always improve your methods. Some companies invite their SuperOffice responsible to these meetings to get input and ideas on how they can use their SuperOffice even better. Looking at how the routine guide is used or its content should be on the review agenda to ensure it works the way you want it to. 

Summary

Having a CRM system is only half the battle when it comes to business success.  The data which is in the system will drive your business decisions, but the data is only as good as the information which is put in.  This means that it’s important to get all your users on board with the system and using it in the right way.  A CRM guide and the work that goes into it is the key.

Make sure you designate people, typically process owners, as responsible for creating and maintaining your routine guides and make it easy to find and read by everyone. Ultimately, a routine guide describes your businesses and how you are doing things now. To achieve your business objectives, it is important that everyone knows what and how you want your strategies implemented. A routine guide can help you with getting everyone on board.

We would be happy to hear about YOUR best tips to getting started, or how YOU are currently using your CRM solution to support your business processes. Please share your tips in the comment field below.

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