For professional services firms to be successful, they need a client relationship management (CRM) system to help them focus their business development strategies to identify prospective projects and to nurture client relationships to ensure they win new projects. Furthermore, an effective CRM system requires firm employees to use the system and this is not just directed to the business development team. This requires the entire firm to be updating client records to ensure the most up-to-date information is available for business development. However, firms that have invested in a CRM system seem to have a common hurdle which is employee adoption. Here are a few things that can negatively impact user adoption at your firm.
The Lack of Defined Processes
Time and time again, firms roll out a new CRM system with the assumption that it’s just requires switching it on, and it’ll take care of itself. However, this is not the case. Firms need to first start off by identifying what goals they want to achieve so they can actually see results. Once they have their goals identified, a formal process needs to be outlined to ensure the CRM system is utilized in a way the benefits firm and aligns with current marketing and business development procedures. Here are some things to consider when defining a process:
- What is a lead and when does a lead become an opportunity?
- Who has the information at your firm that needs to be entered about a contact?
- Who can update contacts and what can they update?
- What role is responsible for cleaning up the CRM database?
- What reports are required for different roles?
Goal setting for business development teams are far too often focused on dollar amounts and win rates. However, this thought process ignores setting goals that align with the firm’s strategy for achieving their targeted dollar amounts and win rates. For example, the sales cycle to win a project for many professional services firms can be months to years depending on the industry. Therefore, having a goal that helps the business development team keep up with touchpoints helps ensure client relationships are being properly managed. So when considering goals, it’s important to develop goals that align with your firm’s strategic client management process.
Picking the Wrong CRM Solution for Your Firm
There are several things to consider when selecting a CRM solution for your firm. Firstly, not all CRM systems are the same and have different capabilities to support different industries. For instance, having a CRM system that integrates with your firm’s accounting and project management platforms is essential for professional services firms. Especially if you want all your firm’s data in one central location and your desire is for people to utilize the CRM system. An example of this is a firm that uses Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision for their accounting and project management, the obvious CRM system selection is Deltek CRM.
Additionally, system integration is great, but having a CRM system that has a friendly user interface is important as well to increase user adoption. By selecting a system that is intuitive and well designed, implementing a CRM adoption directive will most likely succeed across your firm.
Increase CRM Adoption
Many firms struggle with getting employees to adopt a new system. However, this does not have to be the case. By setting goals and processes for different teams within your organization to encourage use, your employees will be able to see the value of the CRM system. Lastly, make sure to point out the fact that a CRM system will help your firm continue to grow and be successful in the future.