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Here’s a fun fact for you: Customer relationship management (CRM) software can improve sales by 29%. Not only that, using CRM can also boost productivity by 34%. CRM software is becoming more and more crucial for any business striving to give a superior customer experience and get ahead of their competition. So if you haven’t yet added CRM implementation to your to-do list, now is the time to get going.

It can take about a year to see a full return on your CRM investment, but you can set yourself up for that and future success by making the right preparations now for your implementation. Our team gathered some of the best tips we could find to help position you for success from the get-go of your CRM implementation. 

Determine the Right Implementation Type

CRM solutions like NetSuite offer several different implementation types to make sure your system is set up just the way you need.

In-House Implementation
For organizations that have the resources and know-how available, NetSuite allows you to set up your instance yourself, from data migration to workflow and process setup. If you’re going to go the DIY route, however, it is strongly advised that you have an in-house technical expert.

Direct Implementation
It might not make sense for your organization to retain a NetSuite developer (or two) on payroll, so NetSuite also offers direct implementation. You get all the technical expertise directly from NetSuite, but with this basic cookie-cutter approach, you also don’t get custom applications or integrations. So weigh the lower price point with that cost when making your decision. 

Third-Party Partner Implementation
If you don’t have in-house experts but want more than the base install for your CRM implementation, then a third-party partner is probably the way to go. These partner agencies will walk with you through the whole process, from choosing solutions to deploying them, training users, and running maintenance on an ongoing basis. 

Tips for A Solid CRM Implementation Experience

Now that you’ve determined how you’ll run your CRM implementation, it’s time to get into some of the nitty gritty. Overlooking the details of these steps could put you on a back foot for success with your CRM, and no one wants that.

Establishing Your Implementation Team
This tip is probably the most important one, because the competency of your implementation team has a direct correlation on the status of your final deployment. The makeup of this team should include the diverse skill sets and expertise of roles like business analyst, project manager, developer, and subject matter expert. It’s best if this team has experience implementing CRM software and understands both NetSuite and your particular business processes. 

Determining Goals, Pain Points, and Timelines
A successful CRM implementation adheres to and supports goals, pain point solutions, and timelines. First, you need to understand what about your current processes creates challenges and inefficiencies. These are your pain points. Once you determine those, you can better understand where and how NetSuite will address the challenges. Involving key stakeholders here gives additional insight into prerogatives that inform the goals of your CRM implementation project. Some goals you might set could include improved data accuracy, a reduction in or elimination of manual processes, increased productivity, and better customer satisfaction. The more accurate the goal, the better you can measure the success of your implementation. Be sure to also document these goals and refer back to them often to stay on track and deliver your implementation on time. 

Configuring Early and Often
It might be tempting to jump in right away with custom app building in NetSuite, but for a successful implementation, we urge you to leverage native configuration first, using built-in features and tools that can meet business needs while keeping costs low and maintenance simplified. Take a look at available NetSuite features and modules; chances are there are many that already align with your business’ processes and goals. When you leverage native configuration for your starting point, you won’t have to spend as much time or money building custom apps from scratch. Not to mention, native capabilities are the fastest and most budget-friendly ways to meet your immediate business needs. They’ll then set the foundation for future customization. 

Migrating Your Data
Now that you’ve got your CRM loaded and configured, it’s time to give it some data to play with. Migrating data from wherever it’s living now to your new NetSuite CRM implementation is a crucial process. If your data doesn’t transfer smoothly from existing systems to NetSuite, you could experience disruptions in business continuity and user resistance to the new system. For a successful migration, make sure you understand:

  • What data needs to migrate from existing systems to NetSuite, and how to best extract it
  • Format, quality, and volume of migrating data and how that impacts the process
  • Who is best qualified to manage the data migration process
  • What the timeline is for migration and whether that will impact business operations
  • Risks and challenges of data migration, including data loss, corruption, and system downtime

Planning Change Management and User Training
One way to help drive adoption of your new CRM implementation is to follow a good change management plan to mitigate the inevitable bumps in the road. This buffer plan might offer some lower quotas and goals during the implementation months to account for the switch, and should definitely include training to help users be comfortable and confident in navigating NetSuite. Consider broad company-wide training that then continues on as needed on demand based on roles and workflows. 

Go Live!
You’re set up, migrated, and trained. Now it’s time to use NetSuite CRM every day as your single source of truth. Don’t forget to continue offering support, whether through NetSuite, in-house developers, or third-party partners. Oh, and check in with your team on how the new NetSuite CRM implementation has been going for them. Is it affecting productivity positively or negatively? Are there features or training you still need? Are there any regular challenges you face when using NetSuite? The answers to these questions will help you continually refine your NetSuite experience for the most effective ROI. 

Make Your NetSuite CRM Implementation Even More Powerful

Statistics show that the most successful sales organizations use their CRM system 81% more often. Not only that, CRM has the potential to increase conversion rates by up to 300%. That sounds like something you definitely want to invest in, and invest in doing right. 

At CloudExtend, we’re huge NetSuite CRM fans, and we’ve committed to making NetSuite an even more powerful tool for your organization by integrating it directly with inboxes such as Microsoft Outlook and Gmail to drive even deeper adoption. Let your team automatically update NetSuite with logged email conversations, synced calendar events, saved files, and new record creation without breaking stride from their inboxes. 

Give it a try for free. (Once you’ve successfully implemented your NetSuite CRM with the above tips, of course!)