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Enterprise considerations in CRM deployment

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Customer relationship management (CRM) systems have become popular for companies that are trying to improve sales and customer relations, but IT decision-makers should consider a few key factors before deploying or updating CRM systems, according to CIO. CRM systems allow enterprises to accommodate customer information in one place to plan product pricing, improve customer service and ultimately increase product and service purchases.

Decision-makers should consider who needs to access CRM systems and why. According to the news source, all the sales and support staff should have access to the system to varying degrees based on position. This is usually a given, but marketing and lead generation access can be easily forgotten. Employees on marketing teams and those who analyze relations and plan product pricing should also have access to CRM systems to determine best practices, reported the news source. Even so, CRM systems often fail if too many people have full access, so administrators should be careful about who has access to what information.

Business 2 Community stated that CRM systems shouldn't be just for certain teams, but should be "part of everyone's job description." The customer information kept via CRM is useful to almost every employee, reported the news source. Financial personnel, sales teams, marketing managers, sales engineers and account executives can all benefit from CRM systems, reported CIO.

Leaders shouldn't underestimate how long it can take to get everyone on board. The first priority is to make CRM useful to direct customer support staff. To improve their productivity and reduce errors, it is important to integrate the CRM with their phone system. Then, analysts can use CRM systems. Unfortunately, CRM systems hold "dirty data," or data that is difficult to analyze and often disorganized. According to CIO, customer support should learn the system first, followed by their managers and internal marketing teams. The executive suite should often be the last to access the CRM system, the news source asserted. The full adoption of CRM could take a full year.

It's not just who accesses the system, but what information is kept on it, according to Business 2 Community. A CRM system is useless if it doesn't hold usable, relevant data. The news source suggested that IT leaders make upkeep of CRM information a priority. If a customer has a name change or a spelling error in the system, it should be changed as soon as possible, reported the news source.