Top 3 Challenges for CRM Adoption
More than ever, architecture and engineering (A&E) firms are focusing on their strategies for identifying which projects to pursue, winning against their competition, and nurturing their clients. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems help companies do all that, and more.
For some, it’s easy to see the value that CRM provides in tracking pipeline, viewing opportunity status and pursuing projects, but for many it’s hard to see it as anything more than an electronic rolodex or stagnant list of potential projects.
Some of the top challenges of successfully implementing a CRM system and getting users to use it can seem impossible to overcome.
No Defined Process
When firms get a CRM system, teams will frequently try to just turn it on and go. However, if they don’t know what they are trying to accomplish with it, they won’t see the results they’re hoping for. Defining a purpose and taking time to outline a formal process that maps to current marketing and business development goals is an important aspect of successful CRM implementation. Ask yourself and your teams these questions:
- When should opportunities be entered?
- Who can enter them?
- Who has the information that needs to be entered?
- Who is responsible for updating data?
By taking a step back to identify your objective, and determining what it is that you want to achieve with your CRM, you’ll have a better idea of how to use it and, more importantly, how to measure success.
Here are a few examples of CRM objectives and goals:
- Create and manage strategic client touch points
- Develop strategic client management plans
- Manage your pipeline more effectively
- Track opportunities earlier
These are only ideas to get you started. Whenever there are decisions to make about using your CRM, your marketing and business development goals should lead the way.
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Data and Accessibility
Once your goals and processes are defined, it will be easy to see how different teams can benefit from your CRM information. Part of determining these goals is determining what information will live within the system, and who has access to it. The most important aspect of this is keeping your information accurate and useful. How is this done?
Make access to information as easy as possible. There are plenty of settings to ensure that data is protected and not accidentally deleted. By allowing teams to see into each other’s projects and reports, update contact information, and add meeting notes without being limited by security controls, your information will always be up-to-date.
Arming your teams with a CRM system is the path towards success, so don’t hold your teams back by limiting their access or building processes that prohibit them from being part of the solution. Make sure your teams can help each other, stay on top of project pursuits, and be in touch with your clients when it matters most.
Once your company has a CRM system, it’s important for employees to use it. However, it’s often hard for particular employees to see the value provided by CRM systems. You have to show them how CRM can truly make their lives easier and not be an administrative burden.
The best way to get your team to embrace CRM is by sharing successes. Think about a few questions and identify people in your firm who can help get more of your colleagues on board:
- How many projects now have complete descriptions and proposal information?
- How much time does having all of that information in one record save project managers or proposal coordinators?
- Is there a team member who recently tackled client development tasks and is willing to share their story?
- Have you made a better go/no go decision about a project pursuit because of the information in CRM?
Get anyone and everyone who has embraced your CRM on board and show the time savings and convenience of its functionality.
In closing, it’s all about how to make our CRM a critical tool that we can’t live without instead of having it perceived as a burden that no one wants to mess with. Take the time to map your CRM process and establish your project flow within your CRM and you will be better positioned for increased adoption, improved data integrity, and re-energized business development.
Learn more about how CRM can help your A&E firm by downloading the 5 Truths of Business Development eBook today.
About the Author
Megan Miller is a product marketing manager with Deltek and works with architecture & engineering firms around the world to help them improve their business processes through technology and thought leadership with resources like Deltek Clarity and Deltek's leading project-based software solutions. Connect with Megan on LinkedIn.
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