How MarTech leaders unlock CRM success in 2020 and beyond
by Peter Gillett
Internal organizational psychology related to tech implementations differ dramatically! MarTech leaders responsible for their organization’s sales and marketing tech stack can expect smooth sailing if the new system is linked to Marketing Automation. You will meet with little internal resistance when introducing an advanced web meeting system or social media platform.
But, woe betides if you’re unveiling a new or updated CRM system. That one is the poison chalice because of its impact on every facet of your organization.
Speaking from experience, we recently re-launched our own upgraded Marketpoint CRM system for a large client with multiple divisions and thousands of users. So far so good! The success of this project is based on our careful selection of a core team that understands the project goals from start to finish. This VIP team communicates well and works well together under pressure.
Being a MarTech leader for a new CRM application can be an overwhelming task as you’re implementing significant change within an organization. People deal with change differently; some embrace it, while others reject it.
The ability to manage this time of change requires great leadership and determination. You need to be able to gain employee trust so they can see your vision. Evidence-based facts and statistics, success stories, customer insights and so on – these are all key to present to your team so they can envision what the future holds.
MarTech is a technical term, but while being data-driven is important, it’s people skills that determine the success or failure of a tech implementation. You have to see the problem from each individual’s point of view in order to tailor your approach to ensure a smooth transition period with maximum user buy-in. This requires time and patience.
With the right team in place, it’s time for implementation, which demands internal process changes. This can be a painful experience met with resistance. Your implementation strategy must extend beyond the launch. How will it be introduced, so that people are motivated and supported after the initial launch or relaunch? The key is to be the human face of the system, someone who is accessible—not a cold systems admin who does not understand how to drive end-user adoption.
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CRM Rules MarTech
A solid CRM system is the center of the MarTech universe. It stores priceless prospect and customer data that delivers valuable customer insights, which is the lifeblood of the company. As the MarTech leader, it is your job to ensure your organization embraces this vital system where data is not only stored but cleaned and updated on a regular basis. But take heed: Often CRM discussions often invoke a big yawn, or worse, resistance from end-users, especially sales!
Getting Sales OnBoard
Often the biggest hurdle to introducing a MarTech solution such as CRM is getting Sales, Marketing and Customer Support to use the technology.
The ability to put yourself in their shoes is crucial. Really, try to understand their reluctance to change and explain how technology can benefit them personally, in addition to the organization as a whole. You must be able to articulate and motivate the benefits, such as demand generation, prospect and customer insights, revenue generation and excellent service that creates happy, loyal customers. Try creating dashboards to visually illustrate to individual users their progress using the system.
Champion the Cause
As the MarTech leader, the onus is on you to demonstrate to the Sales team how a particular CRM will enable them to be more successful in meeting quota.
Find an internal champion who has influence in each user group, someone who will go above and beyond to make sure the team has an open mind when incorporating the system into their routine. This ‘superuser’ needs to involve, energize, and communicate the benefits of the CRM system in a clear, demonstrable manner so others are motivated by and follow their success.
Communication is key. Some of the most effective channels of communicating may include email updates, lunch and learns, drop-in clinics and online discussion boards.
Common challenges such as a lack of change management, lack of executive leadership, insufficient data models and unclear strategies will result inevitably in inadequate user buy-in and the rejection of your system. As the MarTech leader, you must be an ally and a catalyst to help overcome these pitfalls.
A true MarTech leader goes the extra mile to be the key point of contact throughout the process to ensure that each user is supported. This is essential to gaining maximum user buy-in. If there are any roadblocks when a salesperson is working their way around a new system, they will give up and go back to their old ways of conducting business. Provide interactive manuals and face-to-face “CRM clinics” to encourage adoption and reinforce training.
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Integrate MarTech and CRM
Another big problem is the lack of CRM integration with other Marketing systems, which can result in non-adoption. But this is where the MarTech leader can become a star. Ensure these solutions are tightly integrated to maximize your tech investment:
- Marketing Automation
- Inside and mobile Sales automation
- Customer support/call center
- Tradeshow lead retrieval
- Content Management
Your goal is to get all these systems integrated so that data is stored centrally as a single version of the truth. Once this mission is accomplished, you and your organization will have reached nirvana!
As we have discussed, the ability to add a human touch when implementing new technologies such as CRM is key to gaining user-buy-in, which will make or break your project. Successful MarTech leaders understand the impact new technologies have on end-users and help them manage the changes. By embracing a big-picture perspective and gaining end-user buy-in MarTech leaders ensure CRM systems will have the intended impact and deliver a measurable return on investment in 2020 and beyond.
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