Rich Dale, CEO of Flowlens, outlines the questions to ask to ensure a successful software investment…
You might think a new CRM or ERP is the answer to your prayers for greater efficiency, profitability and customer satisfaction. And it probably is. For most SMEs, software is a natural place to go when faced with mounting paper work and duplicating effort.
As a leader in your business, how can you ensure the success of this investment in time and software?
Firstly, ask yourself a few questions… Does your SME have the capacity to adopt a new system while keeping the wheels turning? Have you considered the habits that will need to change to adopt new software into the business? Are your people ready for this change? Are you prepared to lead from the top and demonstrate how new software will support the business strategy and achievement of its vision?
Start with the goal in mind: What goal will unite your team on the need for change?
Ask your team to identify the activities that slow them down the most. Ask customers what frustrates them the most. Share the pain points that unite you, your team and your customers and you’ve got your shared vision.
This vision provides the catalyst for change, and team buy-in for adopting software to make things better. But remember, adopting CRM or ERP is a both a strategic and cultural decision. And culture drives from the top.
How can you adopt software and lead by example? As the leader of a business or team, you’ve many priorities. Start small, and focus on managing your own activity. Understand how the software can make your life easier:
- Drive your own sales activity by planning actions with new and existing customers, to generate new sales leads, quotations and orders.
- Streamline your sales process by demonstrating better activity planning, automated quotation creation and order processing.
- Standardise and accelerate your sales pipeline using common terminology, tools and forecasting.
Variations in business processes slow you down and cause confusion for customers. Software is not a sticking plaster, but it does offer a way to standardise processes in your small business, and reduce manual effort. Show how the tools make your life easier and unlock opportunities, and others will follow.