Sales CRM Set Up: 10 Questions and Answers

etting up a Sales CRM can seem a daunting task. Many people see it as such a scary exercise, that they keep putting it off and end up not starting to work with a Sales CRM. And that is a big shame, because really it should not have to be that complicated. What follows is a short checklist of things you will need to get started. If you are in the process of setting up a Sales CRM, hopefully this will get you up to speed in no time.

1. Where do I even start?

Answer: you need to gather a couple of things on your side. These are:

  • your current contacts list (if you have one)
  • a list of special info that your company gathers about customers
  • your users and how they work together

2. OK, what about my contact list?

Answer: Almost all Sales CRM systems allow import of data. The thing to do is to get this list in Excel and save it in a special format called .CSV. From there on, importing it is straightforward in most Sales CRM systems.

3. And that info we gather from our customers?

Answer: You need to create some Custom Fields. Sales CRM systems come out of the box with standard fields. These are they typical ones for your customers’ address etc. But you will have your own things you want to record. Most systems allow you to do this in Settings.

4. I have several users, what do I need to do?

Answer: two things; think about Permissions and Sharing. The first thing is to consider who should have permission to do what. For example, certain users may not have permission to delete all kinds of information. The second thing is Data Sharing. A Sales Manager may be able to see data from the whole team. But perhaps the individual team members should only see their own stuff. These things can be configured in Settings. It may take some time, but it is something you only need to do once.

5. We have stuff in other systems, can I see it in the CRM?

Answer: many Sales CRM systems allow integration with other systems. Either plug-and-play or customized. But in both cases, the best is to take it easy: ‘learn to walk before you run’. There is almost never a need to have everything on day one. Start working with the CRM, import some stuff you really need manually if you have to. And once everything is up and running start working on integrations.

6. Will my data be safe?

Answer: most systems are moving toward the cloud. That means your data is stored on a managed server in a data centre such as Amazon Web Services. Frankly, the security measures in these data centres surpass the safety levels that most individual companies could ever hope to have. See here for an example. There are some cases such as financial institutions and legal firms, where rules and regulations oblige them to have all data on-premise. There are still some CRM providers who offer this, but it is usually a costly option.

7. How will I get my people to use it?

Answer: many people have been ‘burned’ with some kind of CRM system in the past. They got lost in endless and complicated procedurs and don’t want to try again. Luckily today we have mobile. Many people enjoy simple and quality Apps which bring real improvements in their daily life. The best CRM systems offer Apps which do the same thing. They are easy to use and allow a user to do all necessary jobs. Together with a good mobile device, these CRM Apps should get even the most sceptic user to at least give it a try. From there on, good support is key. Quick answers and help in case of questions will go a long way. And last but not least, Management should not stay behind. They should also be active users and be involved.

8. How do I track progress?

Answer: a good Sales CRM system will offer some kind of reporting module. The better ones are not hard to set up. Start with just one report. For example; ‘New Opportunities created per User per Week’. And take it from there. It should be a question of selecting the relevant data fields. Again, most of this, is a one-time process.

9. Do I have to get a tablet for everyone?

Answer: Sales CRM systems are going mobile. There is no question about that. But that doesn’t mean everybody should have to have a tablet. Some people work at their desk exclusively, so they should be fine with a web access. Some of the better CRM systems offer mobile access on many platforms: tablets, mobile phones, iOS, Android, Windows.. With today’s enormous offer of devices, it should be feasible to get cost efficient mobile access for most organizations.

10. Maybe I won’t like my new CRM, will all this work be for nothing?

Answer: almost always, the biggest step is to gather your data and way of working (custom info, users). Once that is done, it is relatively easy to migrate. You don’t want to do it every week, but really it is not like in the past where you were married to your system for life. And with most CRMs charging as a service (by month or year), the financial cost of switching is usually quite low, since there is no big up-front investment.

Originally posted on To read the full article, click here. For more information on operations and information technology management, please visit us at www.Roxas and follow us everywhere @Roxas Consulting.

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