[This post was originally published on 17th Jan 2022. It has been updated on 14th Oct 2022.]
In today’s highly digitized world, customers expect you to be attentive to their needs 24×7. If you aren’t, they won’t hesitate to move on to a competitor that does!
This is exactly why a solid customer relationship management (CRM) strategy is critical to business operations today.
To that end, you may be researching the perfect CRM platform and exploring ways to deploy it in the most optimized manner. But have you thought about what a successful CRM team should look like? Surprisingly, this is the one aspect that a lot of businesses overlook when putting together a CRM strategy.
Successful CRM entails a lot more than just picking out the best software. If you plan to be around for years to come, the end-goal should be to build lasting and strong relationships with your customer base.
But to pull this off with panache, you first need the right human resources!
8 Roles that Make a Rockstar CRM Team
The secret to CRM success lies in striking the right mix of technology, processes, and people. Sure, you need to invest in customer-centric business processes and the technology to support these processes. But most of all, you need people who can enhance the effectiveness of such processes, including email template development, email automation, campaign management and so on.
Here are the 8 roles that are critical to building and sustaining robust CRM systems that work efficiently for every department in your organization. Your very own Avengers, if you may. Read on to find out who they are!
The Project Leader
This is the person who will get behind the driver’s wheel and steer your project in its intended direction, making them, arguably, the most vital cog of your CRM team structure. The project leader will be responsible for all the deliverables of your CRM initiative and delegating all concerned CRM roles and responsibilities, so it is vital to choose wisely.
Needless to say, this has to be a person in a senior position within the organization or someone with expertise in handling CRM projects. Yes, you can select the leader internally or find an external consultant for this role. However, this choice must be based on evaluating your requirements in the immediate and distant future vis-à-vis the budget.
At the same time, it’s important to give the project leader a say in drafting the vision of your CRM initiatives and finalizing the deliverables. Equally important is to give them the liberty to allocate CRM roles and responsibilities as they deem fit.
After all, this person is going to be the captain of your ship!
Research suggests that the failure of corporate management to embrace CRM in their day-to-day operations is one of the key reasons behind the failure of these initiatives. Without a nudge from leadership, your CRM initiatives cannot scale to their true potential.
So, pick someone from the top brass – a CEO, COO, managing director, board member – to be the trendsetter. This person would be responsible for ‘leading by example’ by using your new CRM system to communicate with employees. They’ll also be responsible for coming up with many of your most successful CRM strategies.
And do so with zeal!
Software application and a set of tech tools to facilitate seamless operations are centric to any CRM initiative. You, obviously, need to have the right technical experts on your team- like the email developers. These technical experts will not only prove to be a great asset in eliminating the frustration around initial hiccups in the implementation of the CRM software but also offer support in data protection, bug removal, and other tech issues later on. In a way, they shoulder the most pivotal CRM responsibilities within the team.
To choose the right talent, you need to first have clear specifications on what your CRM initiative will entail and the kind of technical expertise required to pull it off.
CRM implementation can be an arduous task. One that requires a considerable amount of manual effort in checking systems, uploading files, and so on. You need to have a pool of hard-working employees who can pick up the slack and bring stability to your CRM operations, and ultimately breathe life into your successful CRM strategies. Maintaining a dedicated team to take care of these less fancy aspects of CRM operations ensures that the entire system works like a well-oiled machine without causing a significant dent in your budget.
The process of CRM system implementation can be a long-drawn-out, thankless job. There will always be some glitches and unhappy end-users. And there will be a team of professionals working tirelessly to iron out these crinkles.
Having a senior member of your organization rooting for these team players can be a huge asset for their morale and motivation. If you want to make successful CRM campaigns a habit, such an individual must be present in your team. This appointed champion can also play a key role in getting other stakeholders invested in your CRM initiative.
The Sounding Board
When a group of professionals is working closely together on a project, they’re likely to get too invested in it to view the outcomes dispassionately. That’s where your sounding board comes in. This is the person who is result-oriented and can see the big picture.
This team member is of paramount importance in making your CRM initiatives a success, as they question decisions, review CRM responsibilities, critically examine outcomes, and offer vital inputs for improvement. In short, this one team member will drive the rest to push the envelope and ensure successful CRM campaigns. They may not be appreciated by others on your CRM team for obvious reasons, but their role in optimizing your CRM initiatives is near indispensable.
This team member has to be an early adopter of the technology you’re working with. They can play a key role in weeding out antiquated practices and replacing them with a more futuristic approach. This makes them a crucial player of your CRM team. The innovator may also help you find new, hitherto unexplored, ways to tackle the myriad roadblocks in your CRM initiative. They are the key to developing a robust, well-rounded system that can stand the test of time.
There is only one way to know whether your CRM system is working optimally – by testing settings, fields, categories, workflows regularly. That’s where the tester comes in. It’s fair to say that your CRM team structure won’t ever be complete without them. They will test different functionalities of your system from time to time, ask the right questions, and offer the right tips to slow glitches.
They will perform this task on a loop until your CRM system is ready to work seamlessly. And then, top it up with more tests along the way to make sure that it stays that way. A person with technical know-how as well as a firm grip on your target user base is ideal for this role.
Finding the Right Resources through Outsourcing
You’re probably wondering: ‘Where am I going to find all these team members?’ ‘By how much will that shoot up my CRM budget?’ Putting together a well-rounded and successful CRM team doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. A handful of these resources can be pulled from within your organization. The trendsetter, the sounding board, the champion, for instance.
Depending on the nature of your operations, you may also find a few more skills in-house. For the rest, you can consider collaborating with a third-party service provider. It is ideal to outsource tasks or roles that are not a part of your core operations but essential for successful CRM development and implementation.
Some of the key benefits of the outsourcing approach include:
- It proves to be a time- and cost-effective alternative. In most of these contractual arrangements, you typically pay for the work done. This means saving up on salaries of idle resources as well as the cost of employee training. Besides, trained professionals who offer their services remotely prove much cheaper than hiring full-time experts for the same job.
- Since the professionals offering third-party services work primarily with CRM systems, they are more skilled and experienced. These people have handled scores of similar projects in the past, and can thus, optimize your CRM initiative more efficiently and quickly.
- It allows you to pick and choose resources as per your requirements, which may not be the case if you’re working with in-house employees.
- You don’t have to worry about keeping backups ready in case a team member takes a leave of absence.
- There is greater room for scalability. There is no need to hire or fire employees if you decide to expand or curtail business operations.
Wrapping It Up
Your CRM initiative is as good as the people behind it. Once you’ve found your rockstar team, make sure each member understands the objectives clearly. Institutionalize a rock-solid system for project management, and interact with them regularly to understand the challenges, progress, and expected outcomes.
For hands-on assistance with outsourcing CRM roles, simply contact us at Uplers to get the ball rolling!