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5 Tips for Implementing New Social CRM Tools

A social CRM, if implemented correctly, will provide an essential foundation to your business strategy, and define the way you find, nurture, and convert new leads.

If you’re not able to integrate a new social CRM into your business effectively, this could spell trouble not only for your marketing tech stack, but also several other facets of your social media marketing and sales process.

While different businesses call for subtly different approaches to onboarding any new tech, there are certain best practices you can use to extract the maximum possible value from your social CRM tools.

Here’s a closer look at the importance of having a robust strategy for implementing social CRM tools, and five tips to bear in mind as you plan to onboard your new social CRM.

Why You Need a Plan for Implementing Social CRM Tools

Social CRM tools have come a long way in terms of accessibility over the past couple of decades. However, it’s still crucial to approach any new tool with a detailed plan for implementation.

Before we look at the best practices for onboarding your social CRM, here’s some of the key reasons why an implementation strategy is important:

Efficient Data Utilization

When you take a strategic approach to implementing social CRM tools, you’ll facilitate easier and more comprehensive access to customer data from a single intuitive dashboard. This will empower the sales and marketing arms of your business to track leads and customers’ behavioral habits, preferences, pain points, and other variables more effectively.

Refined Goals and Objectives

Like any kind of project, the success of your social CRM implementation is going to hinge on your understanding of the end result you’re hoping to achieve. When you take the time to strategize your implementation, it will prompt you to consider and define your long-term goals, for example improving customer service standards, lead generation, or brand equity on social media. When you and your team keep these overarching goals in mind, there’ll be less room for misinterpretation, and stronger decision-making that serves the most pressing needs of your business.

Streamlined Workflows

Mapping out a clear implementation plan for your new social CRM tool will involve defining how your sales, marketing, and customer support professionals will be using the CRM, and give you a chance to review workflows to ensure they’re as logical and efficient as possible. By preparing for more streamlined workflows, you’ll minimize the risk of confusion and ensure everyone involved in using the CRM is on the same page when managing social media marketing and customer journeys.

Smoother User Adoption

There’s always going to be some challenges and stumbling blocks when you’re bringing new tech like social CRM tools into your organization. By taking the time to plan out your implementation, you can proactively anticipate and solve these issues for smoother adoption, with initiatives such as a formalized training module or finding ways to align the social CRM with current workflows.

Better Social Media Decisions

When you’ve taken the time to understand your social CRM’s reporting capabilities and planned to help your team leverage these, your whole organization will be empowered to make more informed decisions on your social media marketing, leading to much stronger campaigns and rates of engagement.

1. Consider How Your CRM Will Interact With Your Sales and Marketing Teams

When you’re weighing your options for new social CRM tools, it’s crucial to consider how it will fit in with the current processes that define your approach to sales and marketing. Although any new CRM will come with beneficial features for your business, it may take some tweaking to ensure it’s scalable to the nuances of your specific aims.

Before you start the real work of implementing new social CRM tools, take some time to map out your social media sales process beginning to end. Think about the platforms that are producing the most value for your lead gen goals, where the key pain points are, and the kinds of sales and marketing processes that are likely to have the biggest impact on your bottom line.

Revisiting these processes will help you build a more thorough understanding of which tasks can be migrated into your CRM to improve efficiencies, and which ones need to be left out of the new workflow.

2. Clear Your Data

Migrating your current customer data into your new system is an important phase in the adoption of new social CRM. However, before you start this process, it’s crucial to review the state of your data and make sure you’re not bringing any potential issues into your new tool.

Some common things to look out for before you start a data migration for social CRM tools include:

  • Inaccurate and out-of-date customer data.
  • Incomplete data sets.
  • Inconsistencies between your old data handling practices and the features of the social CRM you’ll be using.
  • Inaccuracies arising from silos distributed between the social media platforms you’re using.

Take the time to review the customer data that’s already informing your customer relationships, and you’ll be able to avoid many common stumbling blocks that can arise when onboarding new social CRM tools.

3. Plan for Sufficient Training

Like any piece of tech, social CRM tools are only going to be as effective as the people using them. With this in mind, it’s crucial to make sure your team has all the resources they need to get comfortable with the platform and use it to its full potential.

The first step in this process will be to gather all the training information available to you through the software providers themselves. Most good social CRM providers will facilitate user learning through written content, tutorial videos, webinars, and other materials that will walk you through the various features and the scenarios where they can be applied. 

Often, you’ll be able to expand this search to find quality educational content from people in your industry niche, which can be a big help in contextualizing your CRM and finding use cases that apply specifically to you.

It’s also a good idea to develop test scenarios that you foresee your social CRM being involved in, for example:

  • Importing comment and message data from connected social media platforms.
  • Creating and enriching a new customer profile.
  • Interpreting analytics data from specific activities like social listening or employee advocacy drives.

4. Listen to and Implement Feedback

Adopting any new software is bound to come with some teething problems. The important thing is to listen to any complaints and suggestions that come from team members using your social CRM, isolate the cause of the issues, and find ways to remedy them.

Common things to listen for might include:

  • Tight time constraints for getting established sales and marketing processes aligned with the new software.
  • Integration issues causing workflow disruptions and creating data silos.
  • Limited functionality or difficulty implementing certain features promised by the software.
  • Trouble navigating the interface.

Actively monitoring issues your team runs into as you integrate social CRM tools might feel like it’s causing delays and causing you to drag out your planned onboarding process. However, if you’re able to quash these obstacles early and find practical workarounds, you’ll save hours in the long run as your social CRM becomes a bigger and bigger part of your sales and marketing.

5. Keep a Close Eye on Analytics

If your organization is going from not using a social CRM at all into making it a core part of your sales and marketing, you’re likely to see an uptick in KPIs such as close rate, retention rate, and CLV. Though these kinds of patterns will show the software is starting to do its job, it’s still important to watch your analytics closely and determine just how well your social CRM is living up to its potential.

There are many patterns in your analytics data that could be taken as issues in the adoption and use of your social CRM.

Some common ones include:

  • Sales cycle lengths averaging longer than before you adopted the software.
  • An increase in churn rate.
  • A declining conversion rate.
  • An increase in negative sentiment drawn from social listening data.
  • An increase in ticket resolution times.

These kinds of negative patterns can have any number of root causes, including poor training, underutilized features, or earlier issues with data migration. 

Studying them closely in the early days of your social CRM onboarding will ensure you can fix these issues quickly and prevent them from causing more damage further down the line.

Getting the Most From Social CRM Tools

The exact way you bring your social CRM into your tech stack will depend on a number of factors specific to your organization. However, by keeping these core principles in mind, you can ensure the onboarding process goes as smoothly as possible, and save your team from many of the common teething pains that come with new tools.

If you’re in the market for an intuitive social CRM platform with great sentiment and competitor insights, and powerful social AI capabilities to help contextualize your customer relationships, sign up to Highperformr for free today!

Abishekk R
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