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Can One CRM System Work for Multiple Sales Departments?
Can One CRM System Work for Multiple Sales Departments?

Most Phase I CRM implementations are configured with a “land and expand” approach by design. Start out simple, get up and running fast, and get the users familiar with the system. But what about Phase II?

Sales teams supporting different product lines need to capture completely different information, and the stages in their sales processes are completely different. If you force these multiple separate sales teams to share screens, fields, dropdowns and workflows, then the system doesn’t fit anyone’s business perfectly, and what happens next is inevitable: everyone stops using the CRM system!

Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately, the vast majority of CRM installs end up this way. Not due to faults with any given software program, but due to lack of focus, commitment and ongoing care and maintenance.

If your company has separate sales teams selling separate product lines, or if you’ve had acquisitions over time bringing in related but independent business units, then it is inevitable that CRM users will stop using the system unless you correct for this situation.

It is also critical to engage senior sales people in the CRM design process, so the system is not designed by management alone. This will improve the design, but it will also leverage a sense of ownership and responsibility by CRM users, which will lead to better user adoption. You need internal leaders and CRM champions to evangelize use of the CRM system.

And CRM system design is an ongoing process, not accomplished all at once. So it is equally important to allow for the system to evolve over time along with all other aspects of your business. Ongoing light end user refresher training is important, as well as to train new people when your employees turn over.

So alternatively, it is possible to set up separate interfaces for each of the separate sales teams. Each user only sees the fields and workflows that relate specifically to his or her business. So people will use the system, continue to make suggestions for ongoing improvements, which will help employees, management and the company to be more successful.

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