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After all of that planning and hard work, you finally flip the switch. Your system is up, running, and live! Users begin entering data, editing records, generating reports, etc. It's officially "on," and just when you think you can put your feet up on your desk and toast to smooth sailing: your phone rings, your email pings, and Teams messages start pouring in.

  • One user is having an issue opening a record.
  • Another has a great idea for a system enhancement.
  • The VP is confused about the data she sees on the sales report.
  • A user forgets how to do a specific task in the system and needs your help to show them.

…and so it begins – life after you go live.

As a system administrator or owner, you have a lot of stuff flying your way. If you look at the examples above, you can break those items down into some basic categories, such as:

  • Issue Mitigation
  • System Feedback and Enhancement
  • Data Integrity and Reporting
  • Training

We've all lived through days where we feel like we're flying by the seat of our pants. A plan brings necessary structure to the chaos, which ultimately helps us remain in control of all that's on the go.

 Let's dive into how to craft a post-live plan so that you can manage each of these essential categories with confidence.

4 Insights to Prepare for Your CRM Launch

 

Issue Mitigation

When users talk about the issues they run into, it often comes in varying degrees: vague, quite vague, and super vague. Combat this by insisting on a consistent format for submissions. Whether it's a form or a structured email, the point here is to ensure the user is providing as much detail as they can.

  • Think about the key things YOU need to know when trying to diagnose an issue.
  • Create a form or template for users to get you the information.

System Feedback and Enhancement

In a previous article, we talked about seven tactics for managing user feedback. To break down the basics:

  • Have an open-door policy for user comments and feedback.
  • Keep it organized.
  • Ensure it's visible to users, so they understand what you've heard.
  • Prioritize it with help from the users (ALL users, not just the power users).
  • Provide a roadmap, so users know what to expect and when.

Data Integrity and Reporting

A system with inconsistent and unreliable data is like having an electric car with no battery. It's not going to get you very far!

Like it or not, it's part of your role to ensure there are checks and balances in place to keep data organized and free of errors. Here are a few simple tricks you can implement to help battle data demons.

  • Implement a schedule of data cleanliness checks. Daily, weekly, and monthly reports can help you identify erroneous data.
  • Use dashboards based on data integrity. Think: a view of all records without X field filled in.
  • Engage users in the clean-up. Holding users accountable to help fix errors and mis-entries will help them focus more when entering that kind of data the next time.
  • Explore the market for data integrity solutions. Many tools on the market will perform data cleaning, such as address validation and record merging.
  • Analyze the errors you find and think about how to prevent them in the future.
    • Is there a repeat offender? Perhaps schedule some training to get them on the right track.
    • Is a field that should be populated often left blank? Maybe a design change is needed to move it to a more functional place, or rules to ensure it becomes required based on other data.

Train Your Teams

Repeat after me: training is not a one and done. (Repeat it to yourself.)

Just because you created one video on "how to create an invoice" doesn't mean the team who needs that information will remember it when the time comes. 

Here are some tips to help keep training materials front and center.

  • Put training resources in a central location. Aka a Corporate Knowledge Base that is easy for your team to find.
  • Tell people where those resources are (repeatedly). Sending one email after you create a resource will not be sufficient. Got an internal newsletter? Add a line to every send that points people to your resource library.
  • Keep it up to date. There is nothing worse than pulling up a tutorial and finding that it's from two versions ago, and the form is different, or the fields are in different places.
  • Have fun with it. Adapt popular games like Jeopardy or Family Feud into training games for your team (you can even do this remotely!) It may sound corny, but many users LOVE interactive options like this, increasing engagement.
  • Speak their language. Don't get all technical; break it down and make it relatable so users can compute the knowledge in a way that makes sense to them.

Each of these could be an article in and of itself. There are plenty of things you can do to manage your environment after it's launched, but it takes time, effort, and a plan.

What's Your CRM Launch Plan?

One final recommendation: take each of these headers and brainstorm what you could do to implement effective practices for that topic right now. You'll be amazed how much you can come up with if you take some time to think it through!

There are certainly other areas of importance when responsible for a CRM system. What areas do you see as crucial to manage as an admin? What other items do you think should be on this list? What tips and tricks do you have? Need help thinking it through? Contact C5 Insight at to discuss how we can support you through it.