The intended audiences for this article are (a) the business owners who wish to implement a customer relationship management (CRM) solution in the most affordable and effective manger (b) consultants who are in the business of CRM consulting who want to understand what key elements apart from software go on to make the CRM program a success. 1.Understand your business needs and expectation from CRM solution. Companies implement CRM for various needs Sales Force Automation You are under this category if you want to manage and track entire sales cycle (from getting a prospect to converting it into business) of your company. Ideally companies with longer lead to conversion cycle where sales team are spread across geography and larger opportunity size per lead would fall into this category After Sales Customer Support You fall under this category if your organization extends after sales support to large set of customers and you would want to improve and monitor the response time of your service teams. Campaigns Imagine a restaurant which uses a CRM system to send an automated Email and SMS alert to all its customers wishing them on their birthday and offering a 10% discount on this occasion. These businesses use CRM solution to be able to automatically send such messages and bring in business to the company. Call Centre CRM Call centers have huge prospect leads and the requirement is to be able to call the customers directly from the CRM system and log the call details (caller / call duration etc). Customer Billing Solution CRM Businesses where there are huge numbers of retail customers which follow a periodic billing cycle need a CRM system which can do it for them. 2.Finalizing on the right solution This is the trickiest and most vital part. We recommend that you engage an experienced CRM consultant to be able to make a right decision. Use free CRM evaluation service by us at and drop in your enquiry and we will suggest you the bias free suggestion. 3.Engaging with your internal and external stakeholders You / your CRM implementation partner need to understand that success of the program depends on the involvement of people who will be using the system. Their involvement in requirement gathering and CRM workshops is a critical success factor for making this program a success. 4.Monitor your KPIs and fine tune your implementation See whether the key performance indicators that you wanted the program to achieve are actually achieved like reduction of sales cycle time, utilization of your support team, new customers added per month, growth in repeat business etc. These KPIs can be defined and monitored by reporting from the CRM or a Business warehouse system. How to keep CRM affordable? We strongly recommend our customers to try open source solution which are matured. SugarCRM and VTiger are the leading solutions in these regards. Engaging an offshore business partner like us also helps you to customize and implement the solution as per your business requirements. Asterix integration with these solutions can help you dial your lead and reduce your monthly calls. 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