Common software implementation mistakes that end up costing businesses.

Very rarely do big software implementation projects go off without a hitch – especially when you’re implementing whole-of-business software solutions like CRMs or ERPs.

Therefore, it’s always in your best interest to be proactive and plan for potential challenges. Being complacent will mean you’re forced to react with haste when they do arise, often sending you over your deadline or your budget – or both!

Having overseen hundreds of implementation projects across Australia and NZ, here are some of the most common software implementation mistakes I’ve observed others making, and how to avoid them.

Common software implementation mistakes | #1:
You don’t set the right expectations with your client

Software Implementation Mistakes: not setting realistic expectations

Don’t let Sales set unrealistic expectations. Instead,  involve a Technical resource at the start of the process to set the scope.

When your Sales team is trying to get a project over the line, all too often they make promises you can’t realistically deliver on – just to get a signature on the contract. Even when it’s done with the best of intentions, it still puts your technical implementation team in a tough spot and  they’re doomed from the onset, as they’ll fail to meet the expectation set up by Sales.

At HARMONiQ, we always make sure to involve a technical resource early in the implementation process, in addition to a salesperson. This ensures that while you’re selling, you’re also helping to set the scope and expectations according to what can realistically be achieved by the technical team.

Common software implementation mistakes | #2:
You lack a clear plan and process

Software Implementation Mistakes: Lacking a clear plan

By lacking a clear plan for the implementation, you’re easily diverted from the overall goal by conflicting priorities and deadlines.

One of the most common mistakes I see is a lack of an implementation plan. How often do you rely on the client to dictate priorities, or take an ad-hoc approach to the project?

The problem with this approach is that it ultimately fails both you and the client.

For every project, you’ll be inundated with requests from Accounts, Sales, Marketing and more – and if you don’t have a clear plan that maps out the implementation step-by-step, it’s all too easy to get side tracked by other people’s priorities, and you’ll fail to set the right foundation. In the end, you’ll be over deadline, over budget, and left with no time for training and on-boarding staff.

The solution? Have a clear implementation plan, and stick to it! To see how we do it at HARMONiQ, download our Channel Partner Pack, for an example of our step-by-step implementation plan.

Common software implementation mistakes | #3:
You neglect change management

Software Implementation Mistakes: Neglecting Change ManagementAvoid negative feedback and unhappy users by involving a key set of users in your implementation process.

People intrinsically dislike change – especially when it involves processes and routines they’ve worked with for years. As software implementers, change management is a big part of what we do – but you’d be surprised at how many of us neglect it completely. Neglecting change management opens you up to negative feedback and poor uptake once the project is completed.

At HARMONiQ, we overcome this by getting user buy-in from the beginning. Part of our implementation process is to get a group of users from various departments involved in each step. Diversity is important here, as they’ll act as our ‘change managers’ on the ground – informing other staff of updates and what to expect. By doing frequent user-testing and getting feedback throughout the implementation, we can fix potential issues early on, while also getting buy-in and user accountability right from the get go. We’ve found that this approach helps alleviate any pain when things finally go-live.


If you found these tips helpful, or want more resources to help you better implement software more effectively for your clients, download the HARMONiQ Partner Pack to get the full overview of how we equip our Partners to better serve their clients – including revenue streams, sales and marketing support, and of course, implementation support.

If you’re looking for a new platform to revolutionise and refresh your software offering for clients, request a demo of HARMONiQ Business Tuning Software. It’s a customisable, powerful, but easy-to-use platform that combines accounting, inventory, sales, marketing and more. See it in action with a customised demo for your clients’ needs.

Drew Arthur is the Managing Director of Micronet Systems, and is focused on working with accountants and professional services providers to help their clients tune their businesses by leveraging cutting-edge technology. If you want to help your clients gain further efficiencies within their business while boosting your own revenue, request a demo to see how HARMONiQ Business Tuning Software can make a difference to their business and your own.

How automated lead generation processes can help you bring in more revenue

Are great leads the life-blood of your business? Some businesses have no trouble generating enquiries and getting repeat customers. But for many it can be a struggle altogether. Lead generation can even be seasonal and hard to predict – making strategic planning a challenge.

Traditionally, most businesses think they need to burn more shoe leather, make more calls, and run regular special offers to get their share of leads – but there are smarter, more technically advanced ways to generate leads without expending as much energy.

Here’s how to take steps to introduce automated lead generation in your business:

  1. Automate lead generation through quote follow-up and enquiry responses

Surprisingly there are businesses who actually get many qualified leads, but struggle to cope with the numbers. An eventual client of mine once confessed that he was potentially losing up to $1 million a year in revenue solely because he was failing to follow up on smaller quote requests.

In his case, they lacked the sales resources to follow up the small deals. So by automating the quote follow-up process, you could be sending personalised messages to potential customers without needing anyone to physically write and push ‘send’. Not only will you alleviate some of the pressure for your sales team, but you’ll also be making sure no good lead goes wasted.

Take the guesswork out of quote follow-up and other critical, but mundane tasks. Automate these simple processes to save your staff time, but also ensure no lead gets left behind.

Take the guesswork out of quote follow-up and other critical, but mundane tasks. Automated lead generation processes like quote follow-ups allow you to automate these simple processes to save your staff time, but also ensure no lead gets left behind.

 

  1. Revitalise old leads with triggered workflows

Lead generation is not just about new business – it’s just as valuable to look at your existing customers for opportunities to up-sell, cross-sell, or replenish orders proactively.

With an integrated CRM like HARMONiQ, your sales staff have access to every customers’ transaction history, allowing them to cleverly use that information in their conversations with them. An even more useful feature is date-triggered workflows. This allows you to create triggered campaigns to go to specific customers, for example, when their next order is due, or if there’s a new product in stock that they may be interested in.

Triggered workflows allow you to create opportunities, rather than wait around for them to happen.

Triggered workflows allow you to create opportunities, rather than wait around for them to happen.

 

  1. Target and segment your marketing campaigns

CRM like HARMONiQ can help you automate targeted marketing campaigns but easy segmentation and creation of marketing lists.

CRMs like HARMONiQ can help you automate targeted marketing campaigns but easy segmentation and creation of marketing lists.

Most systems and databases make it tedious and manual to extract targeted marketing lists. This means that you’re much more likely to send generic marketing material to your prospects and clients – even though it’s not as effective.

With a CRM like HARMONiQ, you could easily create segmented marketing lists using key contact data, such as location, industry, or product type. This allows you to then send marketing material that’s specifically relevant to them – such as special offers for a complementary item. With in-built integration with Campaign Monitor, a leading Australian email marketing platform, you can easily configure automated workflows with branded templates.

 

  1. Hold your Sales team accountable with measurable KPIs

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In many businesses, it’s unclear exactly what activities your sales people are carrying out day-to-day. Are they spending enough face-to-face time with clients? Are they following up on their leads? Are they neglecting any key accounts?

Instead of hounding your sales staff for this information – wouldn’t it be more helpful if all of this was tracked in one location? With a CRM like HARMONiQ, not only does it automatically track all your sales activity down to an individual rep, it also ties it back into the financials. This makes it easy for you to generate reports for monitoring KPIs, keeping targets on track, and highlighting areas for additional training or coaching. Even the most dedicated sales staff can benefit from extra motivation through better monitoring of KPIs – especially when the software does it for you.

If you didn’t already know, HARMONiQ is a powerful new platform brought to you by Micronet Systems, with plenty of in-built automation to really revolutionise the way you do things – such as generate leads.

With HARMONiQ you can:

  • Empower your staff with great tools for automating follow-up tasks and increasing efficiency – ensuring no leads are ignored.
  • Configure simple and powerful workflows to ensure you capitalise on opportunities with old leads or existing customers.
  • Easily segment contacts and accounts according to contact criteria. Create segmented marketing lists, and then use Campaign Monitor to send beautifully designed, branded emails to your database.
  • Get better visibility of your sales teams’ activities through automated reporting to improve KPI monitoring and overall performance.

If you’d like to find out how Australian and NZ businesses are using HARMONiQ CRM to achieve additional process automation, outside of lead generation – let me know. I’ll organise a quick demo to show you some of the great things HARMONiQ can do for your business.

Drew Arthur is the Managing Director of Micronet Systems and is focused on helping business leaders overcome inefficient sales, inventory, and customer relationship management practices by leveraging cutting edge technology. If you want to gain better control of the sales processes in your business, click here to organise a demo to see how HARMONiQ Business Tuning Software can make a difference to your business.