CRM (Customer relationship management) software is pretty common. Many companies utilize it to track information about their customers, prospects, and partners. It has the potential to provide a lot of value when deployed properly and users are dedicated to entering data.
1 ) One size fits all
This is great for scarves and hats, but not software. The CRM we deploy for non-profit organizations is far different from that for dentists which is far different from that for bridal shops. Different companies have different needs and uses for their CRM, so their systems should be tailored differently.
2 ) You only need a 10-minute, one-time training video on how to use your system and you’re good to go
Have you ever tried giving your grandmother an iPhone? She probably needs a lot of help to know how to use it. You will likely be giving her tips for how to use it the best and get the most out of it for months.
You have more technology experience than your grandmother, but your skill with CRM is comparable. You need a decent amount of training to learn how to use your CRM solution to its highest potential at the beginning and you should have access to ongoing support to make sure you’re continuing to get the most out of it.
3 ) Customer service is the main focus
Just because it is called a Customer Relationship Management tool, doesn’t mean it is only for customer service! CRM makes an especially effective sales and marketing tool as well.
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4 ) Sales will automatically increase
Say you buy all your sales reps brand new pens. These fancy new pens are more comfortable and supposed to let your reps write for longer without getting tired. The company boasted that their pens would increase your reps’ efficiency. How much do your sales go up?
Just like a new pen, flashy business cards, or even a laptop, CRM is just a tool to help improve process efficiency. It isn’t a sales representative and needs to be used in order to get value.
5 ) Building your own will save you money
This might be true if you plan on reselling it, but in any other case it really doesn’t make sense. You would need to hire a developer to create it and then continue to staff support to help deploy it to users, assist users in using it properly, and debug when problems arise.
6 ) There’s no return on investment
It’s hard to quantify the return on investment before a baseline is established, but it is rare that CRM is a waste. Users have to be dedicated to actually entering data and being diligent, but CRM is a powerful tool that can greatly increase efficiency and drive process excellence. When used correctly, it can help close more deals at higher rates, save money with process efficiency, and improve customer relationships.
7 ) Enterprise-wide implementation is always best
If Helen in accounting has been doing her job the same way for 25 years and has no idea how to use a cell phone, trying to get her to use CRM could just cause stress and unnecessary complications.
At some organizations not all departments need CRM, sometimes it’s just best used for sales or marketing.
8 ) The more data the better
For anyone who has ever tried to take a shoe box of business cards and put it into a spreadsheet, you’ll know how hard data entry is. It’s a giant time suck and a major pain.
If there isn’t a direction or use for the data, it isn’t worth the time and effort of trying to input it. Enter data that is important or that you know will be useful and save everything else for when it’s needed. Don’t overload your dashboard with useless information.
Additionally, too much information can be stressful and overwhelming. Don’t drown yourself or your team mates in it.
9 ) CRM only belongs to specific departments
CRM doesn’t need to be deployed to an entire company, but that doesn’t mean it is only for sales or only for help desk. Every department of a company has potential to get value out of CRM, but the team members and tasks will really drive whether or not they will get value.
10 ) Companies are stuck with their legacy systems
Moving data can seem painful, but most of the time it isn’t. You shouldn’t be handcuffed to a piece of software that’s outdated and no longer provides value just because it currently has all your data on it. A good provider is willing to move this data for you.
CRM, like any software, can seem daunting to deploy and integrate into the daily processes of a business, but they often have a high return on investment for both time and money. Properly deployed and consistently used systems increase efficiency and help drive continuous process improvement.
During new CRM deployments, your business may feel stressed or overwhelmed with the project. Many times, stressed departments reveal some of their weaknesses. Keep an eye out for avoiding common problems when launching a new CRM platform, but also attack opportunities to improve throughout the process.
About Leeward Business Advisors
Leeward Business Advisors is a Wisconsin-based corporation that provides business strategy planning, business improvement implementation, and full IT operational support. They offer world class Cloud Computing services, Cloud brokerage, Managed IT services, and a full US based Support Service Desk (called Quick Answers). Michael Polzin, CEO has 20+ years of enterprise business and technology experience gained while working at Allstate Insurance and Microsoft Corporation. Jason Klein, CTO has 15+ years delivering effective and efficient technology to Midwest companies.