Just in case you are not sure, CRM is the acronym for Customer Relationship Management. There are heaps of CRM systems out there and there are plenty of opinions about which ones are good and which ones to avoid. There is also a wide range of pricing options to consider as well. Back to the story.
It is easy to blame software for all sorts of issues. This blame may be warranted but very often it is simply a lack of knowledge that frustrates our ability to use the software effectively. The issue we run into most frequently is the lack of diligence in the use and administration of the CRM. Our consultants usually hear things like; “we don’t have time to use it” or “it is too hard to use” from frustrated business managers and owners. These statements are usually spoken when we start asking some questions that require their looking at the data in the CRM. I usually ask to have a look at their CRM very early in the consulting project so I know what I am facing as we move to automate processes and get more productive.
Most CRM software is now pretty mature. This genre of software has been used in business for many years now and most vendors have evolved their systems to a point where they include many features and tools to make sales and marketing EASIER. Here are some of the key complaints and a bit of diagnosis. If you have one or more of these issues in your business then please get in touch.
- Your sales people are not using the CRM.
- They may not know how to use it or the reasons why it is important that it is used. I like to include competencies in the position description to ensure this is documented as an essential part of the performance appraisal process. You must train your people in how to use the CRM and you need to ensure you regularly communicate its essential status in your business.
- The CRM is too hard to use.
- I have yet to find a CRM that is really hard to use. There were a couple I used more than a decade ago that were a bit difficult but not recently. People need training and this training is best done regularly and not just once. Your new hires need to be trained and I really like to include peer to peer training and best practice sharing.
- We can’t get meaningful information out of our CRM.
- Garbage in – garbage out; remember that? If your CRM was poorly implemented with a generic configuration or one that is not aligned with your business processes then you will never leverage a high ROI. The whole purpose of a CRM is to provide your business with data that is essential to grow your sales and market share.
- We have to pay for this software every year and we don’t get any support or training.
- Welcome to the club. Some CRM vendors have terrific online help and training resources. These are all self-serve and can be re-purposed to create some internal training programs. Training and support can be very expensive and so we work to create this training to ensure that you have these training resources ready to go.
- I know we need a CRM but there are too many options and I don’t want to waste money.
- If you are looking at implementing a CRM and doing research you will already be aware of all the options. It is a jungle out there. There are so many features and options that may be named differently and behave differently for the user and this makes comparison even more difficult. Get some help.
All of these issues can be fixed. Our company ‘eats its own dog food’ and so we are a bit passionate about the power that a well implemented and managed CRM delivers to growing businesses.