Are You Utilizing Your CRM Software Effectively?

If you’re like most companies, managing your customer relationships can be a daunting task. Discovering how to leverage social media and other avenues to connect with current and potential customers is important, for it can help you build positive, lasting relationships with your customers. When used effectively, customer relationship management (CRM) software can help you leverage these avenues and build more substantial relationship with your clients.

CRM software has certainly grown in popularity over the years, and it has become a staple in many businesses around the world. Praised for its ability to connect businesses with their customers, the investment in CRM is on the upswing. As investment in CRM software expands, companies need to know how to use the software to their benefit and begin achieving a return on investment (ROI) quickly. Many companies make the same mistakes repeatedly before mastering the solution, so – in an effort to reduce the time to value of CRM – we’ve listed the top CRM mistakes companies make and how to avoid them. Take a look at the seven most common mistakes businesses make when it comes to CRM and find out how you can use it effectively:

  1. Putting IT in charge of CRM projects
    While IT certainly plays a supporting role in any software project, they should not have the ultimate say-so in your CRM investment. The people who will actually be using the software on a daily basis should lead the initiative. By involving your sales team and allowing them to lead the project, you are ensuring that they will use the software on a regular basis.
  2. Heavily integrating CRM and ERP
    The push for CRM-ERP integration has caused many companies to spend an unnecessary time and money on integrations they don’t necessarily need. Evaluate your software and how your employees use the software. It’s better to have a minimally integrated system that your sales and services people actually use than a deeply integrated system that never gets used. Consider your sales volume and current usage. If you think you could benefit from deep CRM-ERP integration, then go for it. However, don’t spend your time and money focusing on integration if you don’t need it.
  3. Not knowing your CRM requirements
    Don’t go into the selection process blind; have a list of your CRM requirements and don’t compromise. You may be drawn in by the bells and whistles of a particular solution but if that solution doesn’t meet your requirements, you’re only wasting your money and time. Work together with your IT department so you select a solution that meets both your IT and reporting needs.
  4. Focusing on unnecessary customizations
    Understanding the difference between CRM configuration and customization is important. You don’t want accommodate every customization request, but you do need to ensure that your CRM solution is configured correctly. Extensive customizations will limit your ability to take advantage of updates and create more trouble than they’re worth. Unless you absolutely need that customization, table it.
  5. Failing to prepare your employees for change
    Many companies make the mistake of assuming their employees will jump on board with the new system. More often than not, companies have to be proactive when introducing a new business solution and answer any (and all) of their employees questions before implementing the new system. Involve your employees throughout the selection process and listen to their input. If they feel a part of the decision, they will be more likely to accept (and use) the new software.
  6. Making price the ultimate deciding factor
    While price is certainly a significant factor when deciding upon CRM software, it should not be the ultimate deciding factor. Take everything into consideration: does the solution meet your CRM requirements? Does it have the mobile capabilities you need? Is the solution easy to use, and can IT support it? If the answer to these questions is yes, you should consider it as an adequate solution despite the price.
  7. Inadequate user training
    The success or failure of your CRM initiative ultimately depends on your ability to train your users. Inadequate user training is the most common reason CRM solutions fail to deliver the results companies expect. Take the time to train your employees on the new software. Offer small group sessions to users who are having difficulty understanding the new software in addition to classroom training sessions. Gear training toward each user’s specific roles to ensure that they comprehend the importance of the software.

Making the above CRM mistakes can be detrimental to your CRM efforts. You may have the most capable solution on the market, but if you don’t know how to use it or implement it, your efforts will result in failure. If you are in the market for new CRM software, contact our CRM experts today. Our most popular solution, Sage CRM, can help you more effectively meet the needs of your customers and give you the tools you need to build lasting relationships.

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