When a CRM (customer relationship management) consultant meets a business owner for the first time a totally honest conversation might go something like this:
CRM Consultant: Why do you want a CRM system?
Business Owner: It’ll make money for me and I can watch what my sales reps are doing each day.
CRM Consultant: If buying a CRM System will make money then I’m going to buy a bunch of them, watch the money roll in and retire!
CRM systems aren’t babysitters. If you need to watch the sales team then you need new sales representatives who want to make money for themselves and for your wallet.
What are your sales and marketing processes? We’ll need to review those, so the system is set up to best assist you in growing your business.
Why CRM Systems Fail
CRM Systems fail for several reasons. Here are the key errors that management should avoid.
1. Lack of Planning and Focus. The business owner and management must be involved in the process to migrate marketing and sales processes to a CRM system.
2. Don’t know or can’t explain their marketing and sales processes. Your marketing and sales process should be written down as a policy and procedure to sell your products and/or services. Don’t have it written down or outlined? Then do it first before getting a CRM system.
3. Lack of buy-in by the sales and marketing teams. Users of the CRM system should have a say in the process. If they are involved as the system is setup taking into consideration their requirements, then you’ll have a more successful implementation and usage of the system.
4. Training is an afterthought. You setup a new CRM system and tell marketing and sales users to have at it. Don’t waste your money if you don’t include training. They won’t use it or they’ll each use it their own way individually.
If the users are trained how to use it in a way that follows the marketing and sales process, then the business owner and managers can get the real-time reports and projections required to meet incoming deals.
5. CRM system design and requirements for using it are too complex. If you setup a CRM system with lots of data input fields and manual steps to enter leads and process opportunities, then the sales team won’t use it. Keep an eye on the KISS rule (Keep It Simple and Sane).
6.Good vs. Cheap: Considering only the price in the decision. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s the right solution. A CRM system needs to have the right features and functions to meet the requirements of your marketing and sales processes.
Review the different CRM systems available and determine how they can work in your business. With dozens of choices, the complexity becomes hard to deal with. Worse, what a vendor claims a program will do and how it does it are often places where tiger traps await the unwary.
A consultant can help you with the analysis process. What business would buy a CRM system that fails to perform all the critical processes or does them so awkwardly they don’t get done correctly? Think about it: Would you buy half a TV set?
7. Won’t use the CRM system until it’s 100 percent. I hear this a lot from business owners. Why does it take three months to a year to implement a CRM?
If it’s properly planned out ahead of time you can get most of it up and running within 30 days. The remainder can be added on as you grow your business.
As you can see, both management and users need to be planning and working together for your CRM system to be successful.