Customer relationship management software is often viewed as a necessary evil. It is the something that is better than nothing, yet thought of as expensive, underutilized and fragmented. CRM software should be and can be (and actually often is) the tool that boosts sales, allows businesses to expertly manage the sales process and create a smooth transfer of knowledge. Let’s take a closer look at why CRM software gets a bad rap and dispel some misleading myths.
1. Burdensome to implement.
Kicking things off with a new CRM means populating the software with all of your existing customer information, training staff to use the new tool and making sure your data is accessible and secure. The prospect of transferring data often paralyzes managers and leaves them stuck using processes and products that don’t perform the way they need them to. Data-transfer paralysis is paired with the overwhelm of bringing staff up-to-speed and ensuring your data is secure. It doesn’t have to be that way. A smart CRM actually manages much of the on-boarding for you – and when we say on-boarding we mean managing and securing data and training staff. A good CRM can populate fields using the files downloaded from your old CRM with virtually no input from you. Intuitive design means all your sales staff has to do to is set up their account and read a few dialogue boxes before they get the hang of it. It really shouldn’t be long before a new CRM is fully-operational and everyone on your team is confidently using it.
2. Too technical.
Since IT resources are often strapped, few organizations are eager to add to the load. Rolling out and managing new CRM software shouldn’t tax your IT department. In fact, a really good CRM won’t even require you have one. That’s right. Today’s CRMs aren’t inherently too technical for the average employee and are even easy to use. The best CRMs offer storage in the cloud, so you never have to worry about server space or set-up.
3. A chore to use.
How many data fields does one client need? That should be entirely up to you. Some CRMs are notorious for overwhelming their users – asking for more information than even your client’s mother knows the answer to. Lucky for you, it doesn’t have to be that way. A CRM shouldn’t overwhelm the user with boxes to fill in. Instead, a good one will serve up a streamlined user interface, intuitive navigation and mobile-ready screens that display digestible information designed to be viewed on the screen size its opened on.
Rare is the professional tool that comes free, but that doesn’t mean you want to sign up to be raked over the coals. Your CRM should feel like a good value and earns its keep. Look for a CRM that offers per user pricing and plan structures that reflect your business needs. You should be able to elect full service plans with all the bells and whistles as well as trimmed down plans that only includes the features you want and need.
5. No ROI.
An important first question to ask of any business decision is, ‘what return will we see on this investment?’ You are in business to do business and ideally all of your activities contribute to your bottom line. Your CRM should be no different. If you only needed a simple repository of contact information, you’d use an address book. Your CRM must be more than that. Your CRM should add structure to your sales funnel and help your team track and close more deals. One great way to gauge the utility of your CRM is to look closely at how your team is using it. Your CRM should allow you to generate reports based on CRM activity. Not only will reports give you a clear picture of how your CRM is being used, it can also tell you a lot about where your sales approach is succeeding and in what ways it is failing. One promise of the CRM is that it empowers you to make data-driven decisions. Numbers don’t lie and your CRM should prove its worth with a solid ROI.