Harnessing the maximum potential of a customer relationship management (CRM) system is contingent on its accurate understanding and implementation. Even though most people have accepted the need for CRM to be a rudimentary one, there are still some misconceptions or myths revolving around the technology that can inhibit its success. These misconceptions range from being about the size of the CRM to the assumption that there will be no ROI. Let’s take a peek at some of the most common misconstructions:
Technology being the primary reason for the purchase:
The benefits of CRM are hugely dependent on the sophistication of its technology and it really goes without saying. Using CRM systems, companies can manage data centrally and efficiently, setup process automation and get real-time data regarding various customers, strategies, campaigns, possible issues and much more. However, the state-of-the-art technology will be incapable of ensuring any of the aforementioned benefits if the company lacks people who know how to perform efficient data mining and analysis. All the CRM can do is provide data and insights that will be hard for a human to manually figure out, and the rest of the data magic has to be conjured up by capable members of the team. Be it sales, marketing or customer service, human input will always be required for a company to maximize the potential of a CRM software.
The greater the amount of data, the better the results:
Excess of anything can have bad repercussions; and even though, ideally, more data should mean better results, but that’s not always the case. When a company keeps on collecting huge amounts of unstructured data, just for the sake of comprehending and meeting the expectations of its consumer, it’s possible that the data may end up being useless. This is why it’s essential to collect meaningful, structured and insightful data before plugging it into a CRM and expecting results.
One size for every solution:
If we take a CRM chosen by company A and compare it to another by company B, even when both companies function in the same industry, their CRM systems should never be completely unique (The keyword here is “should”; meaning that they can be unique, but ideally, that should not be the case). This is because every company is different; every company has its own ways to manage processes like work flows, support, training, data migration and analysis etc. Every company has its own specific demographic that it targets and every company relies on a different set of individuals to do the job. Choosing a CRM that is compatible with your business model, time frame, customer base and strategic preferences is of pivotal importance.
Assuming that a generic CRM solution can be adopted by any company is one of the biggest misconceptions out there and it can be the most dangerous one too. Generic CRM systems often lack some of the market-specific tools that are not present by default. You might end up losing a lot of money, among other resources, after being unable to utilise the poorly chosen CRM to its maximum potential.
Sales will increase on their own:
If you think the previous misconception wasn’t the most lethal one, then you wouldn’t be able to say no to this one. Look at it this way: A CRM is a machine, not a human. If you hire a social media strategist with years of experience under their belt, it wouldn’t be naive of you to expect them to turn things around on their own; however, a CRM will not improve anything unless it is made to do so. A software suite can’t guarantee you an increase in sales on its own because it’s incapable of concocting marketing plans, sending contracts or engaging with customers on its own – at-least not yet.
However, it’s definitely not all grim and black – A CRM will organise your data, provide you incredibly valuable insights, predict trends and reactions of the future based on the feedback of the past. It will also let you know which customers you need to target at any given time. But again, you will have to make it do the legwork and understand its language to have any chance at ensuring productivity.
If you build your own CRM, you will save money:
Building your very own customised CRM might look enticing but it doesn’t always end up the way you initially want it to. The best part about buying a different CRM is that during the evaluation process, you get the opportunity to figure out what you need, what you think you want, what you really want and what you can do without. You get a chance to look at the way your business works and make any amendments to enhance the possibilities of success. However, when you choose to implement your own CRM, you are often unable to act upon these opportunities. Eventually, these mistakes and miscalculations have serious impacts on the long-term success of the software. Another problem with self-development can arise if the person (or team) who developed the CRM decides to part ways with the company, making it hard to train new employees on the CRM.
Last on our list of CRM misconceptions is believing that there will be negligible to no return-on-investment. No business decision can be made without considering the potential ROI and people often assume that a CRM solution doesn’t guarantee any. However, a properly chosen CRM will always streamline operations, make the lives of employees easier and aid in strategy development. According to Nucleus Research, the average ROI for CRM is $8.71 for every dollar that you spend. No lies – just stats.
The ROI should be tracked based on the increase in sales, and/or improvement in customer satisfaction rates, and/or generation of a greater number of leads, that a CRM should ensure.
Now that we have talked about some of the misconceptions that are ill-formed, let’s talk about choosing the perfect solution. A good CRM for your company should be:
- Tailored to meet your specific needs: Do as much groundwork before choosing on a CRM as possible. You might have to ask your vendor to add a few industry-specific tools.
- Easy to use: A CRM solution should be easy to get a hang of. It should have good usability and design to make it easy for the employees to use it to its fullest.
- Able to integrate with 3rd party applications.
- Accessible everywhere: You need to have access to the solution wherever you are – on the road, in your office or at home.
Why Act! is the answer:
Act! is a leading CRM solution trusted by entrepreneurs, sales teams and businesses alike. It adapts to your needs and functions in the way you function. It’s incredibly customisable and with the availability of trained Act! Certified consultants at your disposal, creating your Act! Experience will be a stroll in the park. Learn why Act! is a perfect fit for your business.
CRM systems are necessary and there is no other way to put it. However, if you don’t think adequately before choosing one, you can end up regretting your decision sooner rather than later. However, if you don’t let the above mentioned misconceptions cloud your judgement, you should be fine.