CRM Buyers Beware: Three Hidden Costs of No Decision

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As businesses find themselves consumed with day to day operations, they often overlook the need for a new and better system, and thus they delay the purchase of a CRM system.  These businesses don’t realize it, but there are hidden costs to that delay.   In most cases those businesses do not have a sufficient IT staff to advise them on the system they need to purchase nor do they have the time to articulate all their business needs in order to purchase a CRM system. So they don’t make a decision; they just wait.  Although some of what I write about could be applied to other system implementations, I only focus on CRM in this blog.

What most companies don’t realize is that there is a huge cost associated with not making a decision to purchase the new CRM system.  That cost, what economists call opportunity cost, is far greater than most executives realize, because some may see CRM as a glorified contact manager or a new daunting system that will involve a lot of their money, their time, and their staff’s time.  But it does not have to be that way.  When it comes to CRM, specifically Microsoft Dynamics CRM, CRM has evolved into something much more powerful than it once was, yet it can be implemented in small, well thought out phases as part of a larger business strategy. 

Most small and medium size businesses don’t realize that Microsoft CRM has powerful tools that are flexible, familiar, easy to use, and will help them get up and running very quickly. The longer they delay the decision to implement the needed tools,  the longer they pay the three hidden costs of no decision.

Hidden Cost #1: Creates and Socializes Inefficiencies

I suspect that most businesses already know that the current system is broken beyond repair and  does not meet their business needs; however, not making a decision forces the staff to create a set of workarounds that impedes business goals.  By definition, those workarounds are inefficiencies that have been created as part of the day to day operation of that business, which in turn become part of how things are done in that organization.  This translates into real dollars in additional costs and missed opportunities as it requires the business to hire or maintain extra headcount just to keep the business going.

Consequences of these Inefficiencies:

  • Critical business issues are missed altogether or fall through the cracks
  • Information may be  inaccurate and thus can’t be relied upon
  • Business critical data is kept in spreadsheets, Post-it Notes, or notebooks and thus is not shared with key staff

Inefficiencies will always eat at business productivity and business profits.

A well implemented Microsoft Dynamics CRM system addresses these issues.  Businesses must examine their current processes and leverage their CRM systems to insure that they play an integral role in their day to day business processes.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows a business to remove workarounds and build clean processes that leverage Microsoft best practices.   A business could leverage Microsoft Dynamics CRM built-in features like workflows and Advanced Find to allow businesses to enter, track, route, and retrieve data that the staff needs in its day to day operations.  It also allows the staff to use all CRM functionality right out of their Outlook client, so they can track emails, look up, enter, or update accounts, contacts and quotes, just to name a few. 

Hidden Cost #2: Restricts Your Business’ Ability to Move Quickly

Small and medium size businesses have the ability to move quickly to meet their clients’ needs, but that advantage over larger competitors is lost when the business is using an inefficient CRM system.  Powerful features in Microsoft Dynamics CRM allow businesses to add new fields, modify workflows, and enable staff to adapt to business changes quickly rather than wasting time creating workarounds.

A new Microsoft Dynamics CRM system should allow you to:

1-      Easily view new clients

2-      Easily find new leads and the salesperson assigned to them

3-      Track leads that have not been followed up on within the last day or week

4-      Track new critical customer issues (ones that may cause the client to leave)

5-      Track customer issues that have not been resolved in the last day or week

6-      Guide the sales team down a well thought out sales process so forecasts are reliable

7-      Easily integrate your website to your Microsoft Dynamics CRM

8-      Easily kick off email campaigns

Hidden Cost #3: Paralysis by Analysis

I often run into clients that have been searching for the perfect CRM system for months, if not years.  In reality they should be searching for the exceptional CRM system.  The exceptional CRM system has the right balance of built-in functionality as well as tools that allow you to configure and customize additional functionality to make it the perfect system.  The amount of time that is spent searching for the perfect system insures only one certainty, and that is that the current broken and inefficient system will be in use until you make that decision. It is often not worth the wait. 

It is important to note that a business must do its due diligence to insure that it chooses the right CRM, but a business should efficiently evaluate those systems.  The entire process for a small and medium size business should take a resource between one to two months to complete and present their findings to upper management.  And upper management should be prepared to ask important, pointed questions before making a decision shortly.   A timeframe that is longer than three months most likely means that that resource is lost in the details, does not have clear goals or the company can’t afford a new CRM system, among other reasons that translate to no decision.

I’ve implemented packaged solutions for the last 17 years.  I’m very impressed with how Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed compared with other small and large players in this space.  I’m also impressed by how quickly a business can implement a phased CRM implementation that will save  money in the long run.   Being a Microsoft partner, I feel very strongly that if a business considers these three hidden costs and consults with a qualified Microsoft Dynamics partner, that business will be satisfied with its CRM decision.

Please visit our website at Advancedsps to learn more.

To learn more about our Author Emad Hanna

by Advancedsps, your California Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner

1 thought on “CRM Buyers Beware: Three Hidden Costs of No Decision”

  1. Emad

    Great post. Simple and clear. I particularly like your last area. Sometimes the time and effort to create the perfect RFP/tender document results in a process where everyone 'complies' to every item - but no great insight is generated, let alone game changing business differentiation.

    We'll pop a link to this on our blog - which aims to help SME's choose a CRM vendor.

    Leighton

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