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Bob Sullivan, InfoGrow

Why CRM Gets a Bad Reputation

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A successful CRM system starts with an understanding of the processes you want to improve. Automation, such as CRM, won't fix an inefficient process. For this analysis, it is important that someone at your company looks at your business operation as a whole. If such a person doesn’t exist, then pay an outside expert or, better, find a CRM vendor who will take the time to fully understand your processes and needs and get all team players involved, right from the start.

Today's CRM is better than yesterday's because: (a) CRM systems can now deliver greater productivity returns and (b) vendor's software usability is much improved. These advancements (and others) mean less time and lower costs to implement a CRM system. And the more people in a given company who use a CRM system translates to more benefits and a higher ROI on a CRM investment. Research notes that for every dollar a company invests in a CRM system, it earns $5.60.

Improvements in CRM technology, however, do not guarantee success. Much of CRM's bad reputation is due to users not fully understanding their processes and not asking the right questions when shopping for a CRM.

If you are about to be a first-time CRM user, or you are a current CRM user looking for help with your disappointing CRM, here are ten questions to ask a CRM provider:

  1. Will the CRM solution help to acquire customers, keep customers, and grow overall company revenue?  These goals are tied as the top two priorities over the next twelve months for 73% of decision makers at large global companies.
  2. Will the CRM solution accommodate rising customer expectations and improve customer satisfaction? These goals are the third most important priority (68%).
  3. Will the CRM solution bring together multichannel customer interactions, such as Ecommerce and website searches?
  4. Will the CRM solution help to better manage fragmented customer interaction processes, such as customer onboarding, order administration, loan processing, and customer service?
  5. Will the CRM provider offer mobile solutions for smart phones and tablets that improve employee productivity?
  6. Will the CRM solution include social channels to support customer engagement for market research, communications, customer self-service, and product development?
  7. Will the CRM solution make use of big data from social media and other sources?
  8. Will the CRM solution allow flexibility for CRM software-as-a-service?
  9. Will the CRM solution coordinate customer feedback so all employees understand customer expectations in terms of how their decisions affect business?
  10. Will the CRM provider: (a) take the time to fully understand your needs, (b) get all of your users onboard, (c) train all users, and (d) offer value-added products to enhance your CRM system for your future needs? In other words, make sure you get a vendor who will start you right and will be there as you grow.

In other words, make sure you get a vendor who will start you right and will be there as you grow.

By addressing these questions and ensuring their answers, you are setting yourself up for a successful CRM implementation. Blindly jumping into a CRM system is the number one cause for the disdain for CRM; it is not the fault of the solution, rather the initial misunderstanding of the expected outcome and the possibilities of the setup. If you would like more information on CRM implementation, please call 1-800-897-9807 ext 224.

by InfoGrow Corp.

One Response to “Why CRM Gets a Bad Reputation”

  1. J says:

    Ok, speaking as a seasoned developer of this hellscape-of-a-product, I’ll tell you why CRM is bad. Very bad.

    Performance-wise it’s embarrassing. I’ve worked on-premise and on-line, and even vanilla installations are slower than comparable enterprise applications.

    The UX is profoundly unfriendly. Microsoft seem to have taken a lobotomy on those faculties required to write a meaningful user story. Say I want to create links between contacts. How many screens do I have to open? too many. Anything other than the very niche journeys pre-written by Microsoft become vast labyrinths through mazes of poorly-historied windows and popups. Organisations shouldn’t have to work round the limitations of a product. What about qualifying a Lead into an opportunity? The screen literally hangs for like 5 second – on every instance, vanilla or developed – with no “loading”/”Please wait” message. I have seen this time and time and time again. So the user throttles the button sending more requests which -of course – CRM can’t process. And let’s talk about the error messages. In what world is it cool to have end users being told that a SQL exception has been thrown?! Seriously?! Microsoft seriously think that that is an acceptable return value.

    And speaking of limitations. Why the hell doesn’t the client API better integrate with Visual Studio? What year is this, 1995?!

    Then there’s all the garbage that CRM comes packaged with by default. You run a car hire company? Here, have these tools designed for display

    The one redeeming feature is the reasonably coherent SDK.

 

 
 
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