Like many types of business software, a customer relationship management platform can create major positive changes for its users. However, the scope of modern CRM systems means businesses as a whole and individual employees need to adapt to get the best return on investment possible. Compromises between previous approaches to various work processes and the streamlined functionality of a CRM system need to be reached for the software to truly have its desired effect.
Here's a look at a few common pain points involving CRM and what can be done to avoid them:
A lack of understanding and planning: Whether a company is using this business software for the first time or switching to a new system, in-depth comprehension of the entire sales process - from initial contact to the final payment from a customer - is needed to make the most of CRM. Marketing news site ClickZ pointed out that CRM isn't a cure-all for substandard business practices. When it comes to the work of sales representatives, managers and other employees, recognized best practices need to be instituted. When CRM is used in conjunction with an effective system, however, it helps turn piles of data into actionable information and allows staff to take better, more productive action. CRM needs to be viewed as an enabler of success, and not as a bandage for poor recordkeeping and training, to truly be useful.
Only using traditional measures: CRM systems allow for in-depth analysis of data that would require a significant dedication of time and labor when done manually. CRM does the reporting, allowing employees to focus more on the major components of their job. One concept that can be overlooked when it comes to CRM is the ability to track very specific metrics and realize more useful information than could be had through manual recording of data. ClickZ provided this example: Instead of simply recording sales results, businesses can track communication with prospects and existing clients on the departmental and individual levels. With this wide-ranging approach to measurement and tracking through CRM, it's easier for a company to correct faults and redundant processes.
Not emphasizing customer experience: CRM obviously provides a wealth of options for businesses to improve their operations internally. It can offer customer-facing advantages as well if leveraged properly, however. Through the more involved tracking of customer history, attributes and activity, it's easier for sales and marketing teams to offer relevant information that spurs a new sale or simply keeps customers engaged. Businesses that are too focused on internal improvements can overlook the importance of better interactions with clients and all of the associated advantages.
Not placing enough value on vendor quality: The right CRM partner will help an organization throughout and after the implementation process. A top vendor provides valuable guidance and draws on past experiences to help suggest improvements to the software and offer advice to help make implementation as easy as possible. While price has to be a consideration for companies, they need to balance that sense of thrift with an understanding of long-term viability. Technology website CRM Search pointed to poor vendor selection as one of the top reasons for the failure of a new software system. It's important for businesses to take an active position when weighing different software platforms and when discussing potential partnerships with various providers. The best vendors will be able to objectively demonstrate why a certain system, NetSuite or Microsoft Dynamics CRM, for example, offers specific advantages that will benefit operations at a specific business. These providers will also be able to point to past successes with the software in similar fields.
If you are looking for a partner to help you figure out what CRM can do for your company, then we'd love to hear from you at The TM Group. Please visit our website or call our office at 248-489-0707 for more information.
by The TM Group
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