In 2001 a research from Gartner revealed that 50% of all customer relationship management (CRM) systems were failures and that number probably remained almost the same since then. Some of the most skillful experts in the world know why, but do you? Why some organizations get more benefits from CRM software and some get less? And why are some of the best executives in some of the largest organizations in the world still worried when they have to make another CRM decision?
It’s probably because it’s easy to make a big mistakes. It doesn’t matter how smart and intelligent you are, if you don’t think right or have some experience in CRM technology and sales management you could end up with making some big mistake that will lower the effect of a good CRM system. How to avoid that mistakes? First of all, it’s important to know what those mistakes are. There are 4 big CRM mistakes you can make.
You are not managing customer relationships
Most of people use the term customer relationship management (CRM) as the actual way to manage the relationship with customers. That’s not true. The thing you want to do with a good CRM system is to automate some of the most important tasks in sales management. For example, you use it to automate and manage winning opportunities, generate different forecasts, align territories and lots of other things. Of course there are customers on the end side of that, who else would be there but they shouldn’t be the main and only thing. So, instead of using CRM for all those tasks I mentioned above you could use sales force automation (SFA). SFA software does exactly what I said. Some people won’t get used to that term easy but it’ll surely make the business easier.
What is ROI? ROI is a term for return of investment and it is one of the most important things in business. But is it really that important with CRM system? Low ROI is often one of the main reasons why some CRM implementation has been called a failure. ROI really shouldn’t be a measure for success of CRM in sales management. Why? Well, CRM shouldn’t be considered as an investment. It’s actually something that is necessary for some company to function right, just like computers, desk, office and similar. CRM is an expense, and not investment and that’s why ROI shouldn’t be used as a way to measure the impact of CRM on business.
One of the main concerns for organizations is the user adoption of CRM software they use. If the user adoption is good then the implementation of CRM software is successful. Well, it’s not! User adoption is actually one of the outcomes of a good CRM system so it can’t be a measure of one. What do I mean? Well, if you show a salesperson you CRM system the final goal should be to make them want to use that same CRM. The goal for lots of organizations is to make that salesperson use that CRM and that’s why their work is often a failure.
Surely one of the biggest mistakes that people make when dealing with CRM is thinking that better and newer technology will solve lots of problems easier. Is that true? Well, the new and better technology that is constantly developing around CRM systems can surely make the business better but if it’s used on the wrong way the outcome will be the same. It’s always better to invest on education on CRM systems than on new CRM technology. What’s the point of newest technology if people don’t know how to use it? What’s the point of owning a car if you don’t know how to drive it? So, start focusing on knowledge of sales force and make them realize what they can do with a good CRM system and how to use it on the right way. It’ll pay off more than buying a completely new technology.
So, what do you think now? Ever done the same mistakes I mentioned above? Do you also think that newer technology can help with solving problems easier? I hope you learned something new and that this article will help you with future business.