Your CRM should be helping you to reduce costs and increase profitability by providing you with a 360-degree view of the customer lifecycle. If it’s not, or there’s a wealth of information that exists outside of it on spreadsheets or in other solutions, then you could have a problem.
The failure of a CRM system has often got little to do with the technology, but has more to do with how the solution has been maintained, more specifically whether it’s evolved with the organisation and been integrated with new technologies as they’ve been brought onboard.
How can you gauge when your CRM is broken?
1. You haven’t identified clear objectives for your CRM
Very often, management doesn’t devote time to properly developing a realistic use strategy for their CRM before implementing a solution. If a leadership team does not effectively set expectations for what they need their CRM to do, and create a plan of how to reach these goals, they are essentially preparing to fail.
Failure is the inability to meet defined expectations. Poor or little planning means that managers are unable to revisit their records and evaluate if the CRM is on the right track to increasing productivity and functionality within the organisation’s internal processes.
Before implementing a CRM solution, leadership teams should define a clear strategy that accounts for all the processes within the organisations’ value chain. Plans should be reviewed after each phase of its implementation and at regular intervals thereafter, using pre-agreed metrics that allow for the success or failure of the organisation’s CRM objectives to be fairly judged.
2. Your CRM is preventing people from being productive
When technical issues begin to divulge within your CRM that prevents people from effectively completing their work, it’s a clear indication that a CRM re-evaluation is overdue.
If your CRM is beginning to become temperamental, and an unnecessary amount of time is spent paving workarounds to avoid the CRM system altogether, your organisation might be jeopardising their productivity.
So, how can you tell when your organisation’s productivity is suffering?
- There’s a large amount of communication between teams outside the CRM program.
- Basic information relating to the customer including quotes, notes, sales data and marketing analytics is missing, exists outside the CRM, or isn’t easily available.
- There’s an increase of poor feedback from the customer (or) sales teams are not informed about the customer or their position within the sales pipeline.
President and CEO of Libra OnDemand, George Hopkins notes; “When customer communications start taking place outside of the CRM system and there’s no direct way to manage and influence your customers’ experience with your organisation, it’s time to upgrade your CRM”.
3. Your CRM isn’t fully integrated
By failing to integrate your current applications, databases and systems with your CRM solution, the software will become just another application to maintain, increasing the chances of its failure.
CRMs should be a single source of truth for your organisation, offering the much desired ‘single view of the customer’, holding all information relating to the customer (and your prospects) in one central place.
Modern organisations today use any number of pieces of technology within different teams and departments to coordinate service delivery and communicate to customers, such as Marketing Automation and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms, but it’s key to ensure that, ultimately, all of the information pertinent to the customer is able to find its way into your CRM.
Many of your current organisational systems can be integrated to unify and transport data to one central place, but when it doesn’t, a re-evaluation might be on the horizon. Zoho Corporation’s chief evangelist Raju Vegesna explains; “If your existing CRM software doesn’t integrate with other systems like email or accounting, it’s time to upgrade.”
4. Poor CRM leadership
In most cases of failed leadership, a CRM was implemented and prioritised as an important project, but over time, management has leant their attention to other responsibilities or hasn’t created a function and process to maintain it, so their vision for the CRM project has since eroded.
Leadership must understand the benefits that a CRM system can bring if used properly, outline their expectations for the organisation’s employees using it and enforce minimum data quality standards. This must be continued on an ongoing basis and changes to the system be clearly communicated to everyone directly affected by the change and new standards policed – failure to do so will lead to the most stubborn beginning to look for those ‘workarounds’ we were mentioning earlier.
If a CRM isn’t correctly maintained, the system becomes dated, information becomes obsolete and the tool progressively becomes more difficult to use – it’s only as good as the data that’s being put into it.
5. Your organisation is not getting the appropriate CRM training
Without initial and continuous training, teams may struggle to engage with the implemented CRM solution.
Top management, in addition to backing the strategy and policing it, needs to support employees to move forward to adopting the program for their own use. Destination CRM has noted that “firms with high end-user adoption rates get high marks for the education they deliver to sales teams on how to get the maximum benefit out of using their CRM application.”
Training and coaching are incredibly important to ensure that every user understands the system and its benefits. By completing this training, user acceptance is boosted and implementation is overall much more successful than without any help.
How can you prevent your CRM from failing?
As previously outlined, a great CRM has very little to do with the technology, it’s about enabling everyone to do their jobs better.
Superfluid understands the common struggles organisations may have with smoothly implementing a CRM solution. We couple our understanding of the mid-market and technology with programmes that enable us to get to the heart of what it is that you need from your CRM, before crafting a solution that meets your goals.
Speak to us today to find out how we can help you to get the most out of your CRM.