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Are You Getting Everything You Need Out Of Your CRM Platform?

Are You Getting Everything You Need Out Of Your CRM Platform?

The day-to-day life in a company can be so busy you put off exploring whether it’s best to migrate to a CRM that could transform your company for the better.

Do yourself a favour: don’t make your sales team to settle for “good enough” CRM.

It’s kind of like buying a shirt which, although it manages to cover the top of your body, doesn’t really fit. Whether it’s too tight or too loose, you won’t be able to move through the world with the confidence you should.

A “good enough” CRM might also be akin to a restaurant where you don’t necessarily love the food, and the prices are over-inflated, but which you frequent because it’s close enough to be convenient. You get fed, but not really nourished in a deeper sense.

The difference with “good enough” CRM is that settling for less than the best could cost you customers, revenue, or both.

Sales reps will be reluctant to use it, which in turn has a negative impact on the data you can use to continue building the business.

Customers will eventually be frustrated too, because even if they’re never heard of a CRM they appreciate how the best ones make reps better prepared to serve their needs.

What’s challenging, particularly for many small businesses, is that the difference between the CRM they truly need and a “good enough” CRM isn’t always clear.

It can take time after you deploy the technology before you begin to bump up against the limitations or drawbacks that get in the way of achieving your sales goals.

The day-to-day life in a company can also be so busy you avoid (or put off) exploring whether it’s best to migrate to a CRM that could transform your company for the better.

This actually doesn’t have to be a gut-wrenching exercise, though. It really comes down to asking yourself (and your sales reps), the following questions — and then acting accordingly:

1. Does the CRM interface invite active usage?

Moving from spreadsheets and sticky notes to a CRM can feel like a bit of a leap for some sales teams. If the platform you’ve chosen seems more designed for IT professionals than people on the front lines talking to customers, you likely won’t see a lot of return on investment (ROI).

Of course, “ease of use” can be defined in many ways, but with a CRM there are some fundamentals. It should be simple and fast for reps to input customer data, prioritize opportunities, manage their pipeline and continuously discover insights that help them improve.

2. Will your CRM survive a blackout, or a vast increase in volumes of data?

Like any other software application, a CRM that’s installed and run on the business’s premises is vulnerable to anything that happens to the physical location of an office.

A power outage could mean customer information is irrevocably lost or corrupted.

As you gather more customer data, meanwhile, compute storage often becomes a challenging issue, especially small and medium-sized firms.

This is why the best CRMs today connect directly to the cloud, offering far greater capacity for data, as well as a safeguard against natural disasters or other threats.

3. Can you support a ‘working from anywhere’ strategy?

Over the past year, organizations around the world have experienced the necessity — but also the benefits — of offering greater flexibility to their employees around how they get their jobs done.

This is particularly true in sales, where reps may not only need to work from home but travel to client sites.

A CRM that isn’t designed for use on mobile devices will make managing customer data an afterthought — something they only do when they’re sitting down at a desk. That means you risk key information getting forgotten or lost.

Contrast that with. A cloud-based CRM that can work offsite via laptop or even a smartphone.

4. Is your CRM a puzzle piece, or more of an island?

It’s bad enough when different departments in a company become so siloed that employees aren’t regularly talking to each other. When disparate applications can’t talk to each other, the company’s challenges can become even worse.

Your CRM should just be a great asset to the sales team. It should also easily connect to other platforms your company depends upon. This could include marketing automation tools used by the marketing team, or customer service applications that have been deployed to agents in your contact centre.

Ease of integration can be as important as ease of use, so check to make sure your CRM can grow with you as your tech stack evolves.

5. Can your CRM report on the past, or help predict the future, too?

It’s great when you can reach the end of a quarter and use your CRM to conduct a post-mortem on the sales team’s performance. You want to have strong reporting capabilities to understand what happened (or didn’t happen).

The best CRMs, however, can also give you a sense of what might happen next — which customers might be open to an upsell, for instance, or what the deal cycle might look like as you bring forward a new product or service offering.

This goes beyond traditional forecasting and makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can analyze data faster and often better than a human being could.

Making The Migration Decision

If the answer to most of these questions is “No,” it means you’re not getting everything out of a CRM that you could to help your business grow.

Choosing to move to a different product is never an easy decision, but the cost of doing nothing is often more than the average company can afford.

Instead of sticking with “good enough,” take the time to revisit your initial wish list of features and functionality to ensure it aligns with where your business needs are now. T

Then, talk to vendors who can share insights from companies like yours about how they turned their CRM from a nice-to-have sales tool into an essential part of their customer experience.

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