Seven reasons to consider a new CRM
POSTED : February 9, 2015
BY : Stephanie Gaughen

Continuous improvement is the hallmark of any successful business. In fact, CRM is expected to grow to a $36.5 billion market worldwide. And with rapidly advancing technology, you might feel like you’re always in the process of upgrading your systems. With that comes a change in processes and sometimes departmental structure and responsibilities. It’s no easy feat.

However, in order to improve profitability and boost the bottom line, it’s important for sales and marketing executives to evaluate the applications that help them engage better with their customers and prospects. A high-power customer relationship management (CRM) system is key to doing just that. But how do you know when it’s time to start the conversation about a new CRM software?

Read on for our list of seven signs you need to start evaluating a new CRM now:

1. Low adoption

A CRM can only be effective if it is used correctly. By checking the login rate of users, you can get an idea of team adoption. All CRMs should be able to tell you the login rate for users. If it’s below 80% through any given month, you’re not getting accurate performance or forecasting data, which is likely leading to misinformed decisions because you lack a complete view.

Another way to measure adoption is to spend some time with your sales reps for the day. Observe them in their day-to-day responsibilities. Identify where employees go to get their information. Are they using another system? Are they using their own spreadsheets, email repository or even sticky notes? Those are warning signs that data is stranded and may be lost. You want your CRM to be the system of record and when data isn’t stored in the CRM, that means others can’t access it and management won’t be able to pull the reports they need. Consider when one of your sales reps leaves their job and is transitioning their accounts to another rep. If they haven’t stored customer information and notes in the CRM, that information becomes lost and may jeopardize a future sale.

If you are struggling with CRM adoption, here’s what you can do to help:

  • User Experience. Is your system easy to use? Does it provide all the metrics your team needs? They should be able to easily find things like relevant leads, contacts, accounts and opportunities.
  • Get Mobile. These days, no one is still for too long. Your team moves around! If you want them to be more engaged and involved with your CRM software, make sure it’s mobile. This way they always have access.
  • Work With Email. Your emails and CRM should be connected. The more these two teams are working together, the easier locating leads will be for your sales team.
  • Create a Working Process. Work together to create a process that is focused on leads and opportunities, while being standardized and transparent.
  • Train. You can’t expect everyone to know what to do with a CRM system. Make plans and budget for an intense training session to ensure that your whole team is on the same page and understands how the system works.

2. Lack of configurability and scalability

Many companies hit a wall when they try to make their legacy contact manager evolve with their business needs. They find that either the database structure or the hooks to newer technologies simply don’t exist. This means either developing workarounds or forgoing functionality altogether.

However, CRM’s are more than just a contact list – each customer you store in your CRM has their own “profile” or “contact card” with everything there is to know about that customer. Being able to configure the fields at the setup level is crucial so that you can segment demographics and scale that infrastructure whether you have 1,000 contacts or 100,000 contacts. You will also be able to quickly organize existing customers in order to improve customer retention. When used correctly, this is how the right CRM tool can improve customer retention by as much as 27%!

Being able to collect and store important information specific to your business is a must-have for any organization’s CRM. This granular level of configurability can be the difference between feeling like your CRM is a useful tool or an inconvenience that doesn’t add value to you and your team. (We know which one we’d prefer!) Something as simple as this can make or break the process of your sales team and your business as a whole.

3. Integration nightmares

Does every integration you need turn into a big, costly headache? Many CRMs have poor integration capabilities. One common integration challenge is connecting to your back-end accounting or ERP systems. You might have a big vision for what you want the system to do but find that the lack of integration with your CRM prevents you from accomplishing the vision.

Your CRM software should integrate with your back office software easily, saving you time and eliminating the chance of handling errors. This capability is fundamental in keeping a CRM solution important and functional. This helps with better collaboration with customers, coordination with online networking, your customer base and more.

Here’s what you should be integrating:

  • Email
  • Mobile
  • Calendar
  • Marketing Automation
  • Quoting and Pricing
  • ERP

4. No mobile capabilities

Most sales reps and managers need access to their data from anywhere and anyplace, especially if they are on the road often. But if your CRM isn’t mobile-enabled, that becomes a major problem. Often, the sales process becomes longer and data might not get input to the system when the rep returns to the office. Ultimately, customers can suffer because it prolongs the service time. Some companies build their own mobile apps to circumvent this problem but moving to a mobile-enabled system such as the Salesforce1 Platform reduces the need for these additional development costs.

When hunting down a CRM system that tailor-fits your needs, make sure to thoroughly review your customer relationship lifecycle. Collect a list of everything your company will need and find a CRM that meets those needs.

Here are some advantages to going mobile:

  • Sales teams benefit from savings, reduced admin overheads, and anytime, any-device availability
  • Marketing teams can talk to customers in new ways by creating personalized experiences and tracking activity
  • Customer service teams can pick up cases more quickly, track them across channels and resolve them
  • IT teams gains a development platform for mobile apps, with built-in integration to a CRM system

5. You can’t get the reports you need

In today’s competitive world, to make good business decisions, you need a 360-degree view of the customer and your business. This is key as 91% of CRM data is incomplete – making the reports you get (and how often you decide you receive them) all the more important. If you constantly find that you can’t get the reports you need on organization performance or customer behavior, you likely have one of the problems listed above, and your system may not be able to do what you need. This gets compounded if integrations with other systems are not in place.

Storing all of your customers and their associated information in one, integrated digital platform means you get insights in the form of automated reports. Not only do these reports give you insight, but they’re also a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to providing key stakeholders in your business with information on an ongoing basis.

We recommend looking for a CRM software that makes it easy to generate reports, is fast, and has a good, relevant library of standardized reports. When report season finally rolls around, you’ll be glad you opted for software that doesn’t make it difficult to get the information you need, when you actually need it.

Key reports you should be collecting:

  • Pipeline reports
  • Activity reports
  • Open issues
  • Leads reports
  • Lost sales
  • Contacts
  • Revenues
  • …and any custom reports your team decides it needs to be successful

6. You can’t automate processes

Improving efficiency relies on automating business processes. Any CRM should help you monitor leads, manage pipeline, and provide forecasting but only a few can help you automate processes and make your departments more efficient and effective. For example, when your sales team wins a deal, you need a system that sends a notification to accounting that a customer needs to be billed. The same thing goes for your operations team. When a deal closes, they need a workflow to start managing the project.

7. Increasing costs of supporting the application and users

The costs of supporting a legacy contact manager or CRM can increase over time. It can also greatly delay company growth the longer you put Band-Aids on the older system. Plus, costs can skyrocket if a long time sales rep or executive leaves the company. A lot of valuable knowledge can leave with that one individual if account information isn’t properly stored in a modern cloud-based CRM software.

Even if CRM systems can be a bit on the expensive side, they still allow for cost savings in other areas of your business to help make up for the big commitment you’re about to make. Take a look:

  • Avoid printing and paper costs by sharing digital copies automatically
  • Generate reports that otherwise who have taken hours of your time inside a spreadsheet
  • Stop the need for list buying
  • Significantly improve response time for quote requests, proposals and contracts

Get our beginner’s guide to CRM.

About the author

Stephanie Gaughen

Stephanie Gaughen is a senior Pardot consultant at Concentrix Catalyst. She holds a master’s degree in media and communications. She has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology innovation, and next-generation marketing.

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