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How not buy a CRM? Seven mistakes to avoid (Video)

Read Time: 4 minutes

Old methods of purchase and procurement don’t work with CRM. Traditional methods of comparison charts and Lowest bidder wins don’t work for buying a CRM. 

This video is in two parts. First, we discuss how not to buy a CRM, and then in the second video, we will discuss the foolproof way of buying a CRM. 

Since the CRM market is growing very fast, Most of the CRM buyers are buying it for the first time. 

CRM is a complex solution. You cannot buy it the same way you buy a laptop or an operating system. 

Most of the time, CRM buyers are not clear about what they want. Also, deliverables in the case of a CRM are not very tangible and quantifiable. 

Furthermore, most of the information available online is provided by CRM vendors. There are no authentic buying guidelines available for CRM buyers.  

1. Wrong or no goals

A good CRM implemented correctly can deliver more results than you expect. Divide your goals in the long term and short term. 

Example: 

  1. Your short term goal may be to manage your sales process and track your sales team. 
  2. There can also be a mid-term goal of creating a solid lead generation engine using CRM. 
  3. Your long-term goal can be to increase and deepen your relationship with your customers by increasing the chances of cross-selling and up-selling. 

Take your time and plan your goals. There are chances that your plan might fail or get delayed. But if you don’t plan, CRM will definitely fail. 

2. Not considering the change management process. 

When you implement CRM, you are changing the way your team will work and how you will manage your team. If you don’t consider this change management before buying the CRM, CRM will never fulfil your goals. 

Most companies don’t consider that when they buy CRM, they will bring in a digital transformation. Surprisingly, digital transformation is not about technology; it’s about how people use technology. It’s about people and process transformation. 

3. Taking CRM trials & Demos. 

Many people rely on trials and self-evaluation of the CRM. 

Considering that CRM is a habit-changing process. How can you test it?

Habit changing processes always deliver results over a while. 

In that case, from a trial of few hours or few days, how can you decide whether this will succeed. 

Also, a CRM trial is taken by one or two people, and many times they just make random entries and check graphs and reports. They don’t even have a proper plan for testing. 

4. Senior management not involved.

Nothing can be more wrong than this. I have seen many times that owners are not getting involved in the CRM system. 

They think that they have decided the strategy that of buying CRM. Now their team has to implement it and execute the same. 

Unless you are a top leader of a very large enterprise with multiple group companies, I strongly recommend being deeply involved in the CRM process.  

5. IT (technical) person taking the decision.

Your IT team is very good at technology. They take all the decisions regarding which technology to buy or implement. 

But CRM is not solely a technology decision; it has a lot to do with people who are going to use it. 

There are very few chances that your IT team understands the challenges that your sales executives or sales managers face in their role. How can they decide which CRM to buy?

Buying CRM is a management decision. Always include the Sales and Service team leaders and members while deciding the requirements of a CRM tool. The IT team can guide you, but it should not make the buying decision.

6. Comparison charts always lie. 

Buying a mobile can be done by using comparison charts, but not a CRM. 

Most CRM software is exactly the same, especially when seen in a comparison chart. What matters is the way its implemented. 

For example, if we prepare a comparison chart of the world’s costliest and most successful CRM with the free CRM available, developed a few years back, we will find that most of the items are common. 

The problem with the implementation of the hand-holding process is that it cannot be put into a comparison chart. 

The real problem is that traditional companies have been buying that way for a long time. One junior creates the comparison chart, and senior management people take the decision based on the same. 

Comparison charts are for experts. If you are a first-time CRM buyer, don’t trust comparison charts. They are biased. They don’t reveal the real story. They will have lots of useless jargon.

In short, never rely on a comparison chart. 

7. Buying from L1 might prove to be costly. 

There can be many deliverables that are not properly visible in comparison charts or quotations that you receive. 

Also, SMEs don’t have the bandwidth to hire costly consultants who will create elaborate RFP and requirement documents. 

So, if we go by the lowest bidder, there are chances that we will have to spend for CRM all over again in some time. 

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How to prevent failures in buying, implementing, and using CRM