The digital economy is upon us. Even laggards have begun to embrace technology. Nobody has a choice to escape it if they want to survive in the present and future.
The government of India has launched long-term training programs to enable technology adoption among SMEs in India in order to make them competitive on a global scale.
One of these digital technologies for all organizations – small and large alike – is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
What is CRM Software?
CRM software is a tool that serves many purposes related to customers. It stores customer data, tracks sales performance, provides actionable insights, integrates across various platforms, and improves the accountability of people. Using a CRM system, companies can increase sales and profitability, and become more efficient and effective.
In today’s hypercompetitive environment, it’s important to stay updated with changing trends and needs to maintain relations with customers. This is why any business that wants to serve its customers better must use a CRM system efficiently.
For this reason, more businesses and brands are purchasing CRM systems. According to Gartner reports, CRM remains the fastest growing industry in the world.
Mistakes While Buying a CRM Software
However, there are certain common mistakes that businesses commit while buying a CRM tool. These mistakes might seem silly, but they severely restrict the ability of businesses to take maximum advantage of the system.
Here are six of those common mistakes that are made while buying a crm and what you can do to avoid them.
1. Not Defining Objectives
Many businesses purchase a CRM system because “everyone else has it.” But this is like purchasing a car without knowing what you need it for. Do you need a car with better mileage, or more comfort, or low maintenance?
Without considering your objectives, you could end up regretting your purchase and not using the car at all. What a waste of money!
Similarly, if you don’t define what you want to achieve with your software, you could buy anything only to realize that it doesn’t serve your needs.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll
Here’s the right way to choose a CRM tool. Spend an hour with your people to define the objectives of the system. Share these objectives with the software provider and take a trial to gauge whether the system fulfills them.
When you invest in a tool that fulfills your needs, you and your team are much more likely to optimize its use and reap the benefits.
2. Asking for Too Much
Business leaders are human beings. And as human beings, many of our biases affect our day-to-day decisions. One of those biases is getting attracted to the less-for-more promise.
We often get tempted to take as much as we can without having to spend more. The same goes for technology. You can get lured to include many features in CRM software; even the ones you don’t need for the time being because they come for no extra cost.
But these bells and whistles can become too overwhelming for your people to use, especially when they’re getting used to a new CRM tool. The result is that people don’t use anything and the software gets wasted.
Choose only the features that align with your objectives. Negotiate with your vendor to get new features added to the software as per your need. You’ll realize that by tracking just three to four metrics, your sales and relations with customers improve tremendously.
3. Outsourcing the Purchase Decision of buying a CRM
On one end of the spectrum are business leaders who don’t consult anyone before investing in technology. On the other end are leaders who outsource the entire process to their executives.
When you don’t get involved in decisions that affect the long-term functioning of your company, you people can make incorrect decisions (either due to lack of expertise or due to vested interests). When the decision flops, it becomes easy for everyone to pass the buck.
Don’t outsource the decision to purchase a CRM system to executives or your IT department. Delegate it. This means ensuring that your people know what you expect, and tracking whether they’re doing the due diligence needed to choose the right tool.
When you remain involved in the purchase of a CRM system, you’ll also know its technicalities and be able to hold your people accountable.
4. Not Factoring Training and Support
To make a sale, most sellers promise the stars. But when it comes to delivery, they don’t even reach the roof.
Many CRM providers promise training and support for their software. But after a sale, they don’t live up to their word, especially if you’ve paid for a year in advance. As a result, people don’t know how to navigate the software and abandon it.
Conduct your research online and speak to peers to identify which vendors provide top-notch aftersales training and service. Your people will need this the most when a new CRM gets introduced.
5. Wasting the Trial Period before buying a crm
It’s tempting to expect your people to use the CRM software during its trial period without your intervention. But nobody likes being pushed outside their comfort zone. And a new technology always pushes people outside their comfort zone.
If you don’t track how your people use the software during the trial period, you will remain clueless about whether the tool is useful for your business or not.
In our experience, customers who barely use the CRM tool during trial extend the same behaviour after the trial period ends. That’s why they see no improvement in their business.
But customers whose CRM usage is more than 50% during trial reap tremendous rewards in the long term as well. And this push comes from the leadership.
6. Expecting it to Run the Business
Most companies deploy CRM software because they want to increase discipline and adherence to the process within their teams. But this is like buying a local car today and expecting it to run like a self-driven vehicle. What will happen if you take your hands off the steering wheel and eyes off the road?
Unless your company is run by robots that meticulously follow every order entered in them, the software cannot run your company. On the contrary, the software will track whether your people are doing what’s expected from them and share reports which you better insights on how things can improve. But you have to take action.
To bring about real change and make your organization more competitive, you must lay out a detailed plan to assign roles to your people and yourself, and make the CRM a part of your strategy.
Without this step, transformation becomes impossible.
Software is important but it cannot run your business. The effectiveness of your business will always lie on adherence to relevant processes.
Use CRM to track and improve business performance. But always keep your people and customers at the centre.
If you want to know how our CRM software can help you improve your sales by at least 30%, click here for a no-obligation demo.