4 Common Mistakes While Choosing CRM for a Company

According to various surveys, around 40% of salespeople use tools such as Exce to keep track of their customers data. But at some point, an Excel sheet is no longer enough. As you grow your business, having one central place where you can store all critical data is essential. This is a great moment to start thinking about getting a CRM tool for a company.

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a system used to gather, sort and store your customers’ data while also offering several other useful functions such as lead scoring or automating simple tasks. According to various researches, the CRM tool can help increase sales by up to 29% and sales productivity by up to 34%

There is one other equally important statistic that could give you second thoughts about getting a CRM system though. According to various researches, from 47% to even 63% of CRM implementation end in failure, ouch. CRM tools are not cheap, so the failure rate can make every company doubt are they even worth it.  

The good news is, you can avoid most of the causes of CRM implementation failure. Majority of problems comes from misunderstanding what is a CRM system and how does it work. If you are prepared, you can fix those long before the whole project fails. Let’s take a look at the four most common reasons why CRM project fail.

Mistake #1 – Picking the wrong system for your company

Before doing anything else, you need to sit down and think about what do you need from the CRM system. There are so many CRM tools on the market right now, picking one might give you a headache. So why not just select the one system that has the best reviews? Or the one which is the most popular and recommended by industry experts?

Plenty of companies thought that way and to “save time” they picked the first system they found. Result? The chosen system is very powerful but far too complicated, so the staff refuses to use it. Or it doesn’t have the features you need (but plenty of others you don’t) and getting it implemented takes ages.  Not to mention, it turns out to be too expensive for your budget. Instead of being helpful for your company, the system turns out to be a costly hindrance.

How can you avoid a situation like this? Before choosing any CRM system, you should sit together with your team and discuss this topic. Here are a few example questions you should ask yourself and your team in the beginning:

  • What do you expect the CRM to do?
  • What are the biggest problems for you currently? How will a CRM tool help you in fixing it?
  • How many people/departments will be using the CRM system?
  • Are there any specific features you need?
  • How much can you pay for a CRM system without straining your budget?

Picking a CRM tool without research on the business needs is doomed to cause the implementation to fail.  So instead of looking at the biggest or most popular system there is, it’s a much better idea to focus on how can you solve your company problems using a CRM tool .

Mistake #2 –  No specified strategy or goal for the CRM system

It sadly seems like plenty of salespeople think of a CRM system like a magic wand of some sort. It will solve all of their company problems and do the majority of the daily work itself.

If you also think that CRM is going to give you a foolproof strategy or finish all your deals, you are in for a disappointment. CRM as a tool won’t do anything itself.

The system can automate simple tasks for you, help with storing data or execute processes but definitely not create processes itself. It can also give you much more sales opportunities but in the end, it depends on you and your team how many of them will you use.

So a proper strategy and lead generation tactics in a place is a must before getting a CRM system – CRM won’t make those for you.

Mistake #3 – There are errors in your data

CRM runs on the data you enter into the system. If the information the system has inside is up to date, the CRM will be able to execute processes quickly and give an accurate prediction.

But nothing can make bigger chaos in your company than adding bad data to the system. Sales and marketing departments lose approximately 550 hours and as much as $32,000 per sales rep just from using bad data. That’s why  regularly cleaning your data is a must. Especially when planning to implement a CRM system.

The first step is to analyze the state of your data and check how “dirty” your database is. How many duplicate records do you have?

What records are still useful for your company and which are outdated? Are there any mistakes or missing info in your records? After that, remove all inaccurate or obsolete data.

If you haven’t done it earlier, this is also a right moment to set rules regarding how to enter data into your CRM. If you have the same data added several times into the system but in different forms, this will cause chaos faster than you can blink.

The risk is much lower if everyone in the company will know how to enter the data correctly.  

Mistake #4 – No staff training before implementing CRM tool

You probably do have one or two “technical-savvy” staff members who will joyfully check all features and learn how to use the tool even without a training course.

But is it worth the effort to get a CRM tool if only one or two people will actively use it? If the majority of your sales reps do not understand how to use the new CRM tool, they won’t use it.

However, if you show your team practical benefits of CRM tool (such as easy access to all data or being able to automate processes that were taking a good part of the day) and how to use the tool daily, they are far more likely to accept it.

Start with an introduction of the software and benefits to the sales reps before the new CRM arrives and with showing them the basics.

When everyone knows how to find their way in the new CRM system and can use the basic features, you can move to some of the “flashier” functions. This is also a good moment for teaching your staff how to properly enter all data into the CRM to avoid making a mess out of the database.

Don’t forget about providing technical support after the CRM launch too. Plenty of things that were going well during the training might not go so well later or there might be an unexpected situation not covered in training.

Ultimately, a successful CRM implementation process depends on a few key things:

  • Choosing the right system for the company
  • Having a CRM strategy prepared in advance
  • Ensuring the data entered into CRM is clean and up to date
  • Helping your staff learn how to use the CRM tool and how to act in case of error

If you will take care of those points, you are far more likely to be successful with your CRM launch. Did you have any other problems with your CRM launch? Share those with us!

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