There are a lot of CRM software misconceptions which prevent businesses from reaping the many benefits CRM can provide. Here we debunk the myths.
Reluctance to explore new ways of doing things can result in missed opportunities. Alarmingly, 854,000 is out of 1.4M SME’s in Europe still rely on spreadsheets, paper and email to manage customer data and relationships.*
As we explained in a recent blog, it is businesses who embrace technology that outperform those that do not stay up to date. Businesses already using CRM software have the potential to attract and retain more customers, increase workforce productivity and benefit from a solid return on investment.
For those who have concerns about implementing a CRM solution or have a misconception of what CRM software is, here we debunk the myths
FACT: Long gone are the days when CRM software was reserved for large enterprises with large budgets. CRM software is now widely available to all businesses with varying needs and budgets, from one man bands right through to large multi-national organisations. The introduction of cloud CRM solutions has made CRM software more accessible than ever, not only in terms of how you interact with your data, but through the removal of financial barriers. With a cloud solution, there are no upfront software costs and no hardware requirements, just predictable and affordable payments. For businesses that prefer an on-premise solution, it is possible to benefit from “Quick Start” packages which offer CRM implementations delivered in a fixed number of days, thus reducing costs. With so many affordable CRM options you are able to see a rapid return on your investment.
FACT: Many regard CRM software as a sales tool. However, it’s a business-wide solution that encompasses different business functions and is capable of managing different types of relationships (xRM). Although, when rolling out CRM software in your business it is recommended to approach it one department at a time – perhaps starting with your sales function. This will enable you to identify and resolve any teething problems in the infancy of the project. When you roll out software a department at a time, you can give focus to the needs and requirements of each department helping to encourage adoption.
FACT: When you purchase CRM software licenses and installation is complete, it is important to realise the implementation is not complete. Although CRM software is increasingly intuitive, training is fundamental to success and is quite often the difference between CRM project success and failure. Without training the users will not be clear on the value of CRM software and the benefits to their role, which can result in a system that is not used properly, or worse still a system that is not used.
FACT: Data quality is key to success, the volume of data is not. Essentially, you get out what you put in – if you put in sub-standard data you get sub-standard results. If you have existing customer data it can be imported into your new CRM system, but ahead of importing it is worthwhile thoroughly cleansing it. Equally, if you are starting from scratch ensure the data you enter is accurate and complete for best results. The work does not end here though, you will need to update and maintain your data regularly to prevent inaccuracies. As explained on ccr.co.uk, “…information on the average database decays at a rate of 20% a year. So for a database of 100,000 records, within 6 months, 10,000 will be incorrect.”
FACT: CRM software will only increase the success of your business if it is used effectively. CRM is a business philosophy and a strategic approach to maximising the value of customers. CRM is underpinned by culture and facilitated by software. Therefore, if you have CRM software without a CRM culture it is likely your CRM project will not succeed. Therefore, it is important to educate your staff and create a company-wide strategy for your business goals to be realised.
You can have your CRM your way. There are so many options to choose from and when you partner with the right software provider you can be sure to benefit from an increased ROI, productivity and much more.
*According to Swiftpage.
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