Looking for CRM – Facts you need to know

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Buying a CRM is a crucial decision. Why do we say it – Have you ever come across a business entrepreneur who wakes up in the morning, yawns, stretches, and then decides his or her business needs a CRM solution. (Sounds insane right?)

The realization to buy a CRM comes from hard business realities such as slipping sales, customer service discrepancies, marketing woes, and an escalating series of interrelated problems that ripple across departments.

But then is buying a CRM an easy method? Especially when you have at least 800 companies all over the world advertising their CRM solution as the best for diverse business needs. We say YES!

Picking a CRM solution from the uncountable options is as easy as picking a pair of jeans from thousands of denim brands. Just like for the denims, knowing your size is important, similarly, for a CRM, you need to pick a solution that benefits an array of criteria specific to your business.

What do we mean by an array of criteria specific to your business?

Every business has its own unique needs (we all know that I suppose) However, how do we find out about those needs? The best way to understand and analyze what your business requires is by answering a short questionnaire –

  • What is your company size?
  • What are the specialized needs of your teams?>
  • What is the vertical market that your company serves?
  • What will be the method of delivery (On-premise or SaaS)?
  • What will be the degree of integration that CRM will have with your business systems?
  • How easy will be the whole integration process?
  • How much will be the up-front costs, maintenance costs and the total cost of implementation and ownership?

Getting through all the questions is not easy. However, you are more likely to succeed in buying a CRM if you keep in mind the wrong ways of buying it. Shocked?

Well, according to a Gartner report, CRM failure ranges from 40 percent to 80 percent—and it’s not because CRM vendors create bad software. It’s mostly because buyers make crucial mistakes at the very outset.

So for any business that is looking for enterprise customer relationship management software – here are the three mistakes to avoid:

1. Do not downplay the business problems: According to a survey conducted by a business and technological center, business managers hesitate to talk about the organizational problems. Many feel that exposing the problems in front of the management is embarrassing. Many even see it as a career-limiting move especially if the problems have developed under their surveillance.

As a result, business problems are denied and deflected which sows the seeds for greater problems in the future.

2. Do not solely focus on technological needs:Many times sales and marketing teams get enamored of a particular CRM feature, which encourages them to buy that application, only to know later that the CRM app doesn’t map to the problems their company is suffering from. What makes things worse is when a CRM solution (chosen due to its impressive functionality) forces the employees to change the way they work. These types of scenarios turn to be a major liability for the companies who now have to deal with post implementation problems with a much higher price tag.

3. Do not reprioritize the CRM goals often: Change in the business goals during the CRM selection and implementation process is a common mistake. According to the experts, exposure to CRM applications triggers new thinking among the team employees. While this is good, it often leads to the shift of original CRM goals.

Consequently, it becomes difficult for the companies to analyze the success of their CRM. Questions such as ‘Why can’t the CRM do this?’ starts cropping up. Although the new business goals are met, the original objectives for which the CRM was implemented stands untouched.

Patricia Jones

Patricia is a full time CRM consultant at ConvergeHub and part-time blogger. She has earned herself quite a fame as a specialist and market expert in CRM software. In the last five year she has worked with various companies as CRM consultant to help them move their businesses to cloud. Her expertise lies in offering cloud CRM consultation, CRM customization and integration solutions to small enterprises. For last one she is engaged in building ConvergeHub, cloud-based CRM solution for SMBs, as a consultant.Follow her at Twitter: @convergehub

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