If you have been in the sales industry for more than a few years, you probably already know the value of good customer relationship management. Robust CRM platforms not only make tracking day-to-day activities much easier, but they can also provide a direct link to better customer experiences through communication and tailoring.
Unfortunately, not all CRM programs are created equal. Many sales managers and executives today waste months or even years on platforms that don’t really meet their needs most optimally. How can you know if this is you? Here are a few red flags that might indicate that your current CRM needs to be replaced with something better.
Staff isn’t completing CRM profiles
The name of the CRM game is information. Unfortunately, if your sales staff isn’t getting the correct information (or the right kind of information) about an opportunity, you aren’t really maximizing the potential of your CRM platform. According to a Yesmail Survey, 67% of marketers use CRM data to tailor their sales pitches. If that information is wrong or missing, you’re losing money without even knowing it – and you’ll eventually feel the effects later on.
Your sales analytics come from various sources
What’s even worse than no sales analytics is partial analytics. When your sales managers and reps are getting varied and conflicting analytics, it can be impossible to create effective strategies for increasing profits. The top CRM platforms allow you to integrate your sales analysis from a variety of mediums, including social platforms, email marketing campaigns, and website clicks.
Multiple staff training sessions with no “buy-in”
According to Forrester research, the biggest problem with making a CRM work is getting people on board. In fact, 49% of the people-centric problems related to CRM success were due to slow user adoption. Why is this? Most often, employees feel that the current solution has been inadequately deployed (40%), the business requirements aren’t clear (25%), or that the technology just isn’t sufficient for the needs of the team (32%). If you’ve attempted to make a solution work and your staff still isn’t adopting it, there may be real structural issues that can only be solved by switching.
You’re tracking leads outside of your CRM
If your sales staff is tracking website clicks, social media leads, and attempting to manage a separate CRM list of clients, they are working too hard and using their technology inefficiently. In the best customer relationship management software, all leads and client activity is tracked solely through the CRM.
Your current CRM doesn’t do email
Email is still the most effective form of marketing in the digital age, according to Experian Data Quality research. But, the best companies know the benefit of integrating their email selling with the rest of their CRM activities. In an extensive study by Aberdeen, top sales performers are 30% more likely to integrate their email into their CRM platform.
In order to be competitive, you need to choose a CRM that allows seamless integration, which will limit the number of informational mistakes and make it easier for sales staff to automate appropriate marketing materials.
Lack of control over sales activities
Even when using a CRM program, do you still feel that you don’t know what your sales reps are doing or how they are following up with leads? That’s a clear indication that your current platform isn’t doing its job. In a study from the School of Business at the Renmin University of China, researchers found that good CRM implementation leads to better daily control over sales activities, better communication with staff, and more thorough productivity reviews.
Social media monitoring has become a burden
Although email is king, social media channels are quickly becoming a vital part of sales and marketing tactics in the age of the smart phone. Still, 50% of businesses say that social media marketing is the hardest marketing to execute. It takes time, attention, and creativity to turn posts into profit. And it’s even harder for companies that are attempting to do it independently of their CRM platform.
By integrating your social media marketing with your other customer relationship activities, you save time and have a better idea of the leads and sales you gain from social channels.
Mistakes and redundancies in the system
Even with a top-level CRM like Salesforce or Oracle’s Siebel CRM, you might begin to notice that there are redundancies that are wasting time and money. Every time a sales associate adds a customer entry that already exists, you are paying for it. And, repeated entries, non-automated activity lists, and duplicate email blasts lead to mistakes when dealing with customers.
Customer support is costing big
You know it’s time for a change when you are actively using your CRM and you are still spending huge amounts of money on managing customer complaints and providing customer support. According to a 2014 Gartner report, effective CRM implementation can reduce customer support costs by up to 25%. In addition, it reduces the average support response time between 20-80%. When support costs and response times starting skyrocketing, it’s time for a change.
No clear sales improvement
Most importantly, if you have been actively engaging with your CRM for over three months and have still not seen a significant impact on your bottom line, you should consider something else. Many top-level CRM programs like SalesForce and Oracle require a significant investment. If you’re not seeing a significant return, you need a leaner, more flexible solution that will meet your company’s specific needs.
What Do You Think?
From employee buy-in to lack of sales improvement, you can’t afford to miss the signs that your CRM program just isn’t working for you. Fortunately, alternatives such as Prophet CRM give you the flexibility and integration that you need. And, if you liked this article, read how Prophet compares to SalesForce and Oracle’s Siebel.