Article

Ashley Jane
Ashley Jane 18 May 2018
Categories Email & eCRM, Technology

CRM - Three mistakes to avoid

A CRM purchase is an important decision an organization makes to grow its business and need to live with it for years to come. Focusing on the real data and analytics related capabilities of a CRM system will go a long way in ensuring it continues to provide value in long run.

As your business grows, the most important activity to grow becomes selling!! Whether it is managing the pipeline, monitoring the sales metrics or evaluating the performance of your sales team, XLS becomes too cumbersome to manage all this. There comes need for a CRM. Typically, SMBs go for a SaaS CRM which offers value for money and hardly any capex. Makes sense…right?

Fast forward a couple of years and usability of the CRM is low. Management cannot get exact pipeline information nor sales metrics and worst of all… the data is pulled out from the CRM into an XLS sheet.

Back in the XLS-world after 2 years of CRM implementation!!

In other cases, the data is pulled from the CRM system and loaded into a data warehouse to get actionable insights.

On the other hand, sales people hate to use the CRM. They find it too cumbersome and a drudgery to be complied to. The CRM system does not provide them actionable insights that can help them sell more. Little wonder, there is no incentive for them to use the software, except for the push from the management.

Why does it happen? Is it the fault of the CRM software or the company? It can be both, but lets focus this topic on the fault of the CRM.

3 most important things people miss out while evaluating CRMs which become a problem down the line, are as below:

  • Data Governance Capabilities

Most of the CRMs focussed for SMBs, have been made for ease of use and provide too much flexibility for a user to enter any data. This is primarily done to avoid any complaints on the software and reduce complexity. This approach is completely wrong. e.g. a sales person can enter any “Deal Stage”. Imagine all sales people able to enter new deal stages as they want. After a couple of years you may end up having 40-50 deal stages. In such a scenario, no meaningful pipeline analysis can be done unless you take the data in an XLS sheet, summarize the deal stages to about six stages and then do the analysis. This is the data quality challenge that most organizations face.

  • Master Data Management (MDM) Capabilities

Maintaining master data is critical for any business to derive meaningful analysis. The CRM system is one of these critical systems where master data is added, like account, campaign, customer, demographics etc. If the CRM system is not built on MDM principles, the data quality will become bad very soon, rendering it useless. Most common example can be an Account name.  Different sales people can enter the same account with different names like “Microsoft” or “Microsoft Inc” or “MSFT”. In such cases, creating a single view of the account becomes impossible.

  • Business Analytics capabilities

A CRM system should be able to provide actionable insights rather than just being a data entry and reporting system. That can happen only when the CRM system keeps the historical record of all changes and activities that are required to provide actionable insights based on learnings from the past.

If the CRM system does not provide analytics, it does not help a sales person to sell. In that case the sales person finds no incentive to log in the CRM system resulting in low usage and minimal adoption.

Summary

A CRM purchase is an important decision an organization makes to grow its business and need to live with it for years to come. Focusing on the real data and analytics related capabilities of a CRM system will go a long way in ensuring it continues to provide value in long run.

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