These days there’s a lot of technology that can make your job easier and your company more successful. Whatever your reasons for not fully jumping on the technology train, we want to help you overcome the obstacles and use modern CRM to build better customer relationships.
What are the top excuses for not using a CRM?
EXCUSE #1: We don’t have a sales team.
We’re all in sales (see The Story of Sales). Whether sales is in your title or not, we’re all directly involved in our company’s overall goal to build healthy, mutually beneficial relationships with customers.
CRM, which stands for customer relationship management, lacks sales in its “title” too. That’s because, CRM is far more than a tool for your sales team; it’s the control center for all kinds of customer relationships. You can use it to track, manage, and build stronger ties across the life of a customer, from lead to purchase and beyond. Whether your business is service-driven, sells to a handful of “accounts,” or asks employees to wear multiple hats, there’s huge upside in technology to take care of busy work and manage your relationships.
There’s a downside, and cost, to the status quo, too. Without the right tools, everyday business processes can take up too much time, money, file-cabinet space, and headspace. Modern CRM — no matter your business model — can help you automate and manage all those processes more fluidly so you have more time to build relationships.
EXCUSE #2: We already have something in place to manage our customer relationships.
Perhaps your existing solution is working well for you today. We just have one question: what about tomorrow? Outdated or poorly suited systems will make it hard to adapt and grow. They can lead you to miss opportunities, leave money on the table, lose customers, and waste time on inefficiencies. You may be tempted to blame people and behaviors, but systems and technology play a big role.
Here’s a breakdown of the most common, non-modern solutions that companies might be using to manage customer relationships — and the obstacles to growth they present.
- Spreadsheets and sticky notes. You’ve probably got some fancy macros, formulas, and graphs in that spreadsheet— and who doesn’t love a good pivot table? But spreadsheets make it way too easy for data to be lost, siloed, and disorganized. Think about what happens when the file’s “owner” leaves. If an owner doesn’t take it, the file gets neglected, grows outdated, and creates a painful transition for the new “owner.” Things will never be the same again.
- Homegrown systems. Sure, customization is a good thing and homegrown systems do deliver that — no question. But there’s no escaping the hard costs of keeping a homegrown system going: administrators, developers or engineers, infrastructure fees, hardware maintenance, and more. Even if you’re a technology company, your internal systems should not soak up scarce resources. But customization doesn’t have to come at such a high price. Today, with customization built into modern CRM platforms, features and functionality that match your business are just a few clicks away. There are other benefits, too. You don’t have to pay or bring work to a screeching halt everytime you need an upgrade. Security and compliance are enterprise grade, no matter what the size of your business. And the burdens of infrastructure, issue resolution, security, and trust are all on the provider.
- The hodgepodge. This increasingly rare creature ambles onto the scene when companies cobble together systems or apps to vaguely approximate a CRM. You may already have an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system where all your customer billing info lives, so you figure to use that to store extra data and maybe even do a bit of forecasting. And the cobbling continues. Marketing has its own tools for handling leads. You have a website that gives you engagement data and a chat app for collaboration. However, you’ve only got some of the functionality you need to build and manage strong customer relationships. Key pieces are always missing.
Using a unified, purpose-built customer relationship platform is a night-and-day difference. The gains in productivity, collaboration, predictability, and bottom-line revenue cover the cost of the platform many times over..
EXCUSE #3: Our business isn’t mature enough to need a CRM.
We understand the urge to keep things simple, but not at the expense of growth — and you do want to continue to grow right? The sooner you put effective systems in place, the sooner your business can really take off.
At the same time, we know that every business is at a different point in its maturity. That’s why it’s important to use a flexible and customizable customer success platform that keeps the basics simple to use, while effortlessly scaling to meet any demands.
Of course, technology is not a panacea. Moving to a modern CRM will likely require a change in mindset and behavior as well. By championing new processes and practices you can help everyone in your company be more successful. Look for a vendor who will be a true partner in leading change.
EXCUSE #4: Our business is unique.
Of course your business is unique. You probably wouldn’t be doing so well if you didn’t offer an exclusive benefit. But it’s nearly impossible to be so unique that modern technology can’t help. In fact, we’d propose that modern CRM can make your business even more unique (and competitive) than it is now.
Modern CRM can be customized to fit your unique needs in ways that you might not have dreamed of even five short years ago. It rests on a completely flexible platform with tools to build and personalize your own apps, extensions, and integrations for whatever use case you need. This means better customer experiences, more productive teams, and more revenue to help you focus on building your business’s unique strengths no matter what they are.
EXCUSE #5: Change is hard.
Of course, it’s always easier to maintain the status quo, address immediate problems, and try not to rock the boat. But what if the waters are choppier than ever and there’s a huge leak in the hull? The longer you wait to fix things, the more underwater you’ll be. Nautical metaphors aside, it’s costing you real money to maintain the status quo, and you’re missing golden opportunities to take your business to new heights. The best way to approach a difficult change is with a partner who has the resources, experience, and patience to help you thrive as you change.
EXCUSE #6: We don’t want to spend the money.
There’s a massive difference between growing revenue and growing costs. Reflexively hiring round after round of salespeople to push product is an example of growing costs, especially healthcare costs. Better to make a focused investment in the reps you have. Giving reps modern CRM removes impediments to growth, unleashing the full potential of your current team.
Here are some key ways CRM can drive revenue:
- Escape inefficient processes. Some 45% of reps say that excessive administrative tasks are their biggest sales challenge, followed by having too little time to sell and too few timely insights. The right CRM automates repetitive tasks so salespeople gain valuable time to concentrate on connecting with customers. And by using just one channel to share information and connect, reps gain full visibility while sidestepping endless email loops and phone-tag sessions.
- Satisfy employees. We’re all getting very used to managing our personal lives online and on our mobile devices. Today’s technology means almost everything — from simple food delivery to finding a potential life partner — can be pursued at the push of a button. Today’s employees are beginning to expect similar experiences at work. With modern CRM, you can keep teams happy and productive.
EXCUSE #7: We tried a CRM once and it didn’t work out.
Maybe you bought a CRM but the technology didn’t fit or adoption was low. Then it’s easy to understand why you might be hesitant to go down the CRM path again.
But technology leaps ahead, and it’s likely time to reconsider what modern CRM has to offer now. This time go into it with a focus on adoption, and you’ll get all the new, game-changing benefits. Here are some tips for this:
- The executive team must use the same tool as the sales team. Whether the sales team is holding its weekly forecast meetings or its quarterly business review meetings, the team should be directly using the tool to analyze the business. Leading by example is critical.
- The more you use the tool, the better the data gets. If the sales data is not good, it will take a few iterations to improve it. Keep using it and data quality will improve. Be realistic that it will take some time to improve your data quality and don’t give up.
EXCUSE #8: We have concerns about the clound and security.
At this point in history, the cloud is both old and new. It’s extremely innovative technology that’s also very mature, especially when it comes to security. The initial concerns and gaps have been tested and addressed, though not everyone realizes this or just how many safeguards surround your data in modern CRM.
We can’t speak for other CRM providers, but at Salesforce trust is our #1 value. Trust means doing everything to make you feel secure about how your data is stored and kept safe — and a few more things beyond that, too. The Salesforce Trust website outlines how it maintains customers’ trust with an unshakable focus on security.
EXCUSE #9: It’s going to take too much of IT’s resources to implement the solution.
Making a change can take a fair amount of resources (time, energy, and money). But it’s never too much if it produces greater returns . Besides, the best modern CRM providers will apply their own resources to lighten your IT burden and change the equation even more in your favor.
In the end…
If you’re not using a CRM in 2019, you may find that you are doing well without it and you do not see the need for change. But it’s probably not that simple. When we ask such companies how they would like to improve their business processes, we almost always hear the same answers. An issue arises when the time comes to handoff information from one team to another. This problem and others similar to it affect the work of each sales department and every business over time, even when it may not be so noticeable. A quality customer relationship management system is what every company can do bring their business to a completely new level.