1: Technology is the main focus of the whole purchase.
The potential of the capabilities a CRM can offer are very enticing. The technology of the software is supposed to fully automate processes, centralize data, and provide live and up-to-date information on different companies, contacts, campaigns, and issues, as well as on the people using the CRM.
Although the technology can store this data and offers insights that otherwise may not have been found, it all means nothing unless the people using it know how to mine the data and use it to their benefit. Whether it be customer service, sales, or marketing, it is a valuable tool that requires the human intervention to produce results and take the company to the next level.
2: Some initial training is all that is needed, nothing too detailed.
One of the biggest mistakes is paying for a small amount of training, just to get the ball rolling with the thought that everyone can learn the rest themselves. Considering the ultimate value and affect it can have on each employee’s day-to-day job, the more detailed and thorough the training is, the sooner you can see the results and the less time is wasted trying to learn the nuances of the system.
Often times there are updates and upgrades to the software as well. If your CRM vendor rolls out a big release, there may be a few significant changes where investing in more training would be worthwhile. In addition to time, it will save employees frustration and keep morale and support for the CRM strong.
3: One size fits all since most solutions are generic.
Each CRM is unique, whether generic or industry specific. Each vendor will have different methods for processes like implementation, data migration, training, workflows, and support. Finding the provider that fits your timeframe, business processes, and structure is critical.
Often, the generic CRM solutions can end up costing more time and money than an industry specific solution because there are many items that are not pre-loaded into the solution. Not all industries have a specific CRM, so it might not even be an issue of choice. Always consider both options though, as you never know what you might find.
4: Customer service is the main focus.
It is named “Customer Relationship Management,” but it has been many years since it was exclusively meant for customers. Today’s CRM’s are more than capable of handling all the sales and marketing needs of a business. The reason for expansion is simple: all customers were once prospects. If you are tracking customers, why not track the marketing and process of selling to them as well?
Centralizing the data for all three departments saves a lot of time on money for data entry, campaign management, and reviewing histories. The key is that they are all tied together, which makes each of them more efficient and improves your business.
5: Sales will increase automatically.
Perhaps one of the most destructive misconceptions, an increase in sales is never a guarantee because at the end of the day, CRM is only a tool, not a sales rep. The software will not create a marketing campaign, send a contract to be signed, or reissue a customer’s latest order.
What it does do, is organize your data so you can better market based on previous successes, failures, and trends, know where prospects are in the sales cycle and which ones are ready to close, and tell you which customers are ready to purchase again. It can tell you, but a person needs to react and take action.
6: Building our own will save us money.
Custom building a CRM software may be appealing, given you can make everything exactly how you want. But, does it always end up that way? Absolutely not. Part of getting a different CRM is that in the evaluation process, it helps you learn what you need, what you want, and what you don’t. It gives you an opportunity to look closer at your business processes and make any changes or adjustments to improve them. This value is seen in the implementation and actual use of the CRM as well, not just the evaluation stage.
When you build your own, you miss out on these opportunities and when you begin to use the CRM, whether it be right away or down the road, as things change, these oversights can have a major impact on the overall success of the software. It can also be more complicated to support and train new employees on the solution, especially if someone who was instrumental in the implementation and adaptation is no longer with the company.
7. There is little to no return on investment.
Return on investment is always a key when making any business decision. What people often overlook is that all the decisions, processes in place, and methods of work affect the bottom line. So, if all you need is to manage contacts, you would go for a contact management solution, not a CRM. If your employees do detailed marketing, sales, customer service, or a combination, then a full CRM would be a better investment to automate these processes and centralize the data.
The ROI can be tracked easily based on the reporting coming from the CRM. You can see exactly how it is being used, by who, how often, and what the results are. Whether it be increasing sales, improving customer satisfaction, or getting more leads for the pipeline, the results should be clear to see.