Five easy ways to tell its time to change your CRM, or not.
It has been said that Change is the hardest thing to do and companies tend to stick to their old software choices even when it isn’t working anymore.
The challenge with sales software is understanding that results do matter when evaluating CRM’s – and that includes the cost to build, maintain and upgrade as well as train.
Sales reps in the field complain to their managers that their CRM’s are a waste of time, do not do anything helpful and the data entry is mind numbingly endless! Sales Managers tell their directors that their tired of hearing complaints about their outdated software and by the time the head of sales is ready to say something he is already late for the door having missed the CEO’s sales quota which the old CRM said they would hit. If this sounds familiar…
So what would or should it take to figure out whether or not your CRM is up to current standards or needs to be upgraded / replaced?
No or limited Email integration
- Alt tabbing between Email and your CRM all day
- Manually cutting and pasting email contents into your CRM
- No email surfacing
Time is a sales representative greatest challenge. You need to close sales as fast as possible and there is never enough of it. If your email and CRM aren’t linked and you are constantly alt tabbing to write emails, see if a client or prospect responded or check your calendar this is a big warning signal.
Constant Complaints from Employees using the CRM
- Overly Complicated – No need to see every choice every time for every department
- Clunky interface with loads of unnecessary data fields
- Features work somedays, somedays it doesn’t
- They don’t want to use it – see no added value
If your sales team and everyone using your CRM never complains they probably aren’t using it. If they are using it and they don’t complain you can stop reading this article (just kidding) and know you’re okay. For the rest of the gang take a look at your CRM home page – how much of that is relevant to what you’re going to do today? Does it have an action list of to do’s for the day? A calendar showing you what your calls look like / when? A prioritized & ranked list of leads and close probability %? Emails loading on the page as well? Sometimes people are happy because they don’t know any better, more often than not they just don’t use their CRM so its easy to complain about. They don’t see a reason to use it.
Way too Many Features & None seem to work well
- Your IT guys are looking for 3rd party apps to replace CRM features that don’t work
- Your Vendor tells you they can upgrade but it will take a lot of money
- Months to write and then install the new software
- How big is your budget for these changes did you say?
CRM Software, especially enterprise level is amazing. However, it’s like that race car you always wanted that goes 212 mph. Sure that’s super cool – but you’ll probably never use it. Same with CRM’s – you don’t need to be able to do everything. Rather you need to do somethings extremely well, day in and day out without fail to ensure success. If your vendor told you your system can do everything but the reality is it doesn’t do what you need it to do – at a high level it’s probably the wrong system for your team. In sales interfaces absolutely must be simple, easy to learn & use, with super fast and repeatable processes leading to wins. Fancy Speed records don’t help win the day – doing the right thing day in and day out with a CRM that anticipates your needs – that’s the magic.
Inaccurate CRM Data
- Sales Forecasts – Way off
- Finger Pointing “Software / IT is the problem” – “Salespeople can’t spell or enter data right”
- Lots of redundant data
- Lots of manual data entry (more users = more chance for error)
- No clean data protocols, data audits, or deduplication tools
- Employee’s have no incentive to create / maintain clean data
If your sales forecast hasn’t jived with your actual sales performance numbers and it wasn’t the strategic plan execution you may have a problem. The best CRM / Software tools on the planet are 100% useless if the data being used isn’t clean. Lots of companies “talk” about needing clean data – the ones that actually do something about it have often missed quotas and shaved jobs – learned their lessons. You need to have a plan to keep data clean, keep employees motivated and watch it like a hawk.
No Marketing Integration
- Sales Reps create, maintain and manually type all emails
- No ability to create, execute and monitor email campaigns
- No integration with email campaigns
- No marketing training / Coaching
Most marketing folks like to create and own their marketing / brand message. They wouldn’t dream of anyone in the marketing department sending out material that wasn’t proofed three times, spell checked, grammar checked and most importantly branded and message intact?
Now think about your sales team – do your sales team members have access to these same email templates, messaging that the marketing team does? If they aren’t using marketing’s message or email’s how does marketing knows what is working? Wouldn’t it better if marketing and sales were on the same system with access to the same materials? Aren’t marketing and sales on the same team, requiring the same materials and ability to help each other like a QB or coach?
There are many more “Tells” just like in Poker where there is room for improvement with your CRM. The base denominator is – are people using your CRM every day? Are they entering the right data at the right time, are they following through on their CRM training to reduce wasted time?
If you have a good CRM and people are using it, but your missing quota- it might be worth evaluating your sales process– software isn’t always the problem in fact without a great sales process – that awesome CRM may still “fail”. That is for another post!
David is a Director at Sentia, a next generation sales enablement technology company. Dave’s passion for helping people with their sales, marketing, business strategy, startup growth and strategic planning has taken him across the globe and spans numerous industries. You can follow him on Twitter @intlmktentry LinkedIn or on Sentia Says