Right now you’re probably thinking, “why would a company that offers a customizable CRM be telling me that they’re dangerous?”
And yes, I’m actually saying that customizing your CRM can be dangerous. Certainly not in the heretic-during-the-Spanish-Inquisition sense, but perhaps in the Cold War sense.
Allow me to explain.
Custom CRM Software: It’s a Trap!
While the power of customization can seem like the greatest thing since sliced bread, your customized CRM can actually end up being the more like the greatest thing since the Hindenburg.
This is because customization almost always adds instead of subtracts. You give yourself more options instead of taking some away or replacing existing ones. You end up giving your salespeople more to blankly stare at until they give up and go back to paper.
Customization can be the death note for the simplicity of your CRM solution and, if that’s the case, you might as well start writing the obituary right now.
Customizing CRM Can Compromise Use
We’ve already discussed on this blog how having a simple CRM solution is the only way to assure a successful adoption. When you remove the simplicity from your software, it becomes a burden on your team, instead of a boost in their productivity.
Customization of your CRM can compromise it’s ability for ease of use and simplicity. That’s not to say it will, but it all depends on how far you go with your customizations.
If you can’t use your CRM, what good does it do you? None.
How to Customize Wisely
Again, the most important thing is to maintain is simplicity. Use Custom Fields to track important data, but don’t go too crazy. Having too many fields (especially required fields) can lead to goofy, fake, or mistyped data.
Keep your dashboard clean so you have quick, glanceable information instead of a barrage of data confusion. Use only the reports that are most relevant to the specific user, then build from there.
Same thing goes for reports: keep them simple and organized. Keep your data updated so everything is legible and glanceable. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you need all the columns, filters, calculations, etc. offered by the reporting tool. Use what you absolutely need, then work from there.
With workflows, try to simplify your work by setting up some automation. Reduce the risk for errors by having tasks automatically created with every status change. You’ll save time and hassle, while making your software even easier.
A general rule: Always put emphasis in your needs, and try to hold off on your wants. Figure out what you absolutely need first, customize, then try it out for a while and see if you’re ready for more.
Customizing your CRM is power in your hands. And remember: with great power, comes great responsibility. Use that power wisely and you’ll make the most of your CRM experience.