The question about whether CRM is valuable for a business or not is answered. Case closed, please try again.
It’s more than valuable: it’s invaluable. And any business who tries to run against the current will be needlessly wasting away the vast wealth of benefits that can be gained from successful deployment of CRM.
Increased sales, more intentional funnels, shorter turnover, higher retention, less wasted time, lower costs, greater efficiency, and a happier team are just some of the guaranteed benefits from CRM.
It’s been proven over and over again by companies who have successfully deployed CRM and continue to use it consistently and to great success.
So why is there still a debate, or why is there still an apprehensive attitude towards it more than 20 years after it’s conception?
Because the only people who don’t get all the benefits out of CRM are the ones who either haven’t tried to deploy CRM or the ones who’ve allowed their CRM deployment to train wreck.
I know it sounds harsh for me to say “allowed”, as in they were accomplices. I’m not saying CRM isn’t to blame in some respects (it is, and we’ll look at that in just a sec), but nowadays the only reason you won’t see any benefit to CRM is if you don’t look for it and you give up too soon.
Where CRM Went Wrong
Of course, CRM isn’t blameless for this. The general misdirection of much of the market, coupled with notoriously poor user interface designs became common knowledge among many businesses who looked into integrating CRM into their workflows.
This, as you can imagine, was a huge strike against the industry as a whole. It contributed to a “Rambo”, loner mentality where companies feel like they can “get by without it”, that we’re still fighting against today.
Because you can’t simply “get by without it.” You need CRM, even if you don’t know it yet. Because CRM is what’s going to allow your business to not only stay afloat, but to sail to 7 seas with ease and finesse. It allows you to concentrate on the meat, instead of having to drink all the milk first.
While CRM does share the blame, there’s no good excuse . There are only these roadblocks between you and successfully reaping all the benefits that CRM has to offer.
I hate to be all finger-pointy and all, but you really are the first checkpoint on the way to CRM success and if you’re not on board, on point, and on guard, then your CRM journey will not end well.
If you don’t get on the CRM train, it’ll leave the station and you’ll be left sucking smoke.
But this one has several levels:
- If you don’t convert yourself to the idea of CRM, it’s all over and you’ll never even taste the benefits.
- If you don’t set out to find the best CRM for your particular business, you’ll never know which CRM will get you the best results.
- If you don’t make the CRM you choose a priority, then you’ll be left with having only tasted victory, but never savored its rich flavor.
- If you don’t commit yourself and your team to sucking that CRM dry, then it will all have been for naught.
You are the first in a long chain of things that need to happen. If you don’t show up for work, you can’t ever expect your employees to do the same. If you don’t follow the rule of law set forth, your employees will have no reason to. If you don’t get on CRM… you guessed it.
2) Your Process
This doesn’t have to be a roadblock. But, then again, you don’t have to be one either.
Your process is something you know forwards and backwards. It’s something you’ve worked on for years, and through countless iterations.
But your CRM search will turn up very few results if you reduce it to only the CRMs that match your process exactly. The problem is, CRMs weren’t necessarily designed for your process. That’s because every single company is created differently. Different targets, different philosophies, different culture and goals, and different workforce.
This all adds up to a unique process that you can’t get anywhere else. And that’s a great thing.
But when it comes to finding CRM, you have to expand your focus. That means looking for CRM that will be customizable enough for your workflow in order for your process to not be the killjoy.
But don’t be blind to CRM that might have slight modifications to your process. Who knows, you might actually find out that your process had a blind spot or that there’s something you can improve.
Don’t let your process become either the bottleneck or the roadblock that keeps you and your company from enjoying the benefits of CRM.
3) Your Team
If you don’t make a proactive, positive effort to prevent this one, it will haunt you forever.
As converted to CRM as you may be; no matter how solid, compatible, or adaptable your process is; you will not be able to overcome a team that is not on board with your CRM, and the whole thing will fall into an inconveniently positioned ravine.
Being the forerunner on the CRM floor, you should be using it every day, but you’ll be requiring that your team members do the same. If they’re not on board, you start noticing that pretty quickly.
- You won’t see the benefits that you’re hoping or planning for
- They won’t see the benefits
- Their performance will fall behind the team members that are using it
- Your numbers in your CRM will be skewed and incomplete
- Your tracking mechanisms will be insufficient
- Your team might be more disorganized than ever with one foot in and one foot out
You must take them with you on this journey. Get them off the tracks and pull them on board the train towards success.
Here are a few ways to take your team with you
- Choose the right CRM: One that you can use, one that works with your process, and one that will be future-proof.
- Choose a simple CRM.
- Teach them how to use it.
- Gauge their usage, have audits, and ask, “how can we turn you and this CRM into a more effective partnership?”
- Use a rewards system or gamification to incentivize.
- (only if push comes to shove) Make job or income [or a percentage] dependent upon CRM usage.
Really, only result to using that last one when you have a rebellious, defiant, and backstabbing employee. I mean, things have to be bad, and this last option might just accomplish removing that employee from the equation. Because if you do this with any other employee that’s doing alright, you’ll cause the rebellious and defiant behavior.
The point is, you want your team excited about CRM, confident that they can use it, happy that they can get more from it than without it. All that will, in turn, allow you to achieve success on your road to growth and stability.
CRM really is all it’s cracked up to be. But if you don’t become a convert; if you don’t align your process with a simple, powerful CRM; and if you can’t get your team on board, then your CRM train will derail and you’ll never know how great it could have been.