Customer relationship management (CRM) software has been around for nearly four decades. Over these years, the software has become a prevalent sight in the sales office space. According to a survey by superoffice.com, 91% of companies with more than 10 employees use CRM.
Even with the popularity of CRM, sales teams continue to cite major gaps in what their software can do and what they need it to do. Here are some of the major issues that persist.
1 – Short on time, short on productivity
One of the major complaints of sales teams in regards to their CRM involves the amount of time consumed by the software. Sales reps find themselves in an impossible situation. Management demands that they put in the effort to hit sales numbers and manage the CRM system at the same time.
According to a report by online marketing software company HubSpot, salespeople spend a whopping 20 percent of their time maintaining and managing the CRM. Considering this, it’s easy to see how a system built to make sales efficient can have the opposite result.
While mobile CRM software is widely used, many systems require salespeople to return to their computer after each lead interaction to input data. This can be extremely time consuming for outside sale representatives and detrimental to the number of contacts they can reach.
2 – The data are incorrect or old
CRM systems are not automated or self-reliant. The time required to keep data up to date is substantial. Entering data into the system is often pushed to the bottom of the list of things to do. Priorities often shift to the actions that actually contribute to sales.
It may be days or weeks later when your sales reps finally get around to entering the data. Now, you’re operating with a system that’s time consuming as well as out of date. To make matters worse, the toil of adding old information into the CRM causes use to plummet. Now, there are gaps in your old data.
Salespeople yearn for a CRM that automates as much of the process as possible and makes data entry brainless. Cloud computing is beginning to make automation more plausible by mining data from various sources, such as emails. Still, a different approach may be more helpful.
Instead of hoping for automation, strive to collect only relevant data points. Sales representatives were hired to sell, not to be data entry clerks. Automate what you can and collect only truly pertinent data. Time spent clicking is time that could be utilized closing deals.
3 – The system doesn’t match current needs
System agility very seldom keeps up with organizational needs. CRM usefulness seems to plummet as time progresses and as the software fails to keep pace with the changes and movement of the organization. Changes in reporting requirements, management and strategy can often leave a company’s CRM in the dust.
As the disconnection between system usefulness and operational needs grows, so does the numbers of jaded sales reps who see no point in utilizing a useless system.
Don’t invest in a system that’s unsuitable to your organization’s goals and processes. CRM software rarely meets your company’s requirements straight out of the box. Take the time to work with your vendor to tailor the system to your company’s specific needs.
4 – Unmatched expectations
Sales teams often fall victim to the mindset that a CRM should be the answer to all of their problems. Customer relationship management software is only one tool that should be implemented as a piece to a larger puzzle.
Failure is around the corner if you place too much emphasis on the CRM. Ensure that your system serves your organization’s needs. At the end of the day, remember: it’s still just a tool.
5 – Missing the complete customer picture
You’re only seeing half of the picture if your CRM is only utilized by your sales team. Sure, CRM is great for capturing leads and documenting interaction, but it can tell you so much more about a customer.
If the system is adopted across an entire organization in some facet, you’ll begin to see the complete customer, not just a snapshot of the customer through a sales lens.
At the end of the day, even the most current and accurate data are still just data. Numbers alone can’t come to a conclusion about customer needs. Seeing the complete picture can reveal insight about how to deliver the right message to your customer.
Knowing who your customer is as a whole is also a big step toward making forecasting more accurate. If you have a better understanding about what certain data points say about your leads, you’ll have a much better idea of what they say about their future actions.
6 – Not utilizing social media
Socially integrated CRM can take your sales conversation from transaction-based to relationship-based. Social media moves a CRM platform past data collection and plunges it into a conversation with customers.
While old-school CRM software simply offered a way to keep track of customers, socially-integrated CRM capitalizes on the customer conversation and relationship. This is increasingly important as more and more B2B buyers take to social media before they buy.
7 – No new prospects
Data are data. They don’t have hands. They can’t pick up the phone and find new clients or turn prospects into customers. CRM data are very useful for reaching and dealing with current customers, but their usefulness is limited when finding new prospects.
Your sales team must understand the importance of effectively mining for potential leads that have great potential to convert into long-lasting, loyal customers.
CRM is no silver bullet. It’s simply a tool. If implemented correctly, it can be a force for good in your sales team. By relying on the most relative data and cutting down on unnecessary time spent on system management, your CRM can be an asset instead of a hindrance.