Most businesses have a love-hate relationship with their CRM systems. On the one hand, it’s an invaluable resource for sales and marketing teams as they leverage customer data to close deals and drive customer relationships. On the other, these tools are often complicated, bringing a wealth of data to users who may not need or understand everything at their fingertips.
Additionally, these systems often require extensive training and up-level time to become what one might call: “CRM-fluent.” According to a study by Forrester Research, “46% of business and technology decision makers reported difficulties in achieving user adoption” with their CRM tools. With close to half of CRM users failing or struggling to adopt the tool, this is a significant and costly issue that businesses would do well to resolve.
So what can you do to bring your CRM system into the age of the buyer/user? After all, this is an age where the experience of engaging with a tool or product is a major factor in whether a tool is adopted or ditched for something better.
We’ve put together a few suggestions that can help you tighten up your CRM to deliver value to your internal users and subsequently, your customers:
1. Fill in the gaps as opposed to replacing your solution entirely.
You’ve got a lot invested in your existing solution, including time, money and in some cases, seasoned users. Why replace everything when you can implement third-party solutions that lend the capabilities you’re looking for?
Most of the leading CRM vendors have app stores where you can check out various offerings (Think Salesforce, SAP, Microsoft, etc.). We recommend you do your homework before purchasing a solution, as most app stores promote their own offerings, which could leave you with a solution that comes highly recommended from the vendor, but doesn’t meet your exact needs.
2. Take a look at your solution from a different perspective.
We all wear blinders to some extent when it comes to the tools we use every day. That’s why it’s so important to take an outside-in look at your solutions from time to time. Since customer expectations are driving sales, it helps to consider how CRM and other solutions can better map to customers through social, mobile or digital channels.
There’s a lot of data in your CRM, why not put it to good use? With the right supporting applications, you can connect your CRM to your other resources and fill in the gaps across the organization. With a more connected system, you can power both the front and back offices to ensure customers get a better experience throughout the entire engagement process and beyond.
3. Think about your broader business strategy and solicit additional insight.
Customer service, sales, and marketing are your CRM’s core users, but there are others who may have a stake in upleveling your CRM. According to Forrester: “Business leaders have become important stakeholders in the CRM selection process due to their proximity to customers and users and to CRM investments that map more closely to customer outcomes.”
Even though you may not be selecting a new CRM, it’s important to gather input from leaders who can offer insight into where your business is headed, how you may want to engage with customers today as well as down the road, and at the very least, to gather support for the improvements you plan to make going forward.
4. Complement and extend your CRM solution.
How is your business going to be successful in this customer-centric environment? At FPX, it’s our business to ensure you have the tools to be be successful.
We encourage you to reach out to us, learn about how Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) applications are helping to extend the capabilities of leading CRM systems like those offered by Salesforce, SAP and Microsoft. We’ll also outline the importance of connecting your organization’s CRM, ERP, and ecommerce tools to promote a cohesive and valuable user experience across all channels.