5 CRM myths - do you still believe?
Digital services are transforming the way businesses operate, and CRM systems are playing a key role in this revolution.
At a time where customers now seek and expect highly personalised experiences at every touch point of their journey, small and large organisations can – and should - empower their employees with the information they need to make them more successful.
According to Microsoft, those who embrace digital transformation generate 8% more in operating income each year than those who lag behind. That’s not a number to be dismissed lightly.
With 67% of the buyer journey now being completed digitally (source: SiriusDecisions), it seems fitting that an organisation’s CRM system is also digitally capable (and that doesn’t mean using Excel online).
While we come across some ‘unusual’ objections or rationales to implementing a CRM system, we thought we’d provide our Top 5 picks along with insightful and reasonable ‘debunking’ explanations.
No, it’s not.
Fact: When looking at the cost of implementing a CRM system, the cost savings and an overall improvement in business efficiency and effectiveness far outweighs the cost of the system. In fact, according to Nucleus Research, CRM pays back $8.71 for every dollar spent!
A CRM system allows your company to reduce costs, scale effectively and remain current. With a best-of-breed CRM embedded in your day-to-day digital journey, it’s much easier to use, and it talks to the other everyday tools you use like Outlook, Excel, and Word. This makes the system relevant and valuable, and dramatically increases user uptake.
In fact, a good CRM system is so easy and intuitive to use that even the most change-resistant user can find the information they need in just one or two taps. Your sales team can quickly find exactly what they want, and even better, your CRM can also interpret the information held in the system and prompt users to ‘make that call, send that email, set up that appointment! And do it now!’ It’s hard to put a value on never missing a sales opportunity again.
One of the CRM systems we implement is Microsoft Dynamics 365, and a favourite feature is that your team can use the system on the go. As well as saving you time and money, a worthwhile CRM these days is designed to be mobile, empowering your people to have the latest information on hand, no matter where they are. It also means they can update information on the go – meaning no more wasted time having to trek back to the office to ‘double-entry’ data gained on the road.
Fact: While this remains a common myth, cloud-based systems are in fact much safer than on-premise hardware. Ask the NZ Government, the US Government and even NASA.
Vendors such as Microsoft have a broad set of policies, technologies, controls and expert technical skills that can provide better security than most organisations can otherwise achieve. Microsoft alone invests over $1B a year in ensuring the security of their users and their digital property. That’s a level of investment that most of us can’t even contemplate. They also operate under the Microsoft Cyber Defence Operations Center. This facility is manned by security experts and data scientists that work to protect Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, detecting and responding to threats around the clock.
Most of the organisations we come across who don’t utilise a CRM system are usually using Excel spreadsheets. And sad to say, Excel documents are scarily easy to access, share, and delete – all without the knowledge of anyone bar the individual who ‘owns’ the file. Now that’s risk.
Fact: We’ve implemented new CRM systems in as little as four weeks.
As for learning or using, it’s easy to think that onboarding employees to a new system will take away valuable time from actually speaking to customers. However, the long-term gain far outweighs the short-term pain.
Modern CRM systems are so simple to use that users find it takes them less time to input and extract data than via their old Excel spreadsheets. And as a bonus, systems such as Dynamics 365 allow you to upload your current spreadsheets directly into the system – saving time and effort. Once the CRM system is in place, it’s much faster and more efficient to upload data than tracking it on a whiteboard, or Excel or Word file.
Fact: This statement couldn’t be further from the truth.
If your company doesn’t have a sales team, then having a CRM system is even more important to ensure sales activities are conducted effectively and professionally.
Your customers are the centre of all business operations, so having a complete view of them and their interaction with your business is essential to success in any role. Capturing customers’ data, behaviours, and position in the sales funnel is vital to providing them with a personalised experience – a necessity in this ‘here and now’ environment. It is fundamental for a business to stop guessing who their customer is and start making smart, data-driven decisions.
Fact: Change management is something all businesses must deal with at one time or another. Without change, there is no innovation, no growth, and no future.
While user reluctance is a very real issue for some, the hard facts are that it’s more valuable for a business to have up-to-date, relevant customer information, lead tracking capabilities, and proven processes in place to drive revenue. And those who are resistant to new technology will soon find themselves lagging behind and very conscious of their ‘no/slow adopter’ status.
Experience tells us that user resistance is usually born of fear of the unknown. That’s why it’s crucial to pull together a few advocates in the company to aid in the conversion of the rest of the staff. In some ways, employee expectations are similar to customer expectations. That is, they trust the opinion of colleagues or friends more than a brand promise, or in this case, the change manager or CEO.
There’s one final ‘myth’ that business owners hold that’s not about CRM directly, but should be. And that is:
“I know all my customers personally, so I don’t need a CRM”
Essentially, unless you are a ‘one-man-band’, you will have multiple people inside your company who are interacting with your customers. Accounts, Sales, Warehousing/Delivery staff, just to name a few. While you (“the owner/boss”) might have built personal connections with your customers over the years, you are no longer the sole point of contact, and as a result, there is information about your customers now dispersed over multiple staff and likely multiple databases – spreadsheets, Outlook, business cards in a Rolodex… it’s easy to see how important information can be lost (or simply not shared) under these circumstances. This means you’re growing a business where sales opportunities are guaranteed to be missed, and where the relationship held with the customer will be fractured at best.
But worse than this, is the risk that a disgruntled employee or your best sales-person can easily walk out the door with your valuable customer relationship data, because instead of being held in a secure, protected, centralised system, it’s squirreled away on their personal drives, in their personal contacts, and on their individual systems. All of a sudden, that customer you thought would be loyal forever, because you ‘know’ them personally, is looking at an alternate supplier who understands the full spectrum of their business needs. A fit-for-purpose CRM will protect not only your data, but also help you grow your relationships, reducing the likelihood of gaps where doubt and competitor interference can creep in.
Got any other myths that need debunking?
We’re one of the leading Microsoft Dynamics 365 partners across New Zealand and Australia, recently inducted to the prestigious Microsoft Inner Circle for the third time, so we’re always interested in the pain points our industry is dealing with. We pride ourselves on delivering first class support services to your business and enabling a sense of confidence throughout your organisation. If you’ve got a question, we’re happy to help.