As a business owner, what do you want from a customer relationship management system? Chances are, you approached the CRM marketplace with a specific set of issues or problems in mind, and so were looking for a piece of software which would provide an effective and comprehensive solution.
This is what separates the men from the boys, so to speak, at least in terms of the right CRM. While the best systems are designed strictly from a solutions-oriented point of view, others offer users a raft of flashy gimmicks, but not much in the way of substance. Below we have a list of some of the mistakes that CRM designers make, and why this sort of thing just will not cut it in the market.
Mistake 1: Disconnect Between Features and Process
With a substandard CRM, the flashy features are like the lure on a fishing line, leading customers towards the hook. There is no logical reasoning behind the conception, development, and deployment of these features, but they look good and sound great. That is until you come to use them, and find that they are completely incompatible with your sales processes.
The best CRMs – just like the best products in any field – are developed with solutions in mind. Their design retains a connection between the features offered and the sales processes operated by the businesses who will be using the software.
When selecting a CRM system, analyze your own sales processes first and assess whether they marry with the capabilities of the product in question. Products like Insightly or Base, for example, require their users to invest in third party systems to produce quotes or proposals. Do your research and avoid paying for two pieces of software to do the job of one.
Mistake 2: Closed Systems
Businesses are not generic entities. Each one has its own quirks and idiosyncrasies, its own nuances and particularities. With this in mind, you need a piece of customer relationship management software that you can make your own, that you can tinker with to ensure that it fits your business-specific processes like a well-made glove.
In order to achieve this, you need a system you can customize and make your own. A really good piece of software will give you a solid base level of functionality which is closely related to your sales processes, but also enable you to go above and beyond its standard abilities.
This is where CRM solutions like Sugar, Mothernode and Salesforce really come into their own. As well as providing a comprehensive array of functionality designed to fully meet the requirements of a growing business, these CRM products operate with customization in mind, giving a business a platform upon which to create a truly bespoke system, especially as their needs evolve.
Don’t settle for an off-the-peg solution. This kind of product might suit a very small operation with only a limit number of requirements and a simplified sales process for a short while, but it is going to do very little for larger operations or for those which are experiencing growth.
Mistake 3: No Fluidity
Just like no two businesses are identical, a business is unlikely to be the same as it was five years ago, or the same as it will be in five years time. As a company grows, its sales processes will change along with it. Its customer retention strategies and success rates will change too. In fact, its entire operational landscape will be altered. A piece of CRM software must be able to keep pace with such developments.
A good CRM is one which has the fluidity to grow with the organization. As functional and operation requirements change, the CRM platform should enable your business to seamlessly transition to the next level.
A piece of software like Mothernode CRM, for example, was scaled down from a larger system, which means organizations experience different levels of functionality as they grow. This top-down approach is beneficial because it prevents a business’ operations from suddenly grinding to a halt when it gets too big for the software it is using.
In fact, the functionality of a system like Mothernode is so wide-ranging that it can be implemented across an entire business, something that most platforms would not be able to cope with. This ability unifies the sales processes within an organization, boosting customer retention rates and delivering improved growth in all areas of the business.
This is the sort of thing you need to be looking for when you go shopping for a new CRM: a mid-market system which grows with your company, enables customization, will boost customer retention rates, and will provide a truly useful level of functionality. There are plenty of them out there; you just need to look.