No one wakes up in the morning and says, “Hey, let’s go implement customer relationship management (CRM).” It takes time, money, and effort. There’s usually a point at which an organization says, “Okay—things are out of control. We need CRM to get a handle on this.”
PowerObjects has implemented hundreds of CRM systems over the years, and we see the same themes over and over again. Here are the top reasons people start down the path to CRM:
- Making bad decisions because of bad data. Making smart business decisions without the right data is like taking shots in the dark. Maybe you’re hiring too slow, and you can’t handle a sudden rise in demand. Or you keep bad salespeople on too long because their bad performance flies under the radar. These bad decisions aren’t a result of bad leadership—it all comes down to not having the right data. CRM helps businesses get a handle on the data and make intelligent decisions that can move the business forward.
- Losing key customers. People think about CRM just as a sales automation system, but it goes beyond that. That R in CRM stands for “relationship.” You have to manage the relationship with your existing customer base or they will go somewhere else. And without CRM, it’s so easy to be blindsided when a customer does leave. CRM helps businesses be smarter about tracking customer satisfaction and managing customer support throughout the lifecycle. It helps you be proactive when issues do arrive and helps you nurture that long-term relationship.
- Losing sales. There’s no way that you’re going to win every single opportunity. The problem is, without a system like CRM, you have no way to go back and look at why you lost. To get any value out of losing a sale, you need standardized, repeatable processes so you can go back to the sales teams and say, “We lost this one. Show me where it went south.” CRM completely changes the game. You may still lose a sale, but you have the power to identify why, hold people accountable, and address those issues.
- You’re growing too fast. Rapid growth is a great problem to have, but without the right systems and processes in place, it can create massive inefficiencies that affect your bottom line and cash flow. You get to the end of the year and say, “We had a hugely growing organization—why didn’t we drop more money to the bottom line?”
- With CRM, you’re no longer figuring it out on the fly—there’s a systematic way to engage in a sales processes. It helps you put your arms around the growing pains and drive efficiencies into the organization so you can harness that growth for better revenue and profits.
- Losing key employees. People change jobs for all sorts of reasons, and without proper systems in place, it can create havoc in an organization. What happens when one of your star sales reps leaves? What happens with his pipeline and his customer history? What about security and legal issues? How do you transition the account? CRM acts as that system of record to capture all that data so that when you lose a key employee, it doesn’t have an impact down the line.
- Revenue and profits are down. “My revenue and profits are falling and I can’t figure out why.” This is a huge question and CRM can help address the “why.” Maybe you’ve got way too many opportunities and you’re not closing enough of them, driving up your cost of sales. Maybe your average deal size is starting to decrease, so the ones you are winning aren’t as profitable. Maybe you’re failing to identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. The problem is, without the data or a system of record, you’re not going to be able to ask those intelligent questions. That’s the value of CRM.
- You’re just being proactive about your growing business. If we look back in time, people used to implement CRM once they were experiencing problems that needed to be solved. Nowadays, thanks to reduced costs and ease of use, we’re seeing people be proactive about growing their organization with CRM.
There are many, many other great reasons to invest in CRM…but these are definitely some of the top reasons we’ve seen over the years. Do any of these “trigger points” resonate with you?