All modern businesses (of any size) should use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to their advantage but, shockingly, 22% of salespeople don’t even know what a CRM is. The other 78% are in a category that is at risk of falling for common misconceptions about the contributions CRM software has in their sales process. Here we debunk ten of the most common myths and provide accurate, valuable information to help you make an informed decision.
Myth #1: The Best Systems Provide the Best Service Teams
Although it’s logical to assume that the best CRM software providers also have the best long-term service and support, this is often not the case. An organization considering new CRM solutions should evaluate both the immediate capabilities of the CRM, as well as the initial implementation process and the long-term customer support before making a final decision to select a CRM provider.
Myth #2: There is Really Only One CRM Worth the Investment
Despite having a robust feature list or the best brand reputation, there is positively no single CRM solution that’s the best fit for every industry and every organization across the board. Every business is a unique, living, breathing organization and wildly different from even its closest competitors. Instead, those tasked with pursuing new CRM solutions should consider and evaluate all of the features of each solution that meets their unique needs, or that can be customized to fit their unique needs, before making a short list. Then, compare at least three different CRMs on a short list before making a final decision.
Myth #3: Adopting a CRM Will Automatically Increase Sales
Adopting an appropriate CRM solution in conjunction with a concerted effort to encourage internal adoption can have a very high return on investment. However, there are several factors that contribute to the success of the initiative; including buy-in from the sales team, successful implementation and training, ongoing investment into the maintenance and optimization of the CRM, and the accountability of staff and management through thorough reporting. Be sure to have a plan to get buy-in from the entire team before making an investment in CRM software. Having champions in management and leadership is always a great (and necessary) first step.
Myth #4: CRMs Make More Work for Sales
Building buy-in among sales staff requires leadership to dispel this common myth. Great salespeople are already recording all of their sales activities, but many times finding the data they need to reconnect with an old prospect requires a lot of manual digging and reactivating that data sometimes requires even more effort. CRMs require some time investment in the preliminary stages, but will save countless hours in the long run, over and over again. With proper implementation, a thoughtfully built-out CRM is a wonderful gift that keeps on giving.
Myth #5: Salespeople Will Lose Their Personal Touch
The CRM doesn’t replace any part of the personal connection between the salesperson and their contact; rather, it gives them quick access to every detail they need in order to encourage rapport, build a relationship, and establish the trust that will eventually lead to a sale. A CRM with a proper follow-up cadence will prevent warm leads from going cold by offering the most logical system possible for tracking and reporting on the sales cycle, ensuring prompt follow up as promised, and simplifying the maintenance of a relationship with prospects and current clients alike.
Myth #6: Leadership Uses CRMs to Micromanage Salespeople
Although this can be a big barrier to buy-in and implementation among sales staff (or even senior leaders, who don’t want to give a big-brother visibility into their daily activities), CRM technology makes it easier than ever for salespeople to track and measure their performance value to an organization. Additionally, it makes identifying barriers to the sale easy to isolate and gives salespeople all the data they need to continually improve their skills, increasing their contribution value and worth within their organization.
Myth #7: CRMs Serve Only One Purpose
Customer relationship management is not the only purpose of CRM software. The most robust and customized CRMs can actually serve a wide variety of functions in the sales organization, relationship-building is just one of them. CRM platforms help marketing teams identify the best lead sources and allow them to target the best segments within their database. The improvement in sales forecasting accuracy will help sales management and finance teams understand performance benchmarks.
Myth #8: You Can’t Afford CRM Software
Many small organizations don’t even explore CRMs because of their perception of the high cost. The truth is that you can’t afford NOT to adopt a CRM, especially in a small company where salespeople need to produce at high volumes in order to be successful. Every activity and interaction count and even small businesses deserve the opportunity to determine which steps in the sales process produce results and which don’t.
Myth #9: You need an IT team to Implement a CRM
Don’t overburden the IT team with CRM responsibilities. The best superuser to coordinate the build and implementation of the CRM solution is an expert in sales and marketing. Identify leaders in Sales and Marketing to support the implementation and find top performers willing to pilot the roll-out. Ask the pilot team to give their insight and feedback at appropriate benchmarks into what working and what’s not. The CRM provider’s support team (if you choose the right CRM) should provide support on the IT side and will help you continue to optimize its functionality.
Myth #10: Implementation and Services are Included
Don’t fall victim to expenses that many CRM software companies cleverly hide to make their proposal more enticing next to their competition. Knowing what’s included – and perhaps more importantly, what’s not – can ensure you’re comparing apples to apples when looking at proposals and before making a final decision.
CRM software will help you dial in on the activities and priorities needed to meet your revenue goals, so don’t let these common misconceptions get in the way of your company’s growth.
Contact us today for more information on how to jumpstart your revenue goals and to learn more about the next steps of growing your business with an integrated marketing and sales strategy.