November 23, 2016

Five myths about CRM

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Someone out there who is reading this blog is still using Microsoft Excel in their organization to manage their customers. You know who you are: The one still asking your employees to take those precious, hard-won consumers, and to drop them haphazardly into an Excel spreadsheet – depositing them into a file that lives in “My Documents” on a single machine, never to be heard from again.

Of course, we applaud you for having upgraded from Lotus 1-2-3 or Quattro Pro. Welcome to the new millennium, and we hope you enjoy your ride.

For the rest of you who have at least a passing knowledge of CRM, or, in fact, may have an instance of SalesForce running somewhere within your enterprise, let’s not laugh too heartily at our Excel-bound colleague here. In fact, about one in 10 of our dear blog readers have not procured a CRM system just yet.

But even for those of you who have taken the bold step into automated customer relationship management, as the acronym goes, you may still not be convinced that it’s the right thing for your enterprise. Perhaps you think it’s too expensive, or too complex to implement, or simply not yielding the results you are expecting.

Getting the right return from your CRM system does take some doing – and whether you allocate resources to manage your instance internally, or deputize a partner (like the fine folks here at Netwoven) to help you optimize your CRM program, it’s a worthwhile exercise, since such systems can increase revenues by 40 percent or more, according to one study.

So what’s holding you back? Certainly, we can agree that keeping tabs on your customers as they interact with your company is somewhat mission-critical, right?

Here at Netwoven, we’ve heard many objections – and are happy to say that most live in the world of mythology, along with unicorns and diets that actually work.

To get you started on the road to CRM acceptance, we’re happy to present to you the five most common myths about such systems:

  1. One size fits all: Choosing the right CRM system is an exercise that goes well beyond price and features. It is rare that a CRM system can be activated, off the shelf, and immediately start churning out the kinds of insights that your organization needs to make actionable decisions. In fact, A CRM system must be customized to meet your unique needs, and configured with the kinds of detailed metrics that will power your business and streamline the process of managing your consumers.
At Netwoven, we help clients deploy CRM systems that actually flex to follow your customers and prospects, wherever they are. , cloud-connected instance of Microsoft Dynamics can actually track and capture every interaction a prospect has with your company’s digital surrogate.
  1. Set it and forget it: Once configured, getting the most out of your CRM system requires care and feeding. It’s critical to use the analytics collected by the system to improve its utilization in your enterprise. At Netwoven, we have helped clients configure CRM to track things like interaction with social media and blog posts, so these data, too, can empower your organization. Also key: Ensuring that all users get the appropriate training on how to use the CRM system for successful outcomes.
  1. CRM should not be managed only be the Sales team: It’s an old conceit: Since CRM is a technology package, then the sales team must need to take the lead on managing its functions, right? INCORRECT. Modern CRM systems ONLY work best when they are deployed across departments and functions, throughout the organization. Especially important: That you provide an instance, or seat, to each associate in the platform(s) most is appropriate for their customer-managing activities. As you could imagine, smartphone and tablet deployment of CRM has grown substantially over the last few years, and 80 percent of users are accessing their company’s CRM software on multiple platforms.
To get a sense for the ease at which modern-day CRMs can be managed, we invite you to
  1. CRM systems are just a loss leader. There’s a reason that CRM is a $36 billion industry – and only getting bigger. It’s because they produce real results – ROI that can, in fact, be measured by the systems themselves. One study found that CRM systems pay back $8.71 for every dollar spent on the software. But again, choice is key: In selecting and deploying the right system, you need to ensure it supports your business strategy, that it continues to impact the bottom line, and that it can reduce your company’s overall costs associated with managing customers and nurturing leads.
  1. Like anything that’s automated, CRMs simply cannot replicate human interaction: Never forget the role of the customer in the CRM paradigm (after all, they do represent the “C”). 2016 was dubbed the “Year of the Customer” by multiple experts, and for good reason – they are now driving the boat. They are researching your products online, they’re shopping with their mobile devices, and they WILL vote with their wallets and feet if you can’t provide an outstanding holistic experience. For as great as your optimized CRM system might be at maintaining a baseline level of interaction, it is your human resources – monitoring, understanding, and working in tandem with CRM – who can still close the deal and provide the service that reassures your public.

Can we help you to better understand how CRM can help your organization? Reach out now.

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