The reason you aren’t satisfied with your CRM

In all my years working with CRM’s, I rarely encounter a client who is satisfied with their CRM. There are hundreds of CRM systems on the market, so it is easy to think that you just chose a bad system, and should make a change. What might surprise you, is that 90% of the time the CRM isn’t the problem for my client’s – it is the way that they are using it. So before you make the decision to cut and run from your CRM, take a look at these questions/tips for evaluating your current solutions and why they aren’t working. 

    1. Do you have a team member who has mastered the customization features of your CRM?

If the answer to this is a resounding no, then we have already identified a huge problem. Almost every modern CRM gives you a host of tools for customizing the platform to best suit your unique business needs. This can include customizing form fields, configuring automations, creating category tags, and much more. You need to have at least 1 well trained staff member to utilize these features. 

In order to make sure you have customized your system for success, that one staff member should understand the ins and outs of the CRM. The reason for this is fairly simple. If you have a business problem that you need to solve, you need a team member who understands the options available in the CRM. That team member can then recommend a solution to the problem at hand, that best utilizes your CRM and keeps the business process simple. 

If you don’t have a trained staff member, most CRM systems will have partners who are certified and able to offer training services. I would highly recommend either hiring a consultant who is an expert in the CRM, to train at least one internal team member so that they can master the system. 

    1. Do you have a well documented business process?

This question is important, and is the first thing I ask a new client who wants me to set up a CRM for them. If you don’t have a well documented internal business process, it makes it very difficult to set up a CRM properly. 

Your CRM should be an extension of your business. Think of it like the digital representation of your business process. In other words, everything you need to do in your process (collecting a lead, sending quotes, managing a project etc) should be directly reflected in your CRM. If you can’t describe the exact steps you take from the start of a customer life cycle to the end of that life cycle, then there is no way to standardize and automate your CRM usage. 

Conversely, if you do have a well documented business process then you will be able to set up a CRM that runs as smooth as butter. You can identify all your manual redundancies, and automate them in the system. This removes the element of human error, while freeing up your man hours for more complex and important tasks within the business. This is especially important for small-medium sized businesses, as they have less resources and can’t afford the inefficiencies. 

    1. Have you written out a list of your pain points in your CRM?

If you are truly serious about improving your experience in your current CRM system, then this can be a good first step. I would recommend itemizing the issues you have with your current CRM, starting with the most pressing issues and working your way down. Some questions to think about are: 

  • What areas in the CRM application are constantly tripping up the team?
  • Is there a feature that is missing, and you constantly have complaints about? This could be a feature that is missing, or a feature that exists and doesn’t operate the way you’d like
  • Are there processes that suck up a lot of your day? If you find yourself skipping the task and not documenting it in the CRM because you are too busy, that is a sign it is an issue

Once you have your list of issues, you can systematically work with an expert, or even the CRM support staff, to look for the ideal solution to your problems. If you solve the first issue, move on to the next item. If there is no solution in that CRM, make a note of it. 

By the end of that list, you should have a good idea if you have simply been under-utilizing the tools at your disposal, or if you truly do need to be on the hunt for a new CRM solution. 

If you find that you do indeed need to make a change, please be aware that a CRM migration can take quite a bit of time and effort to do correctly. Be patient, and methodical – it is better to take your time than rush and lose data. 

If you could use some advice on what CRM would be best for you, or how you can better improve your experience in your existing CRM, I would love to help. Call me today for a quick consultation call, and I guarantee you’ll leave the call with a smile on your face.