Does your CRM pass the scrapheap challenge?

What do you want from your CRM system? To help you deliver a great customer service, streamline processes with automated workflows, increase your sales conversion rate and to give you clear insights that guide your decision-making.

If you’re reading this, chances are your CRM system isn’t ticking all those boxes. Here are four signs you urgently need either to develop your CRM system, or scrap it and replace it with a CRM system that will help your business compete and grow.

1. You don’t trust your CRM reports

Your CRM system is only as good as the data it stores. If your reporting is flaky, you’re risking business critical processes relating to sales, marketing and, of course, customer servicing by making flawed decisions based on guesswork or hours of inefficient manual graft – and the risk of human error that goes with that.

If data is suspect, incomplete or just plain incorrect, you need to find out why. Likely, it’s due to either a lack of user training, or a poor CRM layout that is confusing or liable to result in data entry inconsistencies.

2. You have to access multiple systems to build up a customer view

It’s 2017, people. It’s standard to expect a single customer view without having to jump between various systems to get a clear picture of each customer and processes.

If your CRM system doesn’t give you a single view, just think about how much time and effort your business is spending as people check and update the same customer details across multiple systems in unconnected silos.

If this is the case, it’s worth investigating now either how you can adapt your existing CRM system to combine the data and processes from these disparate packages or how you can integrate these systems so that complete customer data is finally accessible to everyone from a single CRM interface.

3. Your CRM system doesn’t fit your processes

This bugbear raises the question: should CRM fit your processes or vice versa?

If it is the case that your proven business processes already work well, then it could make complete sense to configure your CRM system to replicate these.

However, the chances are that your business originally implemented CRM to:

  • Improve data quality
  • Enhance the efficiency of your processes
  • Reduce admin costs
  • Improve customer service

Without careful planning, covering these objectives within the framework of your processes, your CRM system will struggle to handle it all, and confused and frustrated users will likely fall back on legacy systems and risky, time-consuming manual processes.

Create a process map for your CRM system

One of the most important components of your CRM project is to develop a process map that defines each step of each process. The process map forms a blueprint that maps to your CRM system.

This applies to regular processes including managing sales leads and service issues. It also applies to workflows specific to your market and company, such as managing applications, events, training courses, contracts, assets and many more.

Map out your timeline for each process and include the rules and logic that you want people to follow. A CRM partner can help translate these workflows into your CRM system, using automated controls including:

  • Duplicate checking
  • Stage gating
  • Calculated fields
  • Branch logic
  • Email alerts

This is just a sample. There are many more potential CRM functions that will make your process run smoothly and contribute towards a better user experience.

4. You can’t send personalised marketing emails using your CRM system

If your CRM isn’t integrated with your marketing automation system you may be able simply to connect your existing marketing solution with CRM, or switch to a new package such as dotmailer, Click Dimensions or MailChimp.

If, however, you’ve already deployed an integrated marketing system, but you still can’t send personalised emails, then data quality will be a factor.

This is a problem if you want to personalise email messages with CRM field data, which might include, for example, inserting a simple salutation or adding content that adapts dynamically, based on CRM data.

One thing’s for sure: if CRM and marketing automation are to deliver, your marketing team will need to address data issues quickly. They may want to set up a telemarketing campaign to verify and collect data, using behavioural data (for example, which link your customer clicked on) tracked in CRM from earlier emails. You can target messaging and use web forms to encourage recipients to share more details.

Other causes of data entry errors can relate to a need for user training and/or adjustments to the design of your CRM forms. To further improve CRM data input you can customise the following:

  • Mandatory fields
  • Reposition fields
  • Adjust some field types – eg drop-down lists
  • Declutter the layout
  • Configure guided processes that prompt users to ask questions and collect data.

If you want to find out the best next steps for your CRM system, get in touch. We can help get you on track for tangible success by either improving your existing CRM system, or implementing a new one, with Dynamics 365.

Check out this 10-step plan for CRM success

According to the Merkle Group, 63 per cent of CRM initiatives fail. Typical consequences are poor ROI for the business, and a poor experience for the customer.