Is your CRM solution associated to ROI?

CRM — Customer relationship management solutions may prove to be completely disastrous if they are not associated with your ROI — Return on Investments. Does that ring a bell in your mind about what I want to convey? A lot of research went in, to conclude that most of the times the selection of the software is not the problem, however; the pain is “how does it get implemented”. Management pours in a lot of money to buy in the software followed with employee training, vendor training and a lot more. Enlisted are the top 10 characteristics or faces of a CRM solution — if your CRM does not adhere to any one of it — it is a complete failure. This may also prove to be a list that enlightens you about the scope of improvements.

Empowers your employees — Does not impose itself

One of the biggest failures of any CRM solution is; unchanged mind set of your people/employees and vendors — who are the end users. How inclined are they on using this solution customized and designed to empower them? Was it welcomes and accepted with open arms as a solution to their challenges or was it grumbled at?

Take my word on it, embark this in your minds — People are the most important aspect in the success story of any CRM solution. Instead I would say get it embarked in the minds of your IT and marketing staff.

Marketing and Customer centric CRM viewed and treated as an IT project — why?

CRM solutions are supposed to empower the sales and marketing teams. But as we all are aware and have experienced somewhere or the other, that CRM implementation is looked upon as a complex software project. It often is shouldered by the IT team — who in turn are responsible to work out the KPIs and CSFs — on their won, it is the sad truth.

These solutions are large contributors to the success of Sales and Marketing. If you are one of those IT team member with the responsibility of implementing it, ensure well in advance that your sales and marketing stake holders are made aware of the inputs that you would want them to contribute for the overall success of the implementation project.

Offers only One Truth and nothing but the truth

Optimization of CRM benefits is possible only when it is everywhere; from every desk to department & go to place to stores and at vendors POS — the same version, of course. Unfortunately we find it sitting atop several other databases hand holding the humble excel worksheets.

None of the CRM solution provider promises that implementation would be an easy task — but their efforts are in the direction to make you understand the gravity of it in the success of your CRM software. Consider the successful integration of CRM with other sources is half the battle won.

CRM solution is not a magic wand to increase Sales

CRM solutions are often, read always, purchased as tools to enhance sales. That is the truth, but it succeeds with integration of social CRM, campaign plug-ins, financial data captures for segments such as Marketing, Finance, Management, and countless other vertical functions.

It is here where you will have to step in by making people aware of its benefits outside the sales periphery. Employees who may have issues gathering and plugging in accurate data, believe me — they always have, are to be shown the dashboards to make them understand what wonders can they see and be a part of — if they utilize the CRM solution designed for them. There are full chances that your accounts people would be facing challenges matching up the Purchase orders to costs — here you can demo some plug-in apps, this will take away a lot of leg work away.

CRM should allow you to be proactive and not reactive

If we happen to be your CRM solution provider, we think beyond the walls of your office, certainly about social listening, e-CRM, blogosphere, Tweets, Posts, reviews and much more. It is a medium that makes or breaks your image and brand name — where people talk and discuss about you — but not with you. CRM solutions will empower your employees to post and act, proactively — correctively, need based.

The current scenario at most of the organizations is that CRM is purchased, integrated and implemented for and by the most techie employees — whereas others have the dumbest idea of what a CRM is and what it can do for them. Deploy tech teams or let these techies take the initiative to arrange eye opening sessions for the non-techie colleagues to the benefits of CRM software.

CRM solutions should provide opportunities and not slow you down/make you feel bored

These solutions are designed to offer multidisciplinary benefits, however; what happens is that you and your employees usually get caught up with the so called administrative aspects that are dull — but- crucial, and find the solution to be of no use.

Just go ahead and simply the data policy, documentations and so on so forth, which will help your employees to be more engaged while entering the details of any new client accurately. They might want to go that extra mile to plug in the details of every customer — accurately, in a manner that can reap benefits in near future.

Customer Relationship Management is all about building relationship with customers

CRM solutions are to facilitate your campaigns or customer communications to be a part of the “conversation over time”. Each mailing or phone call to the customer has to evolve as learnings from the facts and figures that you have gathered in your CRM about how the customer behaved — the last time you got in touch with them. Still there are a lot of campaigns are launched where these long term customers are handled like prospect clients.

Here you are supposed to find out if you employees are actively instrumental in utilizing your CRM solutions more like a list of clients and not a relationship networking tool. Educate them about the usage — powers and benefits of your customized CRM solution.

Business Intelligence in real sense

As I mentioned in the above para, your CRM software is unlike those database lists. Plug in a few thousand of records along with appropriate details accurately — and make it an exemplary tool for testing and predicting.

It is really very simple, how do customers react and respond upon calling them in weekends, or weekdays, which is the right time to contact various customers? Surprisingly a lot of companies who have invested in the CRM software are still not aware of these benefits or the business intelligence inputs that the software has to offer. Share these findings with your employees to make them realize the true worth of the solution.

CRM software are about replacements — and not additions

The software is supposed to replace things and responsibilities — not add up to it. However; it has been witnessed that it adds up to existing activities and responsibilities, inviting several barriers in the IT department who are at the raw end of extra work.

Do a feasibility check to find out how, where and what level of simplification — you can bring in to replace other existing systems and processes. It will also help you reduce operating costs — a step towards increased ROI.

CRM should make life easy and convenient — while you focus on your core competencies

CRM solutions are the software that should enhance your business and not create hurdles for your people. Every item on your task list of CRM roll out should be checked thoroughly to find out whether it will make it operations easier in form of fewer efforts and less costs.

Mind well, adoption of any of the CRM deployment method purely is based on your company’s business needs, resources and goals, as each one of this comes in with a separate cost associated with it. Ensure you see to it that every stakeholder thinks of CRM as an enabler and not a technology. Make your job easy with help of a perfectly designed CRM solution.

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