5 Things A Business Owner Should Know About CRM

CraigKlein
Craig Klein CEO, SalesNexus.com

Posted on November 6th 2012

5 Things A Business Owner Should Know About CRM

It’s fair to say that business owners shouldn’t get bogged down in the details of their CRM system. That’s the sales managers job. However, there are a few things every business owner, from a CEO to a SMB owner should know before committing to a new CRM system.

So What Are The 5 Things Business Owners Should Know About CRM?

 

Will My Employees Use The CRM Software?

Most CRM software system failures are due to a lack of adoption by sales people. The system is there, but because change is hard, many people just flat out reject it. Do you have a team willing to learn? Does your CRM software provider have a good customer service team or training model you can implement? You will want to make sure the CRM system is as painless as possible for your employees. Find out if the CRM software is fast and easy to use.  And that your team gets adequate exposure and training and that you support the change from the top down. Leadership trickles down.

Is the CRM Software Vendor a Good Partner?

It’s imperative that the CRM software provider understands your business model and can help your team use it to fit their unique needs.  A CRM partner that cares about your business will make sure their solution is explained and utilized to best suit your business needs.

Can We Get The Raw Data?

The day will come when you want to migrate your data or do a thorough analysis and you will need to be able to extract the raw data from your CRM software system. If you are considering an in-house CRM system make sure the data can be saved in an industry standard system file. If you are going with a hosted CRM software system, just make sure you can get a copy of your data when and how you want it. This is something you need to find out now.

Is the CRM System Reliable?

When a CRM system is fully integrated in your sales team it is your lifeblood. If the CRM Software isn’t working your sales people probably aren’t either. If you go with an in-house system, you need to make sure you IT people are capable of rebuilding the system if it fails. If it’s too complicated for your IT team it’s probably not the right system for you. If you go with a web-based CRM software system you should check with them to make sure they have disaster recovery plans and standby procedures to prevent you from being without crucial data.

Is the CRM Software System Flexible?

As your business grows you need a CRM System that grows with you. Find out if expanding to multiple offices domestically and internationally can be supported. Also, as you expand you will ultimately have more users on the CRM software system and need to find out in advance if there’s a limit to the number of users you can have and if the additional user licensing costs and how much.  Clearing this up before it’s an issue can save you from it becoming an issue.

Keep this list handy as you scout for new CRM Software partners. And check out our CRM Comparison Checklist to learn more about what you should be looking for in a CRM Software Service.

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CraigKlein

Craig Klein

CEO, SalesNexus.com

Sailor, Husband, Dad.  Small and Medium sized business lead generation, sales growth and email marketing enthusiast!

CEO of SalesNexus CRM Software and Email Marketing solution.

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Comments

There is one further point that I would add to this list. Businesses nowadays rarely operate from a fixed location. As salespeople increasingly conduct their business using mobile devices, on the move and from disparate locations, business owners need to make sure that their CRM systems have the capabilities to adapt. Your employees need to be able to access vital data on customers anywhere, anytime. Recent research from Maximizer Software reveals that nearly half of SMEs have made the move to mobile CRM systems; the rest should follow their lead and upgrade their software to include mobile access and functionality. 

Mike Richardson, Managing Director – EMEA, Maximizer Software

I was worried when I read the title, but your first point is right on the money and absolutely the most important point for business owners to consider. If you're putting down money (or budgeting it out) for a CRM, you had better make sure that CRM is going to be put to good use. And, just as you mentioned above, adoption rate is CRM's #1 problem. In other words, CRM is CRM's worst nightmare. It's the whole reason why we created JobNimbus (http://www.jobnimbus.com): CRM is too important to be thrown away because of a complicated and headache-inducing interface. CRM has to be simple to improve the adoption rates considerably and get your money's worth, not to mention the highest level of efficiency out of it.

Great points!  It's not always easy and is definitely worth fighting through adoption issue.  More importantly, businesses need to take time to plan how they'll use the CRM and how they'll ensure their users value it as much as the business does :-)