7 myths about CRM implementation

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) implementation can be a daunting task if you haven’t got the correct information in front of you but what can make it worse, is having the incorrect information in front of you.  There are many myths floating around out there regarding CRM so here I have put together a few answers on the most common ones:

1.  “Implementation costs are included in the cost of the license”

No, they are not unless you were offered a specific ‘special offer.’  A license is the same as buying a car.  You wouldn’t buy a car and expect to have the gas and insurance included would you?  You buy the license and then the implementation, customization and updating costs will follow.  Make sure you budget for these.

2.  “It’s a stand alone program”

Most CRM programs can integrate with other systems that you require in business.  Systems such as Freshbooks or Docusign can be linked into the CRM so that all of your information is saved there and kept together.  If you are currently using other systems within your business you should consider these when choosing a CRM provider to ensure that you find one that meets your requirements.

3.  “Implementation doesn’t take a lot of time and effort”

If it didn’t take a lot of time and effort, everyone would be doing it.  From the initial planning stage through to the CRM launch, you will find that there are a lot of areas to consider.  There will be the customization of modules, changes to processes, integrations that need tweaking and end users that need more training than others.  You also need to consider your data migration.  It is not as simple as clicking a button because you have to ensure that all of the data is in the correct format (things such as comma’s can cause problems), it is labelled clearly and that you have all attachments in the correct place.  You do not want to migrate data and find that it is all jumbled up and pieces of crucial information are missing.  

4.  “My IT department can run it”

As efficient as your IT department may be, I can assure you that they will not be able to help with every issue that arises.  Technical support is available from CRM providers and for a good reason, they know CRM inside out.  The likelihood of your IT department losing hours trying to fix the simplest of things is quite high so it is always a good idea to save yourself time and money by investing in the professionals from the beginning. 

5.  “CRM will do all the work for you”

Come on, if CRM really did all of the work for you everyone would have it already! CRM is there to assist you.  It is a tool designed to help you stay organized, efficient and informed on how your business is progressing.  It can run reports, keep all your data easily accessible from the one place and notify you of up coming events that you may have otherwise missed, but it can only do these things when the correct data is inputted and kept up to date.

6.  “Success can happen without analysis and tracking”

As with everything, you cannot measure your success without being aware of your failures.  It is very important for you to monitor, track and analyze how your business is doing so that you have a clear picture of ways that you can develop or even ways you can save money.  CRM programs allow you to run accurate reports so that you know which areas of your business are successful and it can also help identify areas in which you can develop or expand. 

7.  “It can be built in-house”

It could be built in house, if you want to spend a fortune and a lot of time on trial and error.  Just because you have a little bit of knowledge doesn’t necessarily mean that you will know the in’s and out’s of building a productive CRM system.  My advice is to leave it to the professionals.  They have already spent years testing to ensure that they are delivering the highest quality product which can be implemented with the least amount of disruption. 

Here I have only identified 7 myths about CRM implementation but there are endless more.  To be successful with your CRM it is good to research it in depth and have all of your questions, no matter how trivial, answered by the professionals.  After all, implementation should be fun because through maximizing the businesses efficiency and helping your staff with their time management you are opening the doors to all sorts of new and exciting opportunities.

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