Not getting the most from your CRM solution?

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In our latest blog we’ll walk you through some of the reasons as to why you’re not getting the most from your CRM solution. If you have yet to move to a CRM solution, hopefully this blog will help you avoid some of the more common CRM implementation pitfalls.

Customer relationship management systems can add value to you and your organisation in many ways if designed and implemented correctly. While being an essential sales tool, CRM software will strengthen your organisation’s professional image, connect every department with real-time data sharing, and provide actionable insights to keep you one step ahead in a competitive environment.

Unfortunately, some studies have pointed out many CRM users are utilising the software less than 50% of the time. Let’s explore some of the main reasons:

 

  1. You’ve established ways for leads to be captured from multiple sources, but you’re not seeing them move down your sales funnel.

By linking your CRM to contact forms and product landing page lead magnets on your website, leads are automatically fed into the CRM to be actioned. Likewise, your email marketing activity is visible against customer and company records so that sales and customer services alike have visibility of recent marketing activity. All employees with CRM access can add leads to existing customers or create new prospects in the CRM for sales to follow up.

The challenge is ensuring that leads are being picked up and actioned by sales. Asking some basic questions may help you get to the root of the issue:

  1. Have sales been briefed on these new routes into their sales funnel?
  2. Are you capturing the correct information on web forms and lead forms for sales to be able to action them without significant extra effort?
  3. Is anyone monitoring what is happening to these leads on a daily basis and following up on lead qualification and feedback to the customer?
  4. Are leads that come through via the website of high enough value for sales to be motivated to action them? If so, could another team qualify these first?

Answering these questions may give you some clues towards the action you need to fix the issue.

 

  1. Duplicated and missing data is a common problem, and this is impacting service, sales and marketing.

One of the most common reasons cited by organisations for the failure of their CRM systems is the lack of adoption by specific teams. As a result, data isn’t entered, records aren’t kept up to date, and the system’s overall value is diminished. If data isn’t inputted correctly or kept up-to-date, crucial information is then missing from your system.

Using this data in the future, for marketing and other purposes, is much harder with incomplete or, worse still, no records. A highly functioning CRM should not only keep a detailed record of current customer information, but also channel insights from other areas which may benefit you in the future.

During your CRM implementation there should have been a data gathering and cleansing exercise and data from source systems may have been synchronised to ensure that the most up-to-date account information was accessible. If this was done, then your problem may lie in how data is being maintained and added to by the users of your CRM.

Through training, sampling of data for accuracy, and regular reporting on duplicate and missing information, you can start to build up a culture of data cleanse and capture amongst your teams., which also meet current GDPR or other data protection regulations.

 

  1. Cross-selling and up-selling still isn’t happening

Look at the business cases of many CRM solutions and you’ll see that the ability to up-sell and cross-sell to existing customers will feature amongst the benefits of introducing a CRM. Unfortunately, putting this in a business case, doesn’t automatically make it reality. Below are just some of the areas of cross-sell / up-sell that you may want to address if you’re not hitting those business case numbers.

  1. It’s not just sales that can capture a lead or an opportunity to up/cross sell your products and services. Customer services, technical support, engineering teams and your management team, to name a few, all have an opportunity to discuss products and services with customers. Not all these teams may have access to the CRM yet. Opening up CRM access to other areas of our organisation can help support this activity. Alternatively, you can build processes in place to capture lead data and pass it through to sales or marketing.
  2. Flagging contract end dates within CRM could give upsell opportunities to sales teams and customer services to re-sign customers. Prospect contract end dates with their existing supplier should also be captured to enable the sales teams to contact them when they are nearing their contract renewal negotiations.
  3. Are you making the most of historic purchasing behaviour, or the behaviour of similar customers? Scheduling regular reports can help to identify customers with regular seasonal purchases, whether they’ve purchased recently, or identify that there are similar or complimentary products that may be of interest. These reports could trigger a sales call, an email marketing campaign or be flagged against the customer record to be discussed the next time the customer engages with the organisation.

All of the above activity should align to GDPR contact permissions which should also be held within your CRM

 

  1. Many routine tasks are not yet automated

Automated workflows in your CRM can free up your teams’ time to focus on increasing revenues and improving the customer experience. Begin by looking at your current processes and ways of working to assess whether the introduction of automated workflows will improve productivity and enhance the employee experience.

  1. Sales leads – Ability for anyone with CRM access to flag an opportunity for a sale which collects pertinent data and passes through to sales.
  2. Customer Queries – Classifying customer queries and signposting via workflows to the team who can action them quickly can save significant time and provide a better experience to customers.
  3. Technical Support – depending on your industry, technical support may not be able to resolve an issue at first point of contact and may require input from other areas of your organisation. In a similar way to customer queries, technical support tickets can capture the correct information required and be allocated to the correct response team within your CRM.
  4. Financial Information – By integrating finance systems into your CRM, customer service or sales agents can quickly determine that a customer may require different financial treatment as part of any new sale. This could be in the form of upfront payment if there is no or low credit history or a stop sell if the customer has outstanding debt. By doing this at point of sale, it saves downstream issues and effort by other departments and further difficult conversations with the customer or prospect.
  5. Customer compliments and urgent issues – the use of an online data capture form that feeds directly into your workflow will result in timely acknowledgement, the complaint being received by the correct team, reducing the time to respond to an urgent issue and improve reporting, which in turn may lead to continuous improvement learnings

 

  1. Quotations are still being done off-line

Your CRM solution may not offer you a quotation capability, however, this is something you should consider for your organisation. It saves time, creates consistent brand messaging and provides the most up-to-date product and pricing information.

The speed and efficiency of your quoting process can be dramatically improved when completed online, leaving sales operations looking at contract creation and approvals to drive further improvements in the sales process.

Transforming your quotation process can yield significant benefits across your organisation. Your sales teams will see shorter sale cycles with less time spent manipulating documents and waiting for approvals via email.

With ViewPointCRM, you can track quotations featuring workflows with alerts and reminders. This will help everyone with their tasks so that quotes meet the customer’s requirements and are not forgotten, skipped or even routed to the wrong person.

While it is possible to use a spreadsheet to do this, it becomes complex as you don’t receive any reminders to keep you and your sales teams on track. So, to improve your speed and increase sales, you need to use a shared quoting system within CRM, so everybody has all information in the same place.

ViewPointCRM has a quotation module built into the system and can be tailored precisely to your organisation’s processes and needs.

 

  1. You are not getting the most from your reports

There’s a good chance you are not getting the most out of your software’s features and capabilities. Research tell us that almost half of CRM users take advantage of less than half the features their software has to offer.

For many teams under-utilising their CRM reporting is simply a lack of awareness of what the software can do. CRM reports are designed to help you sell smarter, monitor progress to goals and quickly identify problems. They can also help marketers track campaign performance and measure return on investment.

A key strength of a good CRM reporting suite is its ability to manipulate critical data, such as recognising patterns, analysing buyer behaviour, and creating accurate sales predictions. So, CRM isn’t just a place to store information, but an intelligent set of tools to empower more innovative, sharper sales, marketing, and customer service efforts. Some examples of where CRM reporting can add real value:

  1. CRM Pipeline reports show how your leads are progressing or regressing through the decision process and pending opportunities. This helps marketers set quotas for their campaigns and helps salespeople prioritise their business development tactics based on the opportunity stage. Once you have a clear picture of your pipeline, you can use your current leads and opportunities — as well as past sales trends — to project future revenue. Most teams run sales forecast reports monthly or quarterly and use the projections to set goals for each department. Of course, for these forecasts to be reliable, the pipeline itself needs to be accurate, which precludes the use of manual measurement tools and guesses.
  2. In marketing, CRM reports can helps you identify customer activity and leads, including daily communications, setting follow-up reminders, sending and replying to emails, sending out marketing emails, and tracking marketing campaigns.
  3. KPI reports measure how campaigns are performing against their pre-set goals. These will inevitably be different for each department. KPI reports can be high-level, but they can serve as a reference point for campaign effectiveness without requiring a deep dive into pipeline and channel metrics. This keeps team members on the same page and helps decision-makers know when to shift gears.

 

  1. Some people haven’t embraced using CRM

No matter how hard you try to implement a new way of working, there will always be resistance. You will always face employees, who for whatever reason, refuse to engage fully with your vision of what you are trying to achieve.

Whilst many users may have been on training courses when CRM was rolled out, new starters will have joined the organisation, new functionality may have been released and working practices may have evolved through the use of CRM.

Business transformations and change will always be a challenge for many people – we have lots of top tips in our A to Z of embedding CRM into your organisation.

 

  1. Many departments still work in silos and not getting the most from collaboration and data

Silo-working is nothing new, particularly in large, multi-site organisations, and whilst CRM workflows can help improve inter-departmental working, we’ve found that a regular cross-department CRM discussion every other month or so, can really help iron out issues and even build improvements in key areas.

Joint meetings, focus groups, and chat sessions can provide employees with opportunities to get to know people from other teams, who does what, and how they can help each other to achieve company goals.

Use these discussions, not as an opportunity to moan about who is not doing what, but to proactively engage in understanding what’s working well and what isn’t, and creating a plan of action to fix those elements of process / data / system /people that could be improved with a defined action plan and owners.

 

We’re here to help. ViewPointCRM has been developed to help complex organisations serve their customers better through integration with legacy systems, developing robust workflows across teams, developing fit-for-purpose quotation and pipeline management tools as well as providing robust reporting tools. Get in touch with our team today for a demonstration and to discuss your needs.

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