You’re the owner or manager of a small business. You’re facing mounting competitive pressures and shrinking margins. Differentiation has become harder and harder because your competitors are one click away on the Internet.
You need to create consistent, high-quality experiences to keep prospects and customers coming back for more.
What do you do?
You’re in luck! CRM was built for exactly this need, and many CRM vendors make it really easy to sign up.
So just give them your credit card and let the good times roll, right?
Not so fast!
CRM success is never guaranteed. The harsh reality is that most CRM projects are doomed to failure.
What does “failure” mean? It means money and time spent implementing software (or a “web application,” if you prefer) that falls into disuse six to eighteen months after implementation. It means using email and spreadsheets and accounting software to track sales sub-optimally. It means eliminating any chance at a decent understanding of how your business is doing. It means leaving you exposed to missed opportunities.
It means stranding you and your team back where you started.
In many ways, the biggest cost of a failed CRM rollout is the lost time—the six to eighteen months that you will never get back.
Time your competition used to build and advance. Time you could have used to accelerate your business…if only you had properly adopted CRM.
I’ve helped hundreds of small businesses successfully adopt CRM over the last (yikes!) twenty years, and I’ve learned a few tricks to CRM success the hard way. One of the most fundamental of these is a simple philosophy that we preach: managers buy, but salespeople use.
Yes, it’s a bit simplistic. Of course managers will be using CRM as well as salespeople. In fact, they had better be using CRM if you want your implementation to be successful!
But the truth is, if your focus is on reaching management goals—typically things like better visibility and tracking, greater efficiency and effectiveness, higher customer retention, and the like—you will spin your wheels and get nowhere very quickly.
As much as we all like to think everyone is in it for the good of the company, it just isn’t so. Telling people to use the CRM to meet management goals is a recipe for failure.
But all is not lost! Management goals are a byproduct of good management. Good management involves a ton of different elements, but in the context of successful CRM implementations, it means you need to make life easier for your people on the front lines.
These days, salespeople and customer service representatives are being asked to do more and more with their days. They juggle more prospects and accounts, learn new sales skills for the Internet-era, provide better follow-ups and touchpoints, and much, much more.
Your focus with CRM should be to make life easier for your team.
Do that, and all of a sudden, the CRM isn’t an enemy for your team to struggle with. It’s not a tool for Big Brother to watch over their shoulders,
Nope! It’s a friend that makes their lives better. It’s there to help serve prospects and customers. It’s there to help manage follow ups. It’s there to remind your team of the hundreds of things they need to do to be successful salespeople and customer service reps.
Bottom line: a well-implemented CRM puts more commission in your salespeople’s pockets.
Done right, CRM acts like an invisible personal assistant that helps your team deliver that consistent, high-quality experience that keeps prospects and customers coming back for more.
And if you can do that, you will meet your management goals as a natural result of good CRM usage.
By Peter Wolf
Follow me on Twitter @CRMWolf
QuantaCRM is a Microsoft Gold partner out of Chicago, IL with nearly two decades of experience helping small and medium-sized businesses implement and succeed with CRM.
Our OnTrack CRM Success System enables CRM success from implementation to adoption and beyond, and our ever-expanding suite of Dynamics 365 add-ons and solutions ensures you get the most from your CRM.
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