Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are valuable assets in modern companies, helping sales teams and business owners manage customer interactions, data and communication efficiently.
I've worked on several CRM projects in my career. A few were straightforward, but most had missteps to learn from. (In fact, one was so complex that it is still being refined years later).
It's common for CRM issues to derail business operations. Issues I have encountered that stalled growth include:
Unfortunately, these areas are related and aggravate each other. Bad data quality or a hasty implementation plan can weaken the confidence of key users and limit adoption.
Similarly, a lack of employee buy-in can weaken team productivity as siloed departments insist on sticking with old technology with limited integrated functionality with your new system.
Let's run through each challenge and discuss how they can be addressed.
The primary cause of technology failures is employee engagement. If your team don't use it, then you will never achieve those magical returns on investment you were promised by your sales rep.
Most importantly, low or lazy adoption rates influence poor-quality data. Ultimately, you buy CRM software to better understand marketing efforts, sales cycles and customer service. However, buying software without incentivising a change in habits will lead to sloppy or inconsistent data.
Common issues faced during implementation include
Maintaining exceptional database hygiene is crucial in CRM systems. Inaccurate, duplicated, inconsistent entries can lead to communication errors, missed opportunities, and poor decision-making. Apart from anything, it will waste time and discourage user adoption.
Related to data quality is the subject of security and compliance. In an age where data breaches are prevalent, ensuring that your CRM has robust security measures is vital. A breach can cause financial loss and tarnish your reputation. Regularly update security protocols, and consider encryption and multi-factor authentication to enhance security.
Data quality is closely related to the integrations needed to make your project successful. Ideally, you want to have a single source of truth with accurate customer records. However, it is common for companies to use multiple systems and need to stitch them together.
Common challenges I have encountered include
The system you buy today needs to accommodate your future growth.
Getting and maintaining buy-in should be your main priority when planning CRM projects. This should be carefully managed before and after your go-live date.
Consider the key stakeholders involved and engage them early in the software implementation process. That means they should be consulted well before you have selected a software provider.
Communication is a crucial element in improving adoption.
After launching the platform, you must provide continuous training and support. Adopting a new CRM system means adjusting to new business processes, which can be challenging for your team.
To ensure data quality, you should:
Need some advice on data quality and growth strategy? Get in touch with our team for a strategic audit tailored to your needs.