Seven Deadly Sins of CRM. Part 1

By Enabliser Helene

If implemented correctly, CRM can make your business run smarter - more effective, efficient and with more insight about your prospects and customers. There are, however, plenty of ways to stumble on the path to CRM success. Here are some pitfalls to avoid – seven deadly sins of CRM.

1: No CRM Vision in Place
If you don’t know what you want to achieve, it is a bumpy road, isn’t it? Start with the end in mind. What is it you want to achieve with your CRM initiative?

A CRM vision gives you a clear understanding of:
• Customers and their needs
• What the organisation offers
• CRM Goals - standards and measures to continue to improve

2: Focus on Technology Rather than Business Needs
One of the most common mistakes with CRM implementations initially, with an increased business use of Social CRM, this has come back. There are still too many CRM implementations which are technology led instead of being process or performance led. Companies purchase what they believe is the latest and greatest technology package that will make them “more efficient”. Then, they want their sales and service people to adapt to the way the technology works.

All the CRM features in the world won't make sales reps collaborate, improve customer service or raise customer loyalty. Those results happen only when happy users put good data into the CRM system as a natural part of doing their job. So the features you should focus on are the ones that accelerate adoption by employees.

3: Trying To Do Too Much, Too Soon
It's tempting to implement all Sales, Service and Marketing functionality at once and get the project all over and done with — but that approach almost guarantees a CRM system that doesn't work smoothly with your existing business processes, internal policies or channel interactions. The most effective CRM systems are built out gradually so that they fit naturally into the way you do business. So start with what is most important and start small — and gradually evolve your CRM system.

4: Junk In, Junk Out 
Does your CRM system include high quality data or just data?
It's easy to import all the data you have in different systems and be happy about having one centralised system which, yes, is one step ahead compared with data in many different systems. However saving the job of cleansing your data until it is all in one system will only increase the problem and lead to poor and/or incomplete data e.g. missing contact details, phone numbers etc. Often times this leads to poor user adoption.  Spend time upfront to cleanse your data: it is not going to be easier once the system is up and running. To be able to create insights about your customers you need high quality, reliable data. 

This article is continued in Part 2.

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