5 Reasons To Rethink Your CRM

Technology is an incredible resource and has drastically improved the way people do business. However, it’s evolving so quickly that what was touted as a high-tech solution a few years ago might already seem obsolete — or at least slower and less intuitive than newer options. If you can relate, it might be time to rethink your CRM.

By opting for a CRM that’s adaptable, automated, integrated and delivered by a provider that truly cares about customer success, you can escape that lagging feeling. Keep reading to learn how a change in CRM can improve operational efficiency and ultimately boost revenue.    

Why Rethink Your CRM Software?

According to experts, customer experience is everything. The trend toward people-centric business practices is only set to gain more traction. An exceptional CRM is essential in a world where personalization, automation, forecasting and the human touch are more valued than ever.  

CRMs first appeared in the ’90s and have evolved massively since. In fact, every year, it seems like new features are added. As companies swiftly adopt new systems, functions that once seemed like luxuries are becoming necessities. If you’re worried your CRM is lagging and doesn’t have cutting-edge capabilities, now is the time to upgrade.

Have You Outgrown Your Current CRM?

When the time comes to change CRM, you might have a nagging feeling but haven’t yet faced the facts. The expense and time required to switch might seem too much, or your current solution was working fine before you experienced a growth spurt. However, sticking with an outdated system for the sake of convenience or familiarity could be costly. 

People realize they’ve outgrown their CRM because:

  • Integrations are limited
  • Reports and dashboards are clunky, outdated and don’t provide a comprehensive overview 
  • Data from VoIP, live chat, emails, and calendars require manual input
  • Workflows, data collection and analysis and business processes aren’t automated
  • No mobile application is available
  • Lacking email marketing/marketing automation compatibility 
  • Doesn’t include sales performance management
  • Support is minimal or nonexistent 

Perhaps you remember when you implemented your legacy CRM system and the process was drawn out, expensive and ultimately disappointing. Transferring data may have been cumbersome and training the team was an afterthought, which led to lack of employee buy-in and continued issues as a result.

These problems prevent most people from upgrading their CRM and CRM strategy — but they also reflect an outdated provider. The best CRM providers understand these pain points and have structured their service around addressing and preventing them. If you’re feeling this way, it may be time to rethink your CRM.

5 Signs You Need to Switch Your CRM

Creating genuine connections with customers is the key to long-term business success. Even the most efficient sales, marketing and customer service teams can’t remember the same amount of data as software. However, they can use that data to deliver customized, memorable customer experiences that outshine their competitors. 

If your CRM isn’t delivering on the five areas outlined below, implementing an upgrade could be a game-changer for customer success, team productivity and overall profitability.  

1. Your CRM Lacks Sufficient Software Integration Capabilities 

Perhaps the most important element of any CRM is its ability to integrate with third-party apps and other tools. Every channel your customers use to view, interact with and review your company’s output are indispensable data sources. Only platforms that offer vast integrations can provide a 360-degree view of your prospects and loyal customers. 

Benefits of CRM Integration 

CRM integration is one of the most valuable endeavors any company can invest in. Examples of how integrations help include:

  • Cross-team communication: This benefit can apply to many teams, but it’s often associated with sales and marketing. Integrating your CRM with your Marketing Automation platform lets your sales team see the steps the prospect took ahead of becoming a lead and lets your marketing team see what campaigns are producing opportunities that close.  This helps both teams in terms of forging long-term connections with customers.     
  • Reporting: Integrating your CRM with tools, such as email and social media, provides unparalleled insight into how your team interacts with customers and what drives desirable outcomes. Plus, processes such as calculating conversion rates and analyzing how marketing impacts retention rates become intuitive and fast.  
  • Productivity: When a CRM doesn’t have full integration capabilities, employees spend too much time toggling between the CRM and other tools. This type of menial work drains productivity, and eliminating time-wasting improves morale and boosts output. 
  • Never make a customer repeat themselves again: Salespeople converse with many people daily, so it’s unrealistic to expect them to remember everything. When your CRM is integrated with other tools in your business, it’s always up to date. This allows your team to appear to remember details about your prospects, which is a surefire way to show them that you care about them.
  • Comprehensive customer profiles and journey maps: Customer profiling and journey mapping have often relied primarily on guesswork, but integrations provide extensive insights into customer behavior. You can use this information to develop highly targeted marketing campaigns and forecasts based on real-world information. 

2. Your CRM Provider Didn’t Provide Comprehensive Training

CRMs deliver the information your team needs to understand and sell to customers — but only if they’re adequately trained. Expecting them to learn how to optimally use a new system without proper and thorough onboarding is a mistake many operators make. Plus, with the limited training and support that legacy CRM providers offer, you might have implemented your previous CRM and hoped for the best. 

Below is the process you should follow when changing your CRM to a newer, better platform.

Choose the Right CRM Vendor

First, select the right vendor. Opt for platforms with a modern user interface and intuitive functionality. Legacy CRMs like Salesforce are not only visually off-putting but aren’t designed for ease of use. However, it’s important to note that every platform, however simple, requires a learning curve. Opt for a vendor that offers comprehensive onboarding and ongoing support to get the most out of the new system. 

Inspire Employee Buy-In

You might be surprised by how many departments can benefit from a cutting-edge CRM. Sales, marketing, customer service, finance, project management, HR, analytics and operations professionals can all benefit from using an integrated platform. However, simply putting the system in front of them won’t help. To get the most from it, you need to inspire employee buy-in. You can do this by:

  • Itemizing the CRM’s tool functions and clearly documenting them helps employees understand how it benefits them directly 
  • Ensure a decision-maker is responsible for implementing the CRM and acting as a knowledge hub for employees to ask questions and troubleshoot
  • Make training mandatory instead of optional so the team understands how important it is
  • Use the CRM provider’s free knowledge base to compile documentation about how to use the platform for each process and procedure you expect employees to use it for
  • Conduct refresher training several times per year and ensure all new starters are fully trained in using the CRM 

3. You’re Attempting To Consolidate Data From Multiple Channels

Visual representation of consolidating data to rethink your crm

One of the main reasons many people are rethinking their current CRM is the silo effect. When the software doesn’t have full integration functionality, pools of data collect in each department. Employees have to waste time finding information, manage multiple logins, or reach out to colleagues with inquiries.

The best platforms consolidate data from every app and software platform your company uses, making finding and analyzing data easier. When work is streamlined for staff, they’re in the best possible position to delight customers and help your company grow.  

What Data Could I Consolidate in my CRM?

Let’s look at some information you can consolidate using an up-to-date CRM and an integration tool (e.g. Insightly AppConnect):

  • Email inboxes and sent boxes
  • Deal tracking spreadsheets
  • Proposals 
  • Voicemails
  • Invoices
  • Social media 
  • Website traffic
  • Direct mailing lists
  • Form submission histories 
  • SMS and IM conversations
  • Shared documents
  • Project management tasking

4. Insufficient CRM Automation

Automation graphic

Automation is one of the main reasons decision-makers change CRM because many legacy system users are disappointed by how much manual input is still required. Thankfully, the best CRM providers know that many users prioritize automating repetitive but critical tasks. As such, new platforms automate wherever possible. 

What Should Your CRM Automate?

The workflow automation capabilities of top CRM platforms are practically limitless, but an automated CRM’s five main functions are:

  1. Contact management: Contact data includes name, phone number, email address, designation and social media profiles. Automation means employees can access this information to offer personalized responses and find information quickly.   
  2. Lead management: Pipeline management, lead generation, lead tracking, lead scoring and lead identification are unnecessarily time-consuming and cumbersome when done manually. Taking these tasks away from salespeople means they can focus more attention and energy on building relationships and making sales.  
  3. Reporting: Data-based decision-making is revolutionary for business owners and operators. Automatically generated reports that use real-time data can transform tasks, such as sales performance analysis, forecasting and customer journey mapping. While they once relied heavily on guesswork, you can now use customer data to generate accurate, insightful reports and analytics. 
  4. Integrations: As mentioned above, automated integrations mean your CRM can pull data from calendars, social media, email and more. Every customer interaction across every department is recorded and available in a central location. 
  5. Document management: Selling to customers requires that you create tons of documents, such as invoices, contracts, quotes and templates. Being able to store and access this information in a central hub makes life easier for employees in sales, marketing, finance, project management, HR and leadership.  

Benefits of an Automated CRM

Now you understand what an automated CRM can do, let’s look at how it can help your business:

  • Draw data from every available source to get a big-picture view of every department and their interactions with customers — and instantly generate reports based on that data
  • Boost productivity by streamlining tasks and transforming processes that were once labor-intensive into one-click operations
  • Use the information you glean from your CRM to improve customer relations
  • Reduce sales cycles by automating processes across the sales pipeline
  • Grow your pipeline by reducing the amount of time employees spend completing manual tasks
  • Enjoy seamless communication with customers thanks to enhanced data access and make them feel like old friends — no matter how many people are on your books    

5. Silence From Your Current CRM Provider

Another major reason people have issues and decide to rethink their CRM is their CRM is the provider’s lack of responsiveness. Too many software companies treat the sale as the end-point interaction, meaning you don’t get the follow-up support you need to get the most from a CRM platform. 

Quality CRM Support

Every CRM provider should deliver a baseline of support. While it’s not easy to find a company that offers a free online knowledge base, webinars, in-product guides and email support — it is possible. However, many operators choose subscription onboarding and support plans knowing how much value a CRM can add to their business. 

Choose a Platform That Offers Onboarding and Success Plans

Leveling up customer experience has the power to inspire radical growth, and partnering with your CRM provider long-term practically guarantees success. It eradicates any worry about the learning curve and means an expert is always on-hand to personally offer support and guidance to ensure you get the most from your CRM. 

Chris Reider is the Director of Client Experience at security tech firm, Knightscope. His team adopted Insightly as its CRM platform but was initially worried about migration from its legacy system. “The process was much easier than expected,” Reider said. “Our Insightly customer success managers created a migration roadmap and walked us through every step of the process, which helped ease our minds before and during the transition.”

Create Consistently Unforgettable Customer Experiences With Insightly CRM

If you’re starting to rethink your CRM and want to move to a new, improved platform, try Insightly CRM for free today or get a personalized demo to see the impact it can have on your business. You can also check out this handy guide for switching CRMs.