3 reasons your legacy CRM is slowing down growth Customer by MATT KEENER September 01, 2020 Does your current CRM help you grow faster? If you’ve never asked this question, now is the time. In today’s competitive and uncertain economic landscape, you can no longer afford to look at your CRM as a glorified contact database. Either your CRM helps you grow faster, or it doesn’t. Here are three possible reasons why your legacy CRM might be slowing down your business and tips for using technology to accelerate growth. 1. You don’t have a complete view of the customer journey The customer journey is the sum of all interactions that your organization has with each customer. Phone calls, sales and marketing emails, online product demos, webinars, website visits, and support tickets are just a few of the ways that customers interact with your brand. Each interaction can have dozens of related data points to collect and manage. For example, consider the amount of data that is generated from a single onboarding call with a new customer: Contact record additions and updates Emails between the meeting organizer and attendees Calendar invitations Email opens, clicks, and forwards Tasks that keep your team on track leading up to the call Slide decks and related documentation that is provided to the customer A call record that captures the time and date of the conversation Notes about the outcome of the call Additional calendar invites for future calls More tasks so your team makes good on their promises Now, multiply this example across all of the interactions with all of your customers. That’s a lot of data. Effective use of customer data is time-consuming (or impossible) when your CRM fails to offer the right mix of features and usability. As a result, users fall back into old habits and rely on data silos—instead of keeping your CRM as their primary source of truth. Data integrity issues worsen, leading to more data silos and a fragmented view of the customer. Key takeaway: If you want a more complete view of the customer journey, start by selecting a CRM that makes it easy to securely collect, centralize, use, and manage your business data. 2. Users spend too much time on data entry & non-value added activities In order to obtain a better understanding of the customer journey, some companies overcompensate and create new bottlenecks for users. This is especially true when your CRM lacks the necessary integrations and built-in functionality to simplify data collection. Here are several common situations that divert users’ attention away from prospecting, outreach, and other higher impact activities. Keying in data that’s already in users’ inboxes Email is still the most common form of business communication and so many business professionals continue to spend a lot of time manually transferring data between their inboxes and CRM. CRMs that offer inbox integrations reduce manual data entry by enabling users to save email messages and link them to the appropriate contact records. Juggling multiple usernames, passwords, & user interfaces One system for your sales pipeline. Another for your email newsletters and drip sequences. Still another for managing contracts. Maintaining multiple systems requires users to (securely) keep track of multiple sets of login credentials. They also have to gain a certain level of expertise to use each system efficiently. By contrast, a more scalable approach harnesses the power of a unified CRM, which dramatically reduces learning curves and centralizes data, processes, and workflows under one roof. Requesting & sharing only anecdotal feedback Traditionally, CRMs and marketing automation systems were two separate (yet integrated) databases. Leads in your marketing automation system only made it into your CRM after crossing a predetermined lead score threshold—and not a moment sooner. Once converted to an opportunity in your CRM, your marketing team lost visibility and relied primarily on anecdotal feedback for insights into the customer journey. Key takeaway: Identify a CRM that allows you to align sales and marketing with a proper lead disposition process and frees up users to focus on growth-oriented activities instead of keying in data, jumping between systems, or coming up with CRM workarounds. 3. Data-driven decision-making is not possible Data collection is not the only piece of the puzzle. Without the tools to convert the data into actionable insights, a massive database of emails, records, files, and interactions offers minimal value to your business. Ideally, your CRM should deliver a suite of visualization and reporting features to help staff use data in their decision-making. But making data-driven decisions is difficult, if you’re constantly dealing with: Broken data integrations Relying on overlapping systems for sales, marketing, projects, and other business processes can present challenging technical issues. Sometimes integrations do not work as intended. Other times they stop working altogether. Either way, you’re now dealing with bad data that must be resolved before any meaningful data analysis can occur. Remote accessibility challenges Now more than ever, users need secure and remote access to timely business insights. If you’re relying on a legacy, on-premises CRM, I’m sure that you can relate to this point. Lack of built-in BI & flexible reporting Even if your data is fresh, clean, and accessible, it’s still relatively meaningless without the right set of analytical tools. Sure, there are many third-party business intelligence (BI) tools on the market today, but connecting your CRM creates another integration point that will require ongoing maintenance and oversight. Look for a CRM that bakes data visualization into its user interface. Insightly’s dashboards are worth a look. Key takeaway: Data is a key asset for your business. Look for a CRM that solves your data headaches—instead of creating new ones—and makes it easier to use data to inform your decision-making. Accelerate growth with a better CRM Thinking about switching to a CRM that’s optimized for growth? Request a demo with an Insightly rep to receive a free business and data needs assessment. Request a demo Customer Data Management | Data visualization | Lead disposition | Sales & marketing alignment MATT KEENER Matt Keener is a digital marketer and President of Keener Marketing Solutions, LLC. In addition to consulting for Insightly and other SaaS clients, Matt enjoys blogging about remote work. Get Matt’s top-rated book or connect with him on LinkedIn.