New research to help companies choose a CRM

Best Practices

What CRM will you use? It’s a pivotal decision that you want to get right for your organization. Most people approach this decision with a mix of resources: asking colleagues, drawing on past experience, visiting review sites, requesting vendor demos, etc. 

These steps are ideal to help you to focus on the problems you are looking to solve and the goals you have. Combining these activities with some objective data will give you an edge to finding the right CRM for your organization. 

Research commissioned on CRM selection

Insightly recently partnered with Ascend2, a B2B research firm, to get insights into how people make this important decision and ways to help them make it a successful one. The report, Choosing the Right CRM to Align Teams: An inside look at how sales, marketing & customer service teams are leveraging their CRM for a better customer experience, is now available for download and review.

The new data reveals how more than 500 sales, marketing and customer service professionals choose a CRM and how they are leveraging their CRM to ensure a best-in-class experience for their customers. 

The report indicates that a customer relationship management (CRM) system can provide businesses of all sizes and industries a host of benefits, and that these systems can be a catalyst for achieving the goals of individual departments and the organization as a whole. 

Finding: CRM is key for delivering exceptional customer experiences

Among the benefits of effectively using a CRM is delivering exceptional customer experiences.

That bodes well for those seeking a CRM since improving the customer experience is a top strategic priority in the year ahead for 55 percent of respondents, second only to growing revenue. 

Further research found that less than one in five respondents rated their organization’s customer experience as exceptional, which is important to note because companies that report the best customer experiences are 2.5 times more likely to report significant revenue growth than all others.

Graph - customer experience

Changing your CRM is common

The study also found that over one-third of organizations will be shopping for a new CRM in the coming year and 45 percent of respondents listed improving customer experience as a top priority in driving the consideration of a new CRM. And for those who currently use a CRM platform and are looking for a change? For those in a manager or director role, the biggest complaints about current platforms being used are missing or inadequate features, cost and difficulty of customization. VPs and executives were more concerned about scalability and costs.

Graph - biggest CRM complaints

Alignment drives growth

Only one-in-five organizations surveyed report having aligned technology and customer data used by marketing, sales, and customer support/success teams. On the flipside, over one-third of companies with completely aligned technology and customer data across their marketing, sales, and customer success teams saw a significant increase in revenue last year. It’s clear that alignment among teams drives growth.

Graph - alignment drives growth

Benefits of an effective CRM

The top benefits of effectively utilizing a CRM according to those who are extremely satisfied with their solution, include better customer data (44 percent), more organized/streamlined processes (43 percent) and higher sales/faster growth (40 percent).

Graph - Benefits of effective CRM use

Across all teams, dashboard visualization of reporting and analytics is essential. Creating a unified view of the customer is imperative to providing an exceptional customer experience.

Over two-thirds (68%) of those surveyed report having customer data stored in multiple locations. Storing customer data across several different platforms limits access across teams and ultimately results in an uninformed and disjointed journey.

A 360-degree unified customer view often includes the following data: 

  • CRM and customer data
  • Behavioral data
  • Marketing channel interactions
  • Sales representatives’ interactions
  • Support tickets
  •  Project status

By enabling this unified customer view, organizations are given a better understanding of the customer. This allows for improved personalization and a better overall customer experience, not to mention more efficient workflows and processes.

The problem with enterprise CRMs 

The data shows that ‘over-buying’ is a real issue in regards to enterprise solutions. It seems that flashy marketing campaigns and big name sponsorships may convince organizations to over-invest in an enterprise solution (e.g. Salesforce) that is really meant for the Fortune 500. Two-thirds of enterprise CRM users are from departments with 50 employees or less. This signals that these organizations have likely over-invested in a solution they likely underutilize. 

The resulting data shows that enterprise CRM users are significantly more likely to complain about initial and ongoing cost of their CRM (41% of Enterprise CRM users list this as a top complaint vs 24% of all others). Clearly, the chosen solution is not a fit.

Graph - choosing enterprise systems doesn't work for SMBs.

Integrating with existing systems 

For 40% of those surveyed, integrating a new CRM into existing systems is a major challenge during the implementation process. A CRM that can speak to the rest of your technology stack ensures data accessibility throughout your organization and enable a unified view of the customer.

The most useful integrations according to those surveyed are QuickBooks, ADP, and WordPress, but this varies by who you ask. Sales puts Zoominfo among the top of this list while Customer Success and Ops professionals place a higher value on Workday.

For 40 percent of those surveyed, integrating a new CRM into existing systems is a major challenge during the implementation process. A CRM that can speak to the rest of your technology stack ensures data accessibility throughout your organization and enables a unified view of the customer. 

Graphic - integrations

Project management and CRM is a logical progression

It seems like a natural progression that a prospect becomes a lead, a lead becomes an opportunity, and an opportunity becomes a customer. After that, most CRMs end and projects are moved to a PM tool for execution. A full 93% of those surveyed would adopt a project management tool that was native to their CRM tool to have this continuity rather than exporting data to yet another system. Note: Modern CRMs, like Insightly, have project management functionality built right in.

Failed implementations are costly – in many ways

With any new tool in your organization, the risk of failure is there. Successful adoption is the goal of course, but it doesn’t just happen. Having a plan and a team to guide the process is vital. Failed implementation of a CRM can cost organizations greatly. According to the survey, not overcoming these challenges results in employee frustration, wasted staff time, and missed opportunities for revenue according to 51%, 44%, and 43% of those surveyed respectively. 

In short, every implementation is important, but this is one you have to get right. Steal this proven process from the Insightly implementation experts. 

Graphic - consequences of poor CRM use.

Methodology, get the full report & more

A custom online questionnaire for the “Choosing the Right CRM to Align Teams” survey was fielded throughout the month of April, 2022 to a panel of 511 professionals representing sales, marketing, customer success, and related operations teams and who self-identified as management through higher-level job functions such as directors, VPs, and executive roles. These individuals represent business-to-business (B2B) organizations in the US with 50 – 500 employees across several industries.

Get your copy of the full report and/or watch a webinar presentation of the results from the head researcher. 

Ready to align your teams? Get started with a free trial of Insightly CRM today, or request a personalized demo.