CRM Mistakes-As the CEO of a customer relationship management software company, I’ve seen thousands of successful CRM installations over the past 10 years. Given that about a third of CRM projects fail, however, I’ve also seen the obstacles that halt CRM users on the road to successful adoption and usage.
Even if you’ve chosen the perfect software for your business and dedicated plenty of time to planning and developing a usage strategy, it’s still entirely possible that you or any other CRM user on your team could misstep in daily usage. The good news is that CRM mistakes are rarely catastrophic. The whole purpose of the system is to make your life easier, after all.
Mistakes are a simple fact of life, so the best course of action is to familiarize yourself with the most common CRM stumbles and know how to tackle them if they do occur. Here are five I often see:
You can’t predict where your company will be in a few years (sometimes even in a few months) and deleting a contact is like burning a potentially important bridge. The contact you didn’t find useful last year could become your biggest and most important client two years from now — unless, of course, you toss all of his or her information away. Then, that person will become someone else’s hugely important client.
Do this instead: Organize old contacts into pipelines and groups so you can stay focused and retain your data. If you’ve already deleted some data, establish a policy to prevent further data deletion. Work with your team and customer support to come up with customizations that will keep everyone organized around that policy.
2. Obsessive organizing: The temptation to “Marie Kondo” your data is the same one you may feel when you first start importing data from an old system. You put every detail into its own custom field for every single contact. You may even get lost in creating pipelines for the tiniest of processes. Resist the urge!
Overorganizing your data can overcomplicate the software, making it increasingly more difficult to train for and use. Implementing a new CRM system isn’t just a software change — it’s a process change. Your goal should be to keep it a manageable one. Simplified data mapping will be key to that sustainability.
Do this instead: Talk to your customer service team about coming up with a simple, flexible data organization plan that focuses only on the data points you need right now. You can always re-evaluate your setup further down the line and broaden the focus to accommodate future projects and needs.
3. Forgetting to follow up: If you’re used to using spreadsheets to collect and store data, you may be more likely to overlook your new CRM software’s ability to remind you to follow up. You won’t have to remember to reach out to or follow up with clients if you remember to utilize the platform’s built-in features, like letting it run your schedule.
A CRM solution’s purpose is to improve your company’s relationships, and following up is vital to truly managing them. The sale doesn’t stop at the register. Even if you don’t delete old contacts, they may delete you from their lists if you let those relationships go stale.
Do this instead: Build momentum in your relationships by creating new customer pipelines and building follow-ups into your existing ones. In your CRM policies, ask everyone to thank customers and set follow-ups after every interaction. Salespeople should also check their CRM calendars every day for appointments and calls.