Customer relationship management (CRM) software gives your sales teams the tools to effectively maintain, progress, and fulfill their end-to-end sales process. Additionally, it serves as an automated, data-driven tool that improves business relations by managing your enterprise’s communication, interactions, and relationships with its customers.
There are a number of challenges, however, when implementing CRM tools, which can inhibit your team’s productivity. In this article, we’ll break down the most pertinent CRM adoption challenges and provide useful ways in which to solve them.
The three core CRM software components – collaborative, operational, and analytical – each handle different processes that cover the entire sales cycle. The solutions outlined here will help to overcome your CRM adoption challenges in each of these critical areas, giving you a well-rounded guide in software integration.
1. Inefficient communication
CRM software implementations are often underutilized when cross-departmental communication and cross-functional teams aren’t properly aligned. The automated tools and services provided by CRM can increase productivity and maximize potential sales, but only if teams effectively communicate with each other.
With 11.22% of salespeople not knowing what a CRM is, inefficient communication can quickly paint an incomplete picture of a customer’s profile, impacting sales progress. If critical data is accurately submitted by one seller and inaccurately by another, contradictory information is likely to permeate the data source and result in the avoidable loss of prospects and opportunities.
For example, if a sales rep interacts with a lead without actively logging relevant information into your CRM software, other members of the team can waste time repeating tasks. This means that instead of optimizing sales processes, your CRM program can introduce even greater problems.
Sales executives need to actively educate and promote synergy in their teams when it comes to mitigating CRM adoption challenges. Note-based applications are often featured in CRM software, which should help teams communicate effectively.
2. Failure to choose the right CRM
With a variety of CRM programs at different price points, picking the right one can be tricky. It’s crucial to first assess your business needs and identify the areas most in need of CRM support, e.g., cross-departmental communications, data centralization, behavioral trend forecasting, or customer care.
Don’t select the brightest, most technically advanced CRM because your competitors did so. Instead, assess CRMs that range in scale and offer unique features that provide wide-ranging and specialized solutions for different pain points.
Once you factor total cost, including software, hardware, and other IT resources, relevant stakeholders and thought leaders can make an informed purchase. You’ll want to choose a CRM that solves a wide range of issues while not forgetting to opt for a solution that aids problems specific to your organization.
3. Data and technology silos
CRM systems automate the collection, storage, and organization of data pertinent to an enterprise’s sales processes, providing a wide understanding of their customers’ needs. Unfortunately, different databases can often become disjointed information silos that aren’t synchronized or are incapable of reciprocal communication.
For CRM systems to reach their full potential, interoperability between programs and applications that provide transparency and the merging of disparate data sources is required. Software that integrates data silos into one accessible source can enhance the sales experience by allowing sales reps to input information in one interoperable space—mitigating the chance of redundant and respective entry logs.
Additional CRM technology integration may come in the form of connecting with third-party applications that integrate data from various external sources. Integrating your CRM with external technologies can be a simple process that may just require linking your additional applications via tools already included within existing CRM software.
Businesses with highly complex operations, however, may need to integrate their CRM systems with equally complex programs, like an enterprise resource planning system (ERP). CRM integration is commonly achieved using intermediary tools, such as application program interfaces (APIs) and integration platform as a service (iPaaS), which help merge external software and data sources.
4. Limited organizational adoption
A lack of understanding and participation from reluctant sales teams can create additional CRM adoption challenges. To realize the full potential of your software, it’s important that sales leaders convey the importance of comprehensive CRM adoption across the entire organization.
Pertinent data on customer profiles, scheduling, sales probabilities, and sales stages, all combined within CRMs, are what make it such a powerful tool for revealing the big picture. Every department contributing to sales operations, including marketing, service management, and customer care, need to be trained in using the software.
CRMs can provide solutions that improve sales processes and data-driven decision-making only when used correctly and utilized throughout the entirety of sales operations. Sales executives can ensure adequate CRM usage throughout the sales departments by leveraging the oversight capabilities within a CRM service module.
5. Inadequate Leadership
Any business aiming to propel and succeed in organizational endeavors knows the importance of comprehensive leadership. The multi-pronged and diverse level of operational organization requires a firm hand to steer the wheel and unify the workforce.
CRMs are uniquely designed to bolster the sales process and support sales teams with their all-inclusive automated capabilities. These capabilities can become hindered when salespeople are operating according to ill-defined guidelines from their managers, which can lead to human error and operational ineffectiveness.
Those in charge of operational processes must also be responsible for CRM and other system implementations, such as enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) and other appropriate resources.
Quality CRM adoption can unify sales, customer service, and marketing teams via an all-encompassing system serving as a single source of truth. A CRM platform allows teams to hone in on mutual objectives, streamline communication efforts, and optimize overall customer support.
Customer relations, marketing, sales, and service management teams all play a pivotal part in progressing customers along the sales pipeline, making it critical to align these groups in your CRM strategy. It’s important that sales executives and thought leaders take a step back and assess the functionality of an enterprise’s CRM to ensure each component is being fully utilized.