CRM - Business People HandshakeA CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) is supposed to make your life easier – right?  So why do so many companies fail miserably in their efforts to maximize the value of CRM software?  The answers range from the ongoing resistance from salespeople –to- huge gaps in the sales and marketing functionality.

Before we get into some of the big gaps that waste time, let’s talk about the biggest one.  If you don’t have an online CRM, you are really wasting time…a massive amount of time.  To be prepared for increased revenue, your team members must be able to access the online CRM anywhere and anytime.  There is simply no other way to conduct business these days.

Even with an online CRM, a company can experience large gaps in the way they use the web-based CRM.  This article is going to talk about three of them:

Lack of Integration with Email Marketing

There are lots of email marketing companies out there.  Some of them are even free for small databases.  But what is it costing you to use a free (or cheap) email delivery service?

When your email delivery with related reports is in one software and the data about your clients and prospects is in online CRM software in another place, one of two things happen.  Either you spend a lot of time harvesting data about the email marketing campaign and plugging it into your software – or worse.

You could be keeping the email data in one place and the client data in the CRM software.  They never are matched up.  WOW – can you imagine how much client insight is lost in this scenario?  It is truly shameful.  Your clients deserve better.

Client Information Silos

Another place where many companies forget the needs of their clients is keeping client information in ‘silos’.  In other words, the marketing department has sales lead data before they hand it over to the sales department…the sales staff gathers the data they need, but do not pass all of it on to the delivery and customer service departments in the company.

Each department has an almost unnatural ownership of their own customer data.  When the customer calls into the company with a question, someone must sort out who knows the answer.  For example, the customer service department may get the call and they have to contact the salesperson to clarify what has been promised…wasting staff time and causing client frustration.

If there is one single reason why customers don’t feel valued by your company, it is because it seems that you fall into the old adage, “One hand doesn’t know what the other is doing.”  When you departmentalize client data, you may be wasting much more than time.  You may be losing customers.  It is not your team member’s fault.  Your CRM software should be available to everyone, so the client is in the center of everything you do.  Everyone needs a 360 degree view of the customer.

Cumbersome and Complex Functionality

Some of the most well known crm software is an odyssey to even manage.  The complexities of the functions are such a big part of what they do, it is hard for a company to bend and twist the software to fit the way they do business.  When you use these old standard CRM software packages, you often need to change the way you do your business to fit their software.

I don’t know about you, but I think there is something wrong with the picture when I have to pay more money for well known CRM software that does not easily customize to my way of doing business.  Your company would waste less time if an online CRM was easy to customize to the way your company does business.  Better yet, if the online CRM was intuitive, available for mobile devices and had great customer service.  Now we’re talking…just what we need to save time, make money and do it much easier.