Deconstructing the Complexity of CRM Software

CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, software are programs that are designed for companies to use manage data related to new and existing customers, with the overall goal of improving internal operational efficiency, and strengthening the customer experience. The information that is in the system can help manage sales and customer service as well as provide technical support and historical data. Many companies are integrating CRM software into their business because of the many benefits that is does offer.

CRM platforms (such as Salesforce.com and others) have become in recent years an integral part of how sales and customer support teams (and sometimes others) manage their prospective leads and conversions. Add to this the number of CRM applications that supplement the base platforms. A central challenge remains for employees – the highly complex level of operating CRM software. This is especially true when training new employees (previously unfamiliar with the current CRM platform), or when migrating to a different platform with a company, and having to train all existing employees on operating the new system. But even after training ends, the complexity of CRM software still risks employee inefficiency, repeated errors when trying to perform complex tasks, time spent waiting for helpdesk assistance, etc. There has to be a better way to manage this complexity and making things simpler for employees.

So what makes training so difficult?

Training seems to be difficult for employees to grasp because the training does not encase many of the complexities involved in the CRM software. This means that the training seminars and sessions are leaving out the more complex applications and only covering the basics of the CRM system. The basics of the system are fairly easy to use and people can learn these without too much effort.

As these more complex applications are being closed out of training, employees never learn them and this becomes a whole new world to them as they run into them. The challenge that many companies seem to have is that they just do not have enough time to spend training on specific and complex applications. The company will train on the most widely used applications and leave the rest out.

Many studies have indicated that one of the biggest problems with CRM training is that not enough training was initially performed. Employees must retrain on these applications and this can cause frustration and also a higher turnover rate. Many companies that use and primarily focus on using CRM platforms include industries such as call centers, customer service centers, and the like. These companies tend to have a high turnover rate which indicates they must train multiple people multiple times on the platform. It has been shown that the turnover rate can be reduced when employees completely understand the functions of their job and are given the full scope of training. Investing the time and money to do this, is it feasible? It is feasible because the turnover rate is much lower.

It seems that better training practices need to be installed to help users. Once a user has learned how to use the new system, many of them find that there is no support to continue to help them and they are thrown into the mix by themselves. They are left to use the help desk or even communicate through email. This can cause frustration and also delay the productivity of work as you wait for a response to continue on with your work.

Different training methods need to be employed into CRM software training to be able to help new employees use the system and old employees transition to the system. Online guidance is able to help companies by providing interactive and easy to use instructions for employees in the moment of need. The instructions and training are available right on the screen and employees never have to worry about looking through different pages or navigating away from the site to find information.

It seems that one of the biggest issues with CRM complexities is that they continue to grow and there is just not enough company money and time to invest in the continual training and support. CRM software systems are constantly updating and bringing in new information that can threaten what people already know about the system. It seems that keeping staff that knows the system inside and out is also very hard to do. Since CRM software is an important part of business and makes for a great customer service addition, they are almost needed in the world of business.

So how do you manage the complexities?

Companies are going to need to focus on better training and also offering better models for training. They need to have interactive training methods that are more than just someone talking at you or even paper and pen. It is beneficial to offer online presentations that allow for work to be done and graded in the system to see the progress of employees. The employees are also able to track and understand what went wrong or what they did right.

Making sure that your employees understand the CRM software is vital to your business. If a business is going to employ a software like this, they need to make sure they can offer the training it takes to train everyone correctly, offer support both in training and after training, and also do follow ups and new training sessions to cover new updates that come out.

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Michael Taylor
Michael is the Lead Author & Editor of CRMSimplified Blog. Michael established the CRM blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to CRM.
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