In theory, CRM is an excellent way to keep your account records clean and organized as well as to ensure your employees are centralized. In practice, however, there are numerous issues that detract from the functionality of a CRM system in the workplace. We’ve highlighted five of the issues we’ve noticed most and offered a few suggestions for overcoming them.
1. Lack of functional mobility
It’s not necessarily that there are no mobile add-ons or apps for CRM systems to allow you access on the go; quite the contrary. The issue is more that these apps aren’t intuitively integrated with the voice channel. When talking with a client, it would be ideal to have something that links the activity of handling an account with the process of CRM upkeep. While exploring potential mobile solutions to this issue, it’s also important to compensate for this lack of integration in your company with foresight; ensure that while they’re on the go, your employees are equipped with whatever tools are necessary for them to record information from calls that could be useful in your CRM system.
2. Bad data
CRM users have abandoned entering qualitative data into their CRM in favor of quantitative records. This has taken the focus off of the important information – that pertaining to the relationship with a client – and put it on any and all numbers available for recording. This kind of information spans the breadth of anything a company finds important and often ends up burying the useful data beneath a blanket of superfluous details. The easy solution for this is to rework the entry forms to reflect the kinds of information you’d like to store. Stripping your CRM down to only what’s necessary not only ensures that your CRM is easy to manage in the moment, but that your productivity when revisiting an account is magnified. Keep your CRM qualitative and brief to maximize its utility.
3. Low adoption rates
Although CRM integration is on the rise, one of the main issues of these systems is the fact that very few employees actually use it on a day-to-day level. Systems take time to implement, learn, roll out, and manage. If proper care isn’t taken at every step of the implementation process to make learning how to use it as organic as possible, employees are prone to misusing it or disregarding it altogether. CRM is only as good as its upkeep, and its upkeep is dependent on time and care being taken to ease it naturally into the workplace. Make rolling out CRM your priority as an executive; treat its integration like a task at the top of your to-do list.
4. Considered an IT problem
Another common issue with CRM is the misconception that it is solely an IT responsibility. Customer Centricity points out that while there are components of CRM that absolutely fall under the umbrella of IT, there’s to be no mistake made that it falls to the higher-level business managers to be in charge of it. When something with CRM goes wrong employees tend to believe it’s a technical issue that should fall to the IT department, whereas they should understand through the guidance of their superiors.
5. Lack of senior level engagement
It’s easy to remove yourself as an executive from the day-to-day operations involving your CRM system, but that can lead to problems for your whole team. If you don’t engage with your CRM, you lose accountability for how your employees are interacting with the system. Without your oversight and input your CRM can go to waste before you notice anything. To keep your team involved, show that you’re involved, too.
Check in on accounts and data entry so you can understand how your employees are using the system, what’s working, and what’s not. Create a dialogue with your team around the success and shortcomings of your CRM system to let them know you’re invested in its ability to make their jobs easier. If you show them you’re invested in it, it’s all the more reason to prove that not only are you a part of the team but that you are also holding them accountable.
What frustrates you most about your CRM system? Leave a comment below!
Damien Acheson is the VP of Marketing for Klink, a big-data tech startup in New York City working to integrate CRM with the lifestyle of the mobile professional.