Complexities of CRM Strategy22nd November 2020
Unnecessary product complexity means offering products, services or options that relatively few customers want. Most organizations like to give their customers choices. But managers often overestimate buyers’ wants and willingness to pay for all those choices. Sometimes, indeed, it’s obvious that companies have carried innovation too far.
As a company expands, products vary or it moves into new markets, managers are likely to add organizational complexity. They may try both to maximize scale and stay close to the customer. Pursuing both these objectives often leads to complex matrix structures, duplicated costs at different levels and a lack of clear accountabilities. Each decision to add an organizational layer may make sense, but few companies in good times assess the overall impact of these decisions.
Companies that do attempt to manage complexity usually begin with processes, often through efforts such as Lean Six Sigma. However, reducing process complexity should be a company’s last step, not its first.
Managing process complexity helps in controlling overspending and tracking performance more effectively.
The CRM Product Doesn’t Fit In
If the CRM product cannot accept multiple deployment model options like On-Premise, On Cloud, Private Cloud, etc. or the product is not flexible enough for broader customizations that fit with organization’s growing and changing needs it may not leave you with enough options, especially for a growing organization. Also, if the product is not up-to-date with the current CRM trends like Social CRM or Mobile CRM it may not be suitable for future. Hence make sure that your CRM product fits not only for current business needs but also for the organization’s growing and changing needs.
Lack of Integration Capabilities
A CRM will work only as good as it is integrated with existing IT systems like ecommerce, marketing automation, ERP, etc. If there is lack of support from the support staff of vendors of existing systems that need to be integrated with CRM, the whole integration process can be a huge burden and may eat into hours of working time of your staff without any visible results. It is advisable to plan integration needs, if any, in advance to avoid CRM implementation overkill.
Lack of expertise of the CRM vendor
If the CRM implementation vendor does not have enough experience with the CRM product or have never before undertaken any CRM projects of a scale similar to that of yours, it may result in unforeseen hurdles which may be very difficult to overcome once the CRM implementation project is already underway. The CRM vendor may also be ill-prepared with possible implementation challenges, resulting in the loss of value time and resources. To avoid this, assess the capabilities of your vendor thoroughly and verify their credentials before signing a formal contract with them.
Lack of User Adoption
Probably the most ignored aspect of CRM implementation is the assumption that once the software is in place all the users will just dive into it and makes as good use of it as possible. More often than not this is not the case. Even though user adoption is critical for CRM success many organizations don’t have a proper plan or strategy in advance.
It is important to have comprehensive training programs in order to provide an understanding to end-users of the system. Making your team members navigate complex screens or enter detailed time-consuming form won’t work. More than the usability, team members should be educated about the need to make the CRM system a part of their daily schedule and how best to use it to enhance their effectiveness.
Lack of Business Insight
So, you’ve got the right CRM product, the right vendor, got it implemented well and have your got team members excited about this “cool new software”. You may have all these steps in place and your CRM strategy may still fall apart if it’s only used as a data dumpster and no actionable insights are drawn from all the available data and no adequate action is taken on those insights. A CRM software can only get the data for you. It can’t draw conclusions on your behalf or get your team members to act on them. Your sales or marketing team needs to use this information to effectively address customer issues, exploit opportunities and close more sales. For example, you can get better insights by integrating surveys in your CRM and get real-time insights from your contacts.
Other factors such as data migration and quality, and converting business operations may also affect the total costs of CRM implementation. Proper planning and careful assessment of any potentially hidden costs should help you set a realistic budget for your CRM project.
A lack of commitment or resistance to cultural change from people within the company can cause major difficulties with the CRM implementation. Customer relationships may break down and result in loss of revenue, unless everyone in the business is committed to viewing their operations from the customers’ perspective.
To secure buy-in and make CRM work, all the relevant people in your business must know what information you need and how to use it. Make sure to communicate integration needs in advance if other teams need to cooperate on the implementation, eg payroll staff.
Lack of leadership
Weak leadership could cause problems for any CRM implementation plan. Management should lead by example and push for customer focus on every project. If a proposed plan isn’t right for your customers, don’t do it. Task your team to come up with a better alternative.