Points to remember before investing in a CRM SolutionAnurag Gupta
Today, various organizations are investing and experimenting with CRM software which has become a buzzword of late, hoping it will somehow have a positive impact on their business. Reading several customers’ success stories have made businesses to believe that merely implementing a CRM software will somehow remarkably improve their revenues and customer experience. However, there are a few basic questions that organizations should ask themselves before reaching to the point of implementing a CRM software.
Often times, questions like – ‘Do we actually need a CRM software?’ are missed out. Perhaps, the answer to that question would be ‘yes’ in most cases. However, to further support this question, one must answer questions like –
‘Why’ implement a CRM?
One of the primary reasons for investing in a CRM is – the need for process automation, to reduce the time consuming repetitive and manual tasks. For example – escalating unresolved issues, sending email reminders and generating reports etc. You need to focus on CRM software as a business enabler and not simply an automation tool.
Would implementing a CRM software provide a complete solution to existing customer relationship challenges?
Know your business challenges –
- Are your challenges unique to your business?
- Do you want to reduce ongoing operating costs in order to increase bottom line profits?
- Do you wish to boost sales and marketing teams’ collaboration by enabling team members to share data and make better informed decisions?
- Do you need to offer multi-level pricing specific to customers, and according to different channels with those customers?
- Do your customer relationship activities produce massive amount of data that needs real-time monitoring?
Having a clear list of challenges will help you understand if a standalone CRM software would suffice your business needs or does it requires combination of other systems in place. Example – Power BI in conjunction with Dynamics CRM can convert data into easily consumable visuals so that you can spot trends and make informed decisions.
How to plan and utilize CRM investment?
As with any investment in a new initiative, CRM investments and timelines need to be planned extremely carefully as well. A few factors that need to be considered are:
- Low hanging fruits: Which are the areas which can easily benefit from a CRM without any major changes in the business processes and using the standard software
- Criticality: which are the areas that need CRM from a survival perspective immediately?
- What is the investment amount that needs to be made at various points in the CRM road-map?
- What are the likely returns at various points in the CRM road-map?
What the statistics have to say
As per survey by Conversica, corporate sales and marketing executives agree that at least 50% lead generation budget is wasted on leads that are never contacted. Assuming an additional 5% conversion rate of leads means, these neglected leads can potentially increase your revenue by 5% and with a 20% profitability, it converts to an annual additional profit of 1% over top line – perhaps a good enough ROI from a potential SFA implementation as a tool to generate auto alerts, reminders and escalations in case of neglected leads.
Most of the time, corporations tend to overlook the fact that Customer Relationship Management is not just about getting a software, it is a concept that needs to be well thought of and executed. Specific targets are to be kept in mind before reaching to the software implementation stage.
You are unlikely to have any real return on investment from a CRM software, unless you know why you are implementing it and how you plan to reap benefits out of it.
Hence it is extremely important to have a clear strategy and roadmap for investments and returns from your customer relationship initiatives.
There can be a host of other reasons why you might need a CRM which, of course, are organization specific and need to be drilled into detail, but the common thing we do need to remember is that a clear view of the CRM objectives is the first step needed to be taken before even thinking about a software.
Our capabilities of analyzing organization specific needs and evaluating CRM fitment can play a significant role in firming the customer relationship initiative, leading to a successful implementation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution which can provide a real business benefit instead of a simple piece of software.