Common CRM Buying Mistakes

By Charron Conley
Updated: February 14, 2011

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems appeal to a wide variety of businesses because of several benefits they offer. There are a number of key advantages generated by refining the services received by customers. CRMs are also helpful in building and leveraging an effective and insightful database of customer information. Choosing the right CRM can bring challenges because there is so much information pertaining to it that it’s easy to fall into some well-known traps. In order to get the best possible system, here are some common mistakes to avoid:

Defining CRM Goals

Setting clear-cut goals is the first step in choosing the right CRM solution. Routinely, the more intricate the goal is, the more complex the CRM system. If goals are overcomplicated, the project may never get out of the starting gate. Examples of goals would be suppoting sales, or to have more successful support resolutions, obtain advanced customer satisfaction ratings. It will help immensely to be very transparent on what is needed from the CRM.

Then also ask questions: How long will it take to recognize the ROI? What adaptations to this will be needed if the company grows? If there are well thought-out expectations, it will be much easier to get the right fit in choosing a system.

CRM Budgets

Understanding that CRM is not a one-time expense is something to be prepared for. There can be ongoing costs associated with maintenance and developments. Make sure the system will be budgeted accordingly.

CRM Software Training

If employees are confused or unable to use the CRM, the systems will not reach its full benefits. Simply just buying the system is not enough; not knowing how to utilize it another common mistake of buyers. Many CRM dealers offer guidance consultants that visit the company during their rollout phase and for refresher sessions. Both small and large companies should consider investing in this service since adequate training will save money in the long term.

Buying CRM to solve a management problem

Perceiving a CRM as a magic solution can be a very big mistake. Although, when spending money on a system like this, results may be expected instantly, it’s really a matter of what is put into it as well. CRM can help improve the sales, marketing, and service management, but it can’t be in charge of them. This is a tool to help management be more efficient. This can be the largest money waster of all.

Before any money is spent on a CRM, make sure there is a goal in mind and someone who is managing it as well. For example make sales higher, standardize the lead-generation process, or track the ROI from all advertising efforts. Then figure out most importantly, who will be using the CRM to make these goals happen. Once that is decided put a timeframe together. If there isn’t a clear view of any monetary or efficiency benefits within 12 months than this system should be reconsidered.

Featured Research
  • 7 Ways Your CRM Helps Convert Leads

    Failure to convert interested leads can impact your bottom line drastically and simultaneously increase your operational costs and decrease your profits. The most common reason for this failure is lack of follow through from a sales team. Did you know that 74% of CRM users said that their CRM gave them improved access to customer data? And that by properly implementing a CRM, a business could shorten the sales cycle by 8 to 14%? more

  • Is Your CRM a Liability

    Is your CRM a liability? Before you answer too quickly with a no, just think about all the advancements that have taken place over the years regarding this technical solution. In fact, just in over the past decade there has been a dramatic shift away from on-premise systems to cloud based solutions. more

  • 12 Must-Have CRM Features

    Having a CRM is absolutely essential to any modern day business's success. In fact, 91% of companies with 11+ employees now utilize a CRM solution in their business. When making the decision to purchase or upgrade your CRM solution, it can be quite overwhelming determining which features are essential to your success versus those that pack more fluff than punch. more

  • Making the Case for a New CRM

    Did you know that having an outdated CRM is just as bad as not having one at all? Do you find yourself working even just a little too hard to make your current CRM work to maintain your contacts and relationships? While it is increasingly more difficult to reduce customer churn, modern CRM tools are much more powerful and provide much more opportunity to develop stronger relationships with your clients that can provide more stability and revenue to your company and bottom line. more

  • Don't Make These 10 CRM Mistakes

    Finding and buying a CRM is exciting. It is also quite daunting as you want to be as prepared as possible so as to avoid making a costly mistake. We have seen that many businesses fail when implementing a CRM, as they repeatedly make the same errors over and over again. more