Signs you need a New CRM Solution

By Jelani Harper
Updated: February 17, 2011

With the advent of today’s technology, facilitating, maintaining, and tracking customer relations has never been easier. The variety of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems currently available prove how essential it is to have a fluid, streamlined management system to regulate all aspects of the customer’s experience, from marketing to sales to service and support. Consequently, there are a number of telltale signs that indicate a company is in need of a new CRM solution, which may require anything from the purchase and adaptation of a CRM to software upgrades for an existing CRM, as well as the replacing of an older CRM with a more customized, capable version.

Sales Support

Sales leads are generated, but are frequently not pursued. After all the demanding work of marketing and prospecting to generate customer interest, it is counterproductive to allow disorganization and mismanagement of leads to let potential business escape. CRM systems automate lead information and route it to the proper sales representative to ensure it is pursued.

Demands for sales results increase, while sales department personnel decrease or stay the same. With greater sales expectations for fewer employees in today’s tenuous economy, the automated capabilities of a CRM (such as scheduling, managing and tracking contacts) grants sales representatives less time for administration and more for making sales.

Disputes over territory, team selling, and remuneration regularly arise. With sales information in one central location in a CRM, sales personnel can see exactly what stage of the selling process their colleagues are in for any particular customer, helping to eliminate inter-office squabbles. CRM systems also total individual and cumulative compensation, by region and territory, if needed.

Customer Service/Support

Customer contacts frequently change without notification. Today’s economic pitfalls frequently mandate abrupt departures for those who generate and build customer relationships, particularly employees from other companies. CRM systems grant easy access to monitor these changes and keep in contact with businesses.

Customer history is inaccessible or difficult to find. By centralizing customer information in a CRM, employees can quickly look up pertinent details regarding a customer’s history. Long wait periods (spent searching for information) and lack of knowledge regarding a customer’s concerns are eliminated.

Customer information determined from the sales process is not incorporated into client services. Ideally, there should be a smooth transition from customer feedback generated during sales to the use of this information to support and service a customer’s entire experience. If this valuable information is not being utilized by the customer service and marketing departments, an upgrade in a CRM system is probably needed.

Marketing

Business has experienced significant (or rapid) growth. CRM systems allow for a relatively seamless transition to a larger customer pool, as well as greater sales revenue and increased marketing, to sustain an enterprise by maintaining this information in one place. CRM’s seamlessly integrate marketing efforts and their results into the sales process.

Difficulty is encountered including social media into marketing. Information from social networks, blogs and consumer sites can be included into a CRM, enabling marketers to get direct customer feedback and determine a course of action accordingly.

Feedback of marketing efforts is in too many places. With a CRM, it no longer becomes necessary to separate the results of e-mail, snail mail, sales, and online marketing in disparate locations. This information is effectively streamlined into a CRM, allowing greater ease for spotting trends and developing effective marketing tools.
 

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