3 Things you haven’t heard from Salesforce.com
If you are in the CRM business, you’ve probably heard tons of clients and non-clients complaining about their CRM – those that are not user friendly, those that are just too complicated, and those that are, for lack of a better word, altogether unhelpful. Businesses are always looking out for a Customer Relationship Management system.
For sure, there are genuine complaints among them, but the truth is that CRMs today have matured so far beyond what you could access a few years ago. Most CRMs in the market now offer excellent service, whether you choose the high end ones like SAP, Oracle or Salesforce.com and its Salesforce ANT migration tool, or the middle range Sage CRM, MS Dynamics CRM and GoldMine, or even lower end types like Highrise, Nimble, Insight.ly or Zoho.
There are hundreds more out there, and most have a robust framework that is easy to use and well designed. Some are on-premise while others are in-cloud, with features for marketing, sales, email, opportunity management and calendaring. You can integrate with other systems, access social media directly, merge with and access from phones and other portable devices and a lot more.
The problem isn’t with the CRM system; it’s with the management of the CRM system. If you’ve been facing CRM challenges, it’s time to stop complaining and take action. Here are three things to get you going:
- Concentrate on the reports
The most important aspect of any CRM is that it’s a database, no matter where it’s placed. And databases generate reports, without which any CRM system has no value. You must make sure your system is set to generate the key reports you need to track your sales and marketing endeavors; any other aspect in the CRM is a plus.
These reports should be configured to be delivered to your inbox on a fixed schedule – daily, weekly monthly etc., since they are what managers will use to manage their teams. Your teams should feed in necessary data on schedule to make sure that the reports are generated on schedule. If you’re not doing this, you know half the reason your CRM is giving you hell.
- Get a CRM administrator
Every company needs one of these. Someone who owns the system and knows it from end to end. Someone who is responsible for all data help in the system and who knows the answer to every past, present and future question about it. And this is the best part – it’s doesn’t need to be and actually shouldn’t be an IT guy either.
CRMs today are pretty easy to learn, so all you need is a smart employee in administration who can be trained in the nooks and crannies of CRM, and then authorized to manage the system and all staff remotely involved in it. A strong administrator is an investment no organization can do without if the CRM will succeed in its role.
- Embrace your CRM or go
As a manager, you’ve got to get your team on the love-the-CRM-or-go bandwagon. Most employees are resistant to change, but it you’re firm as a manager, eventually they will understand that they have no choice but to work with it. If you let employees get away with sabotaging the CRM by doing things ‘like they’ve always been done’ you’re setting the organization up for failure.
Pay attention to what every employee is doing, and make sure it’s being done correctly, no matter what CRM it is. Ensure your staff have been adequately trained and prepared, and then require them to apply themselves to make the system succeed, in every part of the organization.
What is CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers
Sujain Thomas is a competent CRM expert and Salesforce products distributor. For more information on Salesforce ANT migration tool and to get assistance using other Salesforce products, visit her website.