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Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms can be a dynamic driver in business growth and efficiency; however, a shocking number of implementations are considered unsuccessful. This is due to a number of reasons ranging from an initial misunderstanding of what a particular platform does or is capable of, to the false expectation that a CRM is a magic-wand solution for all kinds of business challenges.What you’ll get in this articleThe goal of this article is to highlight CRM problem areas and offer solutions to make sure your business is getting the most out of your platform, maximizing its value to your team and your bottom line. Far from a “set it and forget it” tool, a CRM requires a new way of thinking, a commitment to company-wide adoption, and ongoing optimization. It’s important that your CRM has its pulse checked every once in a while. It was a big decision and a big investment, so you should be periodically checking in, and asking yourself:
  • Are you happy?
  • Is your CRM delivering against your business objectives?
  • Have those objectives changed?
  • Is it making your team more efficient?
When Primacy works with clients on a CRM check-in, the bulk of our recommendations are based on a clients’ specific implementation, their unique goals and needs, but there are also some more general questions we like to start with as a first step:Is Your Leadership Team Getting The Visibility They Want?First and foremost, is your leadership team (i.e. the people typically responsible for renewing the CRM license) happyWhile senior leadership teams are rarely the ones dealing with the day to day management of a CRM, the tool is often implemented to help give them visibility into key performance indicators. When implemented correctly, this single-view of data can answer the questions management is most invested in:
  • What products or services are driving the most revenue?
  • What campaigns have been most successful?
  • How healthy is my business development pipeline?
  • What’s my inquiry to enrollment/appointment/conversion rate?
  • Are my clients satisfied?
Business objectives change, and goals are often a moving target, so we recommend checking in with your senior leadership team and ensuring that they have these answers at their fingertips, and if not, making sure they do should be a top priority. Remember, a CRM isn’t just a tool to help make people’s jobs more streamlined, it should also be giving organizations additional insights into the many moving parts that make up marketing, sales, service, and support departments. The reporting part of a CRM is often the most visible to senior leadership so ensuring their happiness with the platform should not be overlooked. Is Your Team Actually Using the CRM as Intended?Identifying gaps in adoption and usage can put a renewed focus on the purpose of the tools which, outside of training sessions, can often be overwhelming to new users. For this reason, we often steer clients away from implementing too many new things at once and then expecting widespread adoption. The fact is, most CRM’s offer a wide suite of applications, tools, modules, and services, but often it can be too disruptive to an existing workflow. Salesforce is powerful, but even one or two clouds (or products) can be overwhelming. Slate, a higher education CRM, includes all features and functionality with each license, so it can be a lot to keep track of.We recommend going back to the time you first started looking at CRM options:
  • What were your goals?
  • What specific problems were you trying to solve?
  • What were the pain points of different team members, and how did this tool address them?
  • Then ask yourself (and be honest): are people actually using the tools that were supposed to solve these problems?
If not, set up training sessions with CRM users and explore how you can address their questions or problems now that they’ve had some time with the product. Salesforce allows admins to see which tools are being used, how often and by what users, but interviewing teams can also go a long way in understanding what barriers are getting in the way and how you can overcome them in order to achieve widespread adoption.Are you using the latest version of the CRM software?CRM platforms are constantly being upgraded, and typically if you have a license to the platform, the upgrades come with the territory. While some upgrades are minor, like a security patch or a new obscure tool, some are major and worth going through the trouble of implementing. A good example of a major upgrade is Salesforce Lightning. Not only does it offer a more modern UI, but the new Lightning components help replace the need for a lot of custom programming.  Additionally, Lightning includes the new Einstein Analytics Reporting tools, allowing users to explore the dataset quickly and even provide AI-powered analytics and insights.What Other Business Functions Could Be Moved to Your CRM?CRM’s are implemented to address a broad set of goals, including marketing, sales, and service. But as adoption takes place and you start to see your investment in action, it’s worth exploring how the CRM can improve other business functions.For HubSpot, this could be adding Marketing to a Sales license, driving more visibility for both teams. Or for Salesforce users, many businesses see tremendous value in using Marketing Cloud and Pardot together, with Sales Cloud sitting at the core and serving as the system of record. It also might be time to explore other clouds within Salesforce: Service Cloud can help anticipate and cater to customer needs, Marketing Cloud and Pardot can build 1-to-1 customer journeys and drive sales, and Einstein Analytics can be a valuable resource to many departments across your organization.What’s the Quality of Your Data?As the expression goes: garbage in, garbage out. Data is the life-force of a CRM and ensuring your data and data management procedures are meeting your goals should be a clear focus. Faulty third-party integrations or inefficient work-flows often cause issues with data integrity such as duplication, inconsistent fields or malformed information. Tracing low-integrity data back to its source can often point to problem areas, which again may be technical or caused by human error, but in either case, they should be corrected to ensure that your data is clean and accurate.Is Your CRM Secure?It’s 2019, do you know where your data is? As your business grows, and more users adopt to your CRM platform, and data flows in, out and through it, your security needs may change. Potential vulnerabilities can come from mismanagement of data, integrations with third-party apps and more. This is critically important in highly regulated industries such as healthcare, financial services, and higher education, where personal data is sensitive and often the target of malicious hackers. Again, Salesforce makes this process easy through the Security Health Check tool, which will help you to identify and fix potential vulnerabilities in your security settings, all from a single page.You should believe the hype. A CRM can change the way you do business, and deliver a huge return on investment. But change is hard, and people often get stuck in their ways. For this reason, we highly recommend checking the pulse of your CRM implementation and processes to make sure your organization is making the most of this valuable resource.Click here to learn more about Primacy’s Salesforce and CRM offerings, and contact us if you’re interested in optimizing your current implementation to better fit your business needs.