If you are a small to midsize business, you may find yourself frustrated with the inability to efficiently capture, track, manage, and share customer information. Perhaps you are using an Excel spreadsheet for this or a dated contact manger and it is just not working. Customers call and you have no idea what they purchased when the purchased it or what their experience has been in dealing with your company. It has gotten to the point where it is embarrassing. You have had enough and are more determined than ever to fix it so you decide to get a CRM software system. There are a myriad of them out there and they all seem pretty much the same. In fact, several are free. What can be better than this? We can quickly and easily fix this problem for free. So you go out and sign up for a CRM system, maybe it’s not free but cheap enough and it seems like it will do what we need.
Three months later virtually nothing has changed. You are putting lead names, addresses, and phone numbers in the system. But the sales team does not use it and management is just too busy to pay attention to it. The result is that you realized virtually no value from the CRM system. Did you get scammed by the CRM vendor that told you how their product was going to improve how you sell and provide service to your customers? Probably not, and perhaps there is a different reason why it just did not work.
The best CRM software programs are designed to automate internal business processes. That is true, but you need to have those processes in place to automate. Most small businesses do not have formal processes in place for how they capture email communications, qualify leads, or track new business opportunities. Others do not have a methodology for managing sales opportunities and do not have documented procedures for handling customer inquiries. Here you have a CRM solution designed to automate internal business processes that simply do not exist. As time goes by you forget all about the CRM solution. The sales team does not use it and management has simply moved on. Why did this happen and what do we do about it?
This reason for this is clear and that is because CRM software, regardless of which one you select, is nothing more than a tool. Just like a hammer, in the hands of an experienced carpenter with a blueprint to work from, that hammer can provide a lot of value. With no project or blueprint to follow, that hammer provides nothing. The key to realizing substantial value from CRM software has more to do with the people behind the software than the software itself.
CRM solution providers like Commence Corporation, manufacturers of Commence CRM, have a staff of highly experienced people whose job it is to assist customers with the implementation of best practices for sales execution and customer service. We work closely with your management team to implement the software, and to ensure the customer sees measurable results and a return on their investment. This knowledge of sales best practices, marketing automation, and customer service is often what is missing in smaller businesses, and is the key ingredient for improving business performance. This differentiates Commence CRM from the myriad of crm solutions you can buy over the internet.
CRM is not a scam, but it is not going to improve how you market, sell and provide service to your customers without an experienced team of professionals behind it.