Businesses tend to hold on to older legacy systems for too long and often for the wrong reasons. It can be difficult and disruptive to change. I appreciate that and many follow that old saying “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it”. However, there comes a time when that old legacy system, while still operational, is simply not helping your staff to be more productive. Here is an example.
I recently worked with a company that had been using an old homegrown system for customer management. While a bit cumbersome as compared to modern CRM software programs, the system did a pretty good job of managing traditional contact and account information such as customer name, address, notes and other history. But it was lacking in so many ways that in my opinion the company was losing productivity and losing money. They felt that the system was providing value and not costing them anything but in reality it was costing them much more than they realized. Here is why.
No built in calendar or integrated e-mail
People used Microsoft Outlook to schedule meetings, calls and communicate via e-mail. While this worked, shifting back and forth from system to system, the lack of shared data caused a number of internal communication problems.
No workflow automation
The system had the ability to enter an account and contact or a lead, but there was no automation beyond this. There was no automated workflow to manage your leads or the sales cycle. The best you could do was print out all your leads or sales opportunities and manually contact them, then enter the notes into the notes field. This was highly inefficient causing many leads and sales opportunities to fall through the cracks.
How CRM Improves Business Performance
Modern CRM software programs, even at the most basic level, provide a built in calendar and integration with MS Outlook for e-mail so that you can track your activity within the one CRM system. They also offer the ability to separately manage your leads and use the integrated e-mail to send marketing emails, schedule follow-up calls, and maintain a history of all activities. The good solutions also offer automated sales management to manage each stage of the sales cycle from introduction to closure, and generate reports that outline where each new opportunity is in the sales cycle. In fact, many of these systems cost no more than $20 per user per month and some are even free for small groups of 1-3 users.
These systems operate in the cloud so there is no hardware to purchase or install, and nothing to maintain. There is simply no reason to continue to hold on to old legacy systems that are not meeting your current business requirements and costing you money in ways you do not even know.
Image courtesy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitalPhotos.net