Does your current CRM help you grow faster?

If you’ve never asked this question before, now is the time to do it. In today’s competitive and uncertain economic landscape, you can no longer afford to think of your CRM as a glorified contact database. Your CRM will either help you grow faster or it won’t.

Here are three possible reasons your legacy CRM could be slowing down your business, and tips for using technology to accelerate growth.

1. You do not have a complete overview of the customer journey

The customer journey is the sum of all interactions your organization has with each customer. Phone calls, sales and marketing emails, online product demos, webinars, website visits, and support tickets are just a few of the ways customers interact with your brand.

Each interaction can contain dozens of related data points that need to be collected and managed. For example, consider the amount of data generated from a single onboarding call with a new customer:

  • Adding and updating contact records
  • Emails between the meeting organizer and attendees
  • Calendar invitations
  • Email is opened, clicked and forwarded
  • Tasks that will keep your team informed before the call
  • Slide decks and related documentation made available to the customer
  • A call log that records the time and date of the conversation
  • Notes on the outcome of the call
  • Additional calendar invites for future calls
  • More work to help your team keep their promises

Now multiply this example across all interactions with all of your customers. That’s a lot of data.

Leveraging customer data effectively is time consuming (or impossible) if your CRM doesn’t have the right mix of functionality and ease of use. As a result, users fall back on old habits and rely on data silos – instead of keeping your CRM as the primary source of truth. Data integrity problems worsen, leading to more data silos and a fragmented view of the customer.

Take away key: If you want a more complete view of the customer journey, start by choosing a CRM that makes it easy to securely capture, centralize, use and manage your business data.

2. Users spend too much time entering data and activities with no added value

To get a better understanding of the customer journey, some companies are overcompensating and creating new bottlenecks for users. This is especially true if your CRM lacks the necessary integrations and built-in features to simplify data collection.

Listed here are some common situations that may distract users from prospecting, contacting, and other higher impact activities.

Entering data that is already in users’ inboxes

Email is still the most common form of business communication, and many business people continue to spend significant amounts of time manually moving data between their inboxes and CRM. CRMs that offer inbox integrations reduce manual data entry by allowing users to save email messages and associate them with appropriate contact records.

Juggling multiple usernames, passwords and user interfaces

One system for your sales pipeline. Another one for your email newsletters and drip sequences. Another one for managing contracts. To maintain multiple systems, users must (securely) keep track of multiple sets of credentials. You also need to acquire a certain level of expertise to use each system efficiently. In contrast, a scalable approach leverages the power of a unified CRM, which drastically reduces learning curves and centralizes data, processes and workflows under one roof.

Request and share only anecdotal feedback

Traditionally, CRMs and marketing automation systems were two separate (still integrated) databases. Leads in your marketing automation system didn’t make it into your CRM until they exceeded a set lead scoring threshold – and not a moment earlier. After converting to an opportunity in your CRM, your marketing team lost visibility and relied primarily on anecdotal feedback to gain insights into the customer journey.

Take away key: Identify a CRM that will help you align sales and marketing with a proper lead disposition process and allow users to focus on growth-oriented activities rather than entering data, switching systems, or CRM workarounds to develop.

3. Data-driven decisions are not possible

Data collection isn’t the only piece of the puzzle. Without the tools to convert the data into actionable insights, a large database of emails, records, files, and interactions provides minimal value to your business. Ideally, your CRM should provide a number of visualization and reporting functions so that employees can use data in their decision-making.

However, it is difficult to make data-driven decisions when you are constantly dealing with:

Integrated data integrations

Relying on overlapping systems for sales, marketing, projects, and other business processes can pose challenging technical problems. Sometimes integrations don’t work as intended. In other cases they stop working altogether. In both cases, the data is now inaccurate and must be corrected before any meaningful data analysis can be performed.

Challenges in remote access capabilities

Today more than ever, users need secure and remote access to up-to-date business information. If you are relying on an old local CRM, this is a point you can safely relate to.

Lack of integrated BI and flexible reporting

Even if your data is fresh, clean, and accessible, it is relatively meaningless without the right analytics tools. Sure, there are many third-party business intelligence (BI) tools out there today, but connecting your CRM creates another point of integration that requires ongoing maintenance and monitoring. Look for a CRM that integrates data visualization into its user interface. Insightly’s dashboards are worth a look.

Take away key: Data is a key element in your business. Look for a CRM that solves your data problems – rather than creating new ones – and makes it easier to use data to inform your decision-making.

Accelerate growth with better CRM

Are you considering moving to a CRM that’s optimized for growth? Request a demo from an Insightly representative for a free business and data need assessment.

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