webCRM front page toggle
CRM Blog

Top 3 concerns when evaluating a CRM system - and what you should really be focusing on

By Category: CRM Sales

Newsletter _June _2015_teaser _image

Companies considering a (new) CRM solution are faced with a number of concerns. When I talk to the decision makers, they usually focus on price, speed and training. What they should really be focusing on is the success of their CRM implementation, which actually depends on processes, knowledge through data, scalability and flexibility.

Top 3 concerns when evaluating a CRM system

Concern #1: “It has to be very cheap”

Of course, budget has a part to play in the decision-making. That’s why webCRM is based on a low monthly fee. However, simply cutting back on features, training or expert advice to reduce the cost is a sure way to promote failure of the implementation.

Concern #2: “We need to go live very fast”
The decision maker can sometimes be insistent that the entire project must be completed in two weeks. This can often be the case, and we always aim at quick implementation. Still, you must be open to the fact that the project moves more slowly if your data is not ready, or the users need more time to learn and adjust to the new system and processes.

Concern #3: “Can’t we just skip the training?”
Despite the day to day impact on productivity, which a new CRM system can have on a business and its users, support is often an area which decision makers will try to cut to decrease budget and/or increase speed. It is always a false economy.

The webCRM system is easy to learn but we do not recommend skipping training completely. Even the best system in the world cannot deliver positive results if users don’t know how to use it or don’t understand the benefits. My 15 years of training people in various CRM systems proves that rushing training and overloading users with information is guaranteed to prevent them from learning.

Main issues that companies should really be focusing on

The implementation of 100s of CRM systems shows me that there are other and far more important issues to be concerned about prior to CRM implementation.

“Which processes should our CRM system support?”
The new system provides a perfect occasion to review the flow of data and the tasks that users are asked to carry out. Just because “we have always done it like that” doesn’t mean that you should continue to. Equally, you shouldn’t change the entire customer journey just because you can. Always keep in mind that the business must be able to function during the change to be working with a new system. Gradual change is much easier for staff to manage.

“What do we really want to know?”
I frequently see companies focused intently on the fields that users must populate and the data available for inclusion. Consequently, they often disregard the potential intelligence that can be extracted from their CRM system. Whilst existing data needs a home in the new solution, the focus should be on the use of such data, and its ability to provide meaningful analysis to aid business planning and development. Time spent sketching out “what we wish we knew” can help shape the configuration and deliver much higher return on investment through management information.

“How do we make sure our CRM system continues to grow with us?”

  • Your new system should be treated as a living, breathing entity. Expect it to evolve, flex and grow as your business does.
  • Nominating a super user(s) whose education is extended to include the configuration, architecture and potential feature inclusion, enables your organisation to “feed itself” when changes and improvements are required. That person can provide first-line knowledgeable support internally.
  • Make the effort to review progress of the system, and collect feedback from your users about what works and what doesn’t. They are, after all, likely to be the heaviest users of the system. 
  • Take advantage of any offered learning, tutorials and supporting material and don’t be afraid to ask for help or an opinion. Organisations struggle to do something because they do not ask the experts how it could be achieved. You don’t know what you don’t know, it is always worth raising the question.
Katie Williams

Katie Williams

Katie Williams is CRM Consultant at webCRM. She specialises in management of key business processes, new business and client relationships. Katie works with businesses to help them win more business and increase sales to existing customers.


Leave a comment

CRM blog categories

Webcrm Free Demo
Crm Guide Download Free Ebook

Customer relationship management

When is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) a success? When it develops your customer relationships and when you focus on actionable and critical data and features. Read about the 2 webCRM frameworks, which help you scope your CRM project right and focus on information you can act on.

Read more

Contact us

0800 1522102

webCRM (UK) Ltd
Courtyard Business Centre
Southwold Drive

Email UsPrivacy Policy

Follow Us

webCRM was founded in 2005 and is present in 11 countries. We’ve had profitable growth year after year from day one. webCRM has been awarded the Gazelle prize for 5 consecutive years as recognition of exceptional growth.

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. By using our site you accept the terms of our Privacy Policy. Read more