Too Early to Switch: 5 CRM Issues Addressed

According to Capterra, 2 out of 5 purchases in the CRM industry are made by companies dissatisfied with their current CRM systems. It means that almost the half of companies using CRM dislike the one they have and decide to switch to another solution.

In this article, we will show how to cope with 5 major reasons for switching CRM mentioned in Apptivo’s survey. If you happen to face the same CRM problems, you’ll be able to solve them without having to switch.

Reason #1: CRM complexity

CRM complexity was ranked #1 problem that forced 56% of respondents to make a switch. In their reviews on Capterra, users mention that such giants of the CRM industry as Salesforce, Oracle and SAP lack user-friendliness and convenience. Indeed, there is the dark side of these CRM solutions with extensive default features able to support enterprise-level business processes. They may seem too complex to end users unfamiliar with how all these features work. Let’s take, say, Salesforce with its pros and cons of comprehensive functionality. On the one hand, it helps to see to different aspects of the sales process from lead and opportunity management to orders and proposals generation. On the other hand, without being adjusted to the user needs, such a multitude of out-of-the-box features makes the system hard to use.

To make the extensive functionality of CRM into a real pro and make the most of the CRM use, you should wisely customize your CRM solution with user convenience in mind.  However, customization needs to be not only user-centered but reasonable as well. Although the deep tailoring of CRM is aimed to help, if over-customized, the solution will likely cause low employee productivity and hampered sales efforts.  Thus, customizing CRM to the needed extent leads to getting a system, which is neither a cakewalk, nor rocket science, but a reliable and helpful sales tool fully correspondent with salespeople’s needs.

Reason #2: Poor customer support from the CRM vendor

44% of respondents switch their CRM due to poor customer support provided by the CRM vendor.  For instance, some users mention slow and not always helpful customer support from CRMs like Zoho and SuiteCRM in their reviews. And if the situation when the vendor can’t solve their CRM issues repeats itself, customers will probably start looking for CRM alternatives.

Nevertheless, if poor customer support is your only CRM concern, and you’re generally satisfied with other crucially important CRM aspects, such as functionality, cost, and training options, and your employees are comfortable with the current system, don’t be in a rush to switch. Instead, you may look for a reliable third-party support services provider.  To make the right choice of the provider, spot the info, which proves their competence: relevant case studies, testimonials, certifications, etc.

Reason #3: The high cost of CRM

26% of customers named the high cost of CRM subscription fees and services as a reason for a CRM switch. Additionally, some of the customers claim to face a licensing cost increase (Salesforce) or state that, in general, “the price is a consideration” (Oracle).

Here we outline two situations that may give rise to the above mentioned concerns and provide corresponding ways out. If you’re considering new CRM, and its user license cost alone seems exorbitant, then there’s nothing you can do but choose another CRM, which is not so heavy on your pocket. But if you’ve already been using CRM, and the problem is your need in further investment into CRM services, like customization, user training and support, you may resort to cost optimization. You may try to save on the services with hardly controllable costs: customization and user training.

To save on customization, you can:

  • Prioritize custom features in terms of value to deliver only those crucial for the high operational efficiency of your CRM.
  • Split your custom features’ roll-out into phases and deliver basic features first. After using these features for a few months, you’ll see if they’re paying off and decide whether you need new features. As soon as the need in more complex CRM features evolves, you may plan another customization.

Saving on user training may imply:

  • Making use of online training resources provided by many CRM vendors.
  • Asking your in-house training/visual marketing specialists to create self-learning materials on CRM use.
  • Training a CRM admin who will be further responsible for the training of your employees instead of third-party instructors.

Reason #4: Poor quality of the CRM data

12% of respondents were so unsatisfied with outdated and/or incomplete data in their CRMs, that finally decided to switch. Looks reasonable, since the recent info states that  poor data quality may cost an average organization $14.2 million per year. What’more, it’s not only money that businesses lose due to low-quality data. For example, knowledge workers waste up to 50% of their time  trying to find errors in their data, correct them and provide confirmatory sources for the data they do not trust. It means that poor data causes productivity loss, leading to poor employee performance and, ultimately, employee turnover.

Still, there’s some good news for those thinking of a CRM switch only because of poor quality of their CRM data: with data quality audit the problem is easy to fix.  It implies reviewing data quality of account and contact records in the CRM system and preparing data quality report with exact proportion of invalid data to total data. It’s followed by a clean-up, which spares CRM from invalid and duplicate data, and enabling of duplicate rules that prevent the  appearance of duplicate records in CRM. Afer that, validation rules can be introduced in CRM to verify that data entered in CRM meets a company’s internal quality standards. This preventive measure will help to maintain the quality of CRM data in the longer run. It’s also critical to make all the sales reps enter customer information after every customer interaction, or every time they’re working on a sales deal. Regular updates help to ensure that CRM data is accurate, reliable and up-to-date.

Reason #5: CRM insecurity

7% of customers mentioned problems with CRM security as a reason to switch. Indeed, if a CRM is hacked and huge amounts of customer data stored there will be exposed to public, it will undermine customers’ trust and make them choose another vendor next time.

To secure CRM data, it’s essential to protect CRM from intrusion by installing trusted anti-virus software. It’s also important to perform regular updates of the operating system, which has default features that fix security vulnerabilities. For more advanced protection measures, it’s advisable to set up security alerts, that will notify you in case of unauthorized access to your CRM and create security dashboards allowing to monitor the security status of CRM.

To switch or not to switch?

Before making a CRM switch, you can take steps to improve your current CRM.  Applying proper customizations, efficient third-party support, cost optimization measures, activities for data quality and security can curb your main CRM issues. Thus, you may have a positive transformational experience without switching to another CRM.

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