There’s much to be said about customer relationship management and how it promotes business growth. There are currently over 350 CRM systems on the market, and even more opinions on the subject. This can make it difficult to sort the facts from fiction. Some business owners don’t understand CRM benefits and assumptions prevent them from getting on board sooner or at all.
The people who are using it most – salespeople – often don’t think they need it, and have a track record that they feel demonstrates the validity of their current system. This tunnel vision prevents businesses from going the CRM route and realizing its full potential. On average, 65% of businesses adopt CRM within their first five years. And according to Brainshark, 53% of top-performing companies are counting on CRM to drive sales and productivity.
Here are four myths about customer relationship management that business owners should be aware of:
A High Learning Curve
A high learning curve is a big concern for any business adopting new software. Business owners fear failed software implementations and large-scale software rollouts. They also don’t want to go through the struggle of training employees. But often, legitimate CRM systems don’t take any longer to teach employees than other software currently being used by the company does. These tools are often cloud-based, meaning there’s no need to install any type of software. All you need is Internet access and login details to access the CRM, and you’re good to go.
Many owners also fail to realize that transferring data isn’t as complicated as you think, and doesn’t necessarily require manual input. Populating the database can be handled through data import systems or software integrations. For complex installations, most CRM companies will work with you to get the system up and running.
Lastly, once the learning curve is over, you get a high return on investment with time and efficiency. Several studies have proven that a CRM system can increase productivity by at least 25%, in makes organization much more streamlined and less stressful to navigate.
You Can’t Use It With Other Popular Apps
You can use CRM systems with many third-party apps, including a myriad of project management and Google applications (Drive, Gmail, and Calendar). Salesforce recently announced its Google Suite integration, and other CRM companies are expected to follow suit as the trend grows. These third-party app integrations can be a huge game-changer for businesses that want to keep communication going across a variety of channels. For example, Google’s Sheets and Slides APIs allows users to easily push data from the eligible CRM to Sheets, where they can collaborate before the updated data is pushed back into the CRM. This seamless flow of data ensures access across both platforms and combines the best of both worlds. You’ll have access to a high-level overview of interactions, documents, and meetings.
Some CRM systems also integrate with project management software like ClickUp, Asana, and Basecamp.
It’s Too Expensive & For Bigger Companies
Cost is one of the biggest myths around CRM, and these upfront costs are often the main reason stringent business owners decide to hold off for so long. Business owners believe CRM is only affordable, or effective, for large businesses. But the truth is, CRM is just as pertinent to business growth with small businesses to large corporations, and much more affordable than you’d think — especially when you consider your ROI.
Many software companies offer free trials that help business owners get a first-hand account of the value CRM can bring. A study conducted by Nucleus Research found that users who invested in CRM tools for their projects generated a revenue of roughly $5.60 per $1 spent. Not all businesses will experience such high returns, but it’s more than possible when the system is used to its full potential. These tools are also valuable because they allow the business to get a 360-degree view of their customers, and translate findings into meaningful business practices.
It Only Helps Salespeople
Customer relationship management helps much more than just the sales department. While the primary benefit of a CRM system is to help the sales team grow your business, it also has a myriad of other direct and indirect benefits.
The marketing and human resources departments, for example, can also find great use of these applications. Human resources can use the system to keep track of potential, current, and previous candidates, and gather valuable data on the hiring and onboarding process.
The marketing department can also use it for marketing campaigns, to reach out to existing leads or clients, or to increase customer support. For example, you might want to identify clients who you have been active in the past year and target them for a survey on how you could improve. Marketing employees could also use CRM data to better understand their customers and create relevant blog posts to increase SEO.