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Article 5 min read

10 common CRM problems and how to fix them

By Jennifer Karpus-Romain , Director, Faye Business Systems Group

Last updated May 2, 2022

Customer relationship management (CRM) software can be a great resource for you and your team. If you take a deep look into your customer data, you can get better forecasting capabilities. In other words, you can more effectively serve your customers and understand your prospects.

Yet this adage is only true if:

  • Your team is actively using your system.

  • You have the tools in place that will give you the most relevant, up-to-date information for your business needs.

Here are 10 common problems with CRM and how to fix them:

1. Low user adoption

Around 65 percent of CRM projects fail due to low user adoption. Why? If your team isn’t using the system, they aren’t equipping you with the knowledge you need about your prospects and customers to make informed business decisions.

There are some simple solutions for combatting low user adoption issues. The first step is getting users involved in the CRM process sooner. Ask them what they currently struggle with in their workflows. Then determine what could be automated or simplified for them. Get them involved with the design, so they’ll be a part of user-experience testing processes. Hearing and implementing their suggestions will go a long way toward user adoption.

An extra fix to this problem is gamifying your CRM. People are often more willing to dive into learning and using the system if there’s a reward. An action as simple as offering $10 gift cards to sales reps who complete their CRM training can be highly effective. You can utilize the CRM itself to run sales contests, so it becomes a leaderboard, rather than a way to calculate sales or prospects that haven’t been entered into it. Then the resistance to adoption should quickly fade.

2. Nowhere to grow

Your CRM should ebb and flow with your business. Too often, managers choose their CRM based on what fits their needs for today, but they don’t think about tomorrow and beyond.

When selecting the CRM that will work for you, plan for evolution. Even if you just need some basic functionalities right now, consider next steps. Is there a higher tier you can move to as your business evolves? How does it integrate with other platforms you might be using? You should consider both of these questions before signing the dotted line.

3. Scope creep

You’ve chosen your CRM and decided the functionalities you want it to have. Then you add in a little more… and then a little more. Soon enough, you’re three months down the line, and you feel like there’s no end in sight.

Scope creep can happen if you don’t have a plan and stick to it. If you do decide you want to add in some additional functionalities once you dive into a system, then plan phases. Phase 1 is the initial work you set out to do. Once you complete that phase, you can move on to Phases 2,3,4 etc.

4. Wrong vendor

You think you’ve found the right solution and the partner you want to work with. You sign your paperwork, and they stop taking your calls. It’s frustrating.

Take the time to get to know your vendor. Ask them their expertise in your industry, your use case, and your estimated timelines. Choose the partner that’s the best fit for you.

5. Lack of support

Sometimes, a CRM project coordinator can feel overwhelmed. Implementing a CRM system isn’t a small undertaking. If you don’t have the executive team buy-in, it can be challenging to get your users onboard, too.

Before implementation, reach out to both the executives and end-users for feedback. If you’re an executive, clear tasks off your CRM project coordinator’s plate. It can be a full-time job, and it shouldn’t just be tossed in as an add-on.

2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center

Learn why Zendesk was named a leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center.

6. Bad data

Your CRM is only as successful as the data you have in your system. User adoption is important here, but so is keeping your data updated.

When you first migrate your CRM, you’ll want to find the most updated data source and migrate it into your new CRM. Then develop methods to collect and clean your data moving forward.

7. Siloed departments

Do you have transparency in your company? How much knowledge does each department have about what the others are doing? Having a centralized location for information can break down the silos in your business and better align your departments.

Create processes to show what everyone’s role is inside the CRM (such as updating phone numbers and email addresses).

8. One-time thing

You implement your CRM system. You’re done, right? Wrong. You want to assess how your CRM is working, create new phases of functionalities as needed, and provide ongoing training for users. Too often, companies have training at the beginning of implementation. Then it falls to the wayside.

9. Not centralized

The CRM needs to be THE center of your business. If everyone still gravitates toward using email and spreadsheets as their “go to,” it won’t work.

10. Perspective

Your CRM aims to build customer relationships and create a better customer experience. Take a look at the customer perspective, not just your own.

The key to success

Since customers are the core of your business, creating a centralized location to store data is key to success. By taking a look and correcting these 10 common problems with CRM, you can build a better customer relationship, break down silos in your business, and glean better forecasting capabilities.

Have any questions about CRM? Contact FayeBSG today.

This blog was written by FayeBSG. FayeBSG is a Zendesk Solutions Provider.

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