In my last blog, The Hidden and not so Hidden Costs of Choosing the Wrong CRM, the cost associated with choosing the wrong CRM was highlighted. While not my intent, that discussion may cause some to consider staying with the status quo and choosing no CRM as the low-risk, no-cost answer. The cost associated with making no decision may well be higher than that of choosing the wrong CRM tools.

The Signs of Chaos: Why No Decision is the Wrong Decision

My experience, when first engaging with a new customer, is that they are in the midst of chaos and have finally reached the breaking point where a change needs to be made to grow or even maintain their current revenue. Here are a few of the typical symptoms of CHAOS:

  • Time-consuming updates of internal information including pipelines, forecasts, commissions, and quotes
  • Frustration builds due to the inherent inaccuracies of using spreadsheets or antiquated systems.
  • Reviews get more and more about figuring out the situation instead of what to do to get business
  • Sales managers complain that they have less time to work with their customers; find new customers.
  • Response time to customers and external partners has consistently declined; relationships are strained.
  • As soon as reports, such as forecasts, are complete; they are out of date. No longer relevant.
  • The entire organization loses confidence in the accuracy and usefulness of the data and reports.
  • Critical business decisions are made without considering or worse yet in spite of the information.

Think about it for a minute. If managing your internal processes negatively impacts your staff, your partners, your customers, and the information that is so critical in making business decisions, you have chaos. A business may be able to operate in this mode in the short term, but will not survive, let alone thrive, in the long term — as I am sure many of you have or are experiencing.

Once chaos has set in the most expensive decision is maintaining the status quo. The key to successfully transitioning to the right CRM system lies in three easy steps.

  • Solidify your internal processes and information: make sure you can define the critical aspects of each process and understand your information requirements.
  • Match the CRM tools to your processes: do not sacrifice core processes for bells and whistles.
  • Roll out your solution using best practices: Integrate usage into everyday business management.