By : Ross Peetoom | September 21, 2023 | 9 min read

Redefining Success with CRM 2.0

Group of People on CRM

Is your CRM quietly morphing into a silent saboteur? It’s easy to overlook creeping inefficiencies as teams hustle to meet deadlines and targets. But the symptoms may be there for those who know where to look: 

  • Sales processes, once streamlined, now seem labyrinthine, causing unnecessary delays and sometimes even lost opportunities. 
  • The once sleek interface now feels cluttered and unintuitive, leading to longer onboarding times for new employees and a noticeable decline in productivity. 
  • As customer demands evolve and become more nuanced, the outdated CRM struggles to keep up, resulting in a perceptible gap between what the client expects and what the business delivers. 
  • Moreover, internal feedback can sometimes paint a bleak picture: teams might express that the CRM, which was once a boon, has now become a bane—hindering tasks rather than facilitating them. 

This growing discord is not just a technological issue but a business one, and recognizing these signs is the first step to addressing them. 

Understanding the Need for a Pivot

It’s not always easy to know if your CRM requires an overhaul. An overhaul is rarely required and can be avoided with proactive measures that keep the CRM relevant. Arguably the most important thing is to recognize change, question if a pivot is necessary, and understand your options. Sometimes the triggers of these changes are clearer: 

  • Business Model: A new line of business focuses on B2C rather than B2B customers or one that has a dramatically shorter sales cycle than your traditional offerings. 
  • Mergers and acquisitions: While promising on the commercial front, they can bring forth a mishmash of systems and practices, necessitating a CRM realignment. 
  • New leadership: A change in leadership can trigger a change in direction and approach as new ideas impact teams already working with the CRM. 
  • Customer expectations: What was once a ‘delight’ for a customer might now be a baseline expectation. 

Failing to recognize and respond to these shifts can erode a company’s competitive edge and lead to diminishing returns on CRM investments. Hence, understanding when to pivot is not merely about software upgrades; it’s about ensuring that your CRM remains a living, breathing entity, symbiotically aligned with the rhythm of your business and its evolving aspirations. 

Stay Calm and Consider Options

Facing CRM frustrations, many companies react hastily. At Faye, in my role as CRM Practice Lead, I’ve observed two common reactions: 

  • Jumping ship to a new CRM vendor. 
  • Applying quick fixes to pressing issues. 

While both routes carry obvious costs like migrations or hiring external resources, the less-visible tolls—change management, retraining, or reinforcing inefficient processes—are just as significant. 

A 2019 Capterra report revealed that nearly a third of CRM users have switched platforms before. 

Yet, an often overlooked option is relaunching on the same platform. This avenue, reimagining the CRM on a familiar platform, holds merits—employees know the system, data remains in place, and there’s no added subscription cost. 

Reflection and Realignment

So, don’t be hasty, take a moment, and think about what you are trying to achieve before you flip the Monopoly board or put more time and effort into a seemingly endless hole. Get a herbal tea and play the best of Enya. Now you are relaxed and focused, try to answer, as honestly as possible, some of the questions below: 

  • When did we implement the CRM? 
  • What were our business goals at the time? 
  • What were the initial goals when the CRM was first implemented? 
  • Have we achieved those business goals? 
  • Did the CRM contribute to us meeting any of the goals you did achieve? 
  • What lessons have you learned from your initial implementation? 

Assess the Present

Identify how the current CRM configuration supports or hinders present objectives. Shed light on gaps, redundancies, and potential areas of enhancement. It’s not just about fixing what’s broken but optimizing what’s working. 

  • What are our current business goals? 
  • How does the current CRM configuration support or hinder present objectives? 
  • What is the CRM currently doing vs. what it should be doing? 

By marrying the lessons of the past with the aspirations of the present, businesses can realign their CRM to be not just a tool but a strategic partner, ready and equipped to navigate the nuanced demands of your team. 

Leveraging Modern CRM Capabilities 

As we have seen, things change and evolve, and if you invested in a strong CRM vendor, you can expect there have been significant changes and innovations within the software you subscribe to that can supercharge your business operations as well. 

Remember, when you pay your annual or monthly subscription fee, you are not just paying for the insurance of a support team in case something goes wrong; you are also investing in the vendor, that is, you are funding efforts to continually innovate and provide tools on the platform that your business can then leverage to create better employee and customer experiences. It is still on you though to leverage those new tools! 

Setting up CRM is fast, much faster than it ever has been in the past. That is seemingly paradoxical since there are more tools to configure, more things we can do with those tools, and the demands of companies implementing CRM are more complex than they were in the past. But it is increasingly rare that I see companies needing code-level customizations of their systems. The same is true for custom integration projects where we now leverage iPaaS middlewares, and of course, we are on the brink of some really exciting changes with AI. 

These things have significant effects on the time to market and ongoing maintenance of modern CRM implementations. 

Crafting Your CRM 2.0 Blueprint 

“Customer Relationship Management” is a business process and not just technology. So, begin by removing the specific software from the initial equation and focus on current business needs. With those established, here are some practical steps you can follow. 

  • Vision Statement: Clearly define what you aim to achieve with your CRM. Whether it’s streamlined sales processes or capturing the customer journey start to finish, have a clear mission. 
  • Stakeholder Feedback: Involve teams that interact with the CRM daily. Their on-the-ground insights can spotlight pain points and areas for enhancement. 
  • Gap Analysis: Compare your current CRM’s capabilities with your defined goals to identify gaps. Prioritize these based on business impact. 
  • Leverage New Features: Stay abreast of the latest features your CRM platform offers. Identify which can be adopted to bridge the gaps you’ve highlighted. 
  • Implementation Plan: Roll out changes in phases. A staggered approach ensures that disruptions are minimized and learnings from each phase are incorporated into the next. 
  • Training and Change Management: Prepare teams for the transition. Effective training programs and clear communication minimize resistance and streamline adoption. 

Conclusion

Embarking on a “CRM 2.0” exercise helps you break the cycle, drags you back to a point where you are thinking strategically about your CRM program and its place within your business.  

Ready to break free from the ‘break, fix, tweak’ cycle and unlock the full potential of your CRM? Reach out to our CRM experts today and discover how Faye can strategically transform your business for greater efficiency and growth. 

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