12 Reasons Why Your CRM Fails…and How to Fix Them

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are worth the investment and what makes it a must-have resource. However, the price tag and the time/dedication aren’t so attractive. More so, the “horror” stories we hear from failed implementations may make a manager sway back and forth before making such a huge decision. But the bright side to that is there are success stories and companies who are striving because of their CRM systems. Jennifer Karpus-Romain from Business2Community shares how we can learn from these successful implementations by fixing the common fails associated with CRM. Below are Karpus-Romain’s 12 most common reasons that a CRM fails, and how to fix them.

  1. Lack of user adoption – Maybe the CRM isn’t integrating well with existing workflows and processes, or your employees are just confused. This situation can often be avoided by bringing end users into the design and user-experience testing processes, and by enhancing CRM training.
  1. Lack of vision – If you don’t have a clear vision of what you need to utilize your CRM for to accomplish goals, you can lose focus and implementation may turn disastrous. The more specific your plans are for what your CRM will do for your company, the better.
  1. Thinking it’s just a technology solution – The technology alone can’t improve those relationships. CRM requires proper collaboration with the user and software to generate powerful results.
  1. Poor planning – Every moment invested in planning serves to prevent later confusion and frustration, ultimately helping to prevent a CRM failure.
  1. Lack of support – In order for your CRM system to have its best success, everyone involved with the process needs to be on board. The better their understanding of the value the CRM brings to the company, the more invested they will become in its long-term success.
  1. Choosing the wrong software or vendor – Choosing the right partner is important to your success, but so is selecting the right software. A true CRM partner will always build a customized solution that fits your needs.
  1. Too many bells and whistles – A great CRM provides a lean user experience, only making use of those elements which are absolutely necessary. The more intuitive and streamlined the user experience, the better the user adoption rate.
  1. No measurable objectives –  Your CRM project needs clear, measurable objectives that can be easily tracked, analyzed, and evaluated. This allows you to make timely changes to the CRM itself, workflows, and even training long before the CRM is at risk of failure.
  1. Not thinking of customer perspective – If your CRM is failing, it’s worth taking a step back to see how your customers (usually through your employees) interact with your CRM. You may find some surprising disconnects, roadblocks, and other frustrations that are only obvious when you work backwards from the customer’s experience.
  1. Failing to involve end users – Design your CRM around the needs of the people who will use it most – end users.  By bringing these end users into the planning and user-testing stages, these headaches and costs can often be avoided completely.
  1. CRM is considered a one-time thing – A great CRM isn’t the result of a single, perfectly executed implementation. Ongoing refinements, revisions, and expansions lead to success.
  1. Attempting the process alone – A CRM system can catapult your company’s efficiency if you implement it properly. The best way to do that is to partner with a customer relationship management software expert to ensure you are engaging your employees and getting the most from your investment.

Whether you’re in the process of implementing a CRM system or reevaluating the current strategy you have now, keep these tips in mind and you’ll be on your way to a successful path.


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3 Challenges of CRM Implementation SMBs Face in 2019

Customer engagement and satisfaction is crucial for business clout. That’s why customer relationship management (CRM) systems are such a necessary platform for small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) to utilize to stay relevant in their customer’s minds. These softwares provide useful databases, analytics and techniques to not only store customer information, but gain insight to trends, performance reviews, and future plans. Most importantly, they help your sales team manage and maintain valuable customer relationships. This fast growing software market isn’t slowing any time soon, though there is still some hesitation from potential users. The problem that SMBs face is their struggle to achieve their sales goals even with CRMs in place.

Victor Iryniuk at Business2Community shares 3 challenges that SMBs face during CRM implementation.
  • Challenge 1: Absence of mobile CRM – Studies show that 65% of sales who use CRM on their mobile devices achieved sales goals. If your company still uses a desktop-only version of CRM, check if it’s available on mobile.
  • Challenge 2: Relying on third-party CRM integrators too much – Do small research beforehand: tools like Zapier are specialized in connecting different software tools. So even if your CRM has a handful of native integrations, it can have hundreds of free third-party integrations available to users.
  • Challenge 3: Wrong CRM system – Never choose CRM in a rush. Define your workflow, prepare requirements to CRM and think who will use it before you commit.

No matter the size of your firm or your customer base, you should keep in mind some of these challenges that can come up and to hopefully avoid or prepare for repercussions if such events occur. With the right adjustments, SMBs will see a change in their sales goals.


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Seven Steps For Successful CRM Implementation

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) makes it easier for a company to keep track of their sales and marketing, yet people still feel hesitant when considering implementing such systems to their organizations. We hear stories of failed implementations, money wasted and chaos and frustration when learning the new systems. But not all CRM implementations go bad. When they do prove to be successful, companies immediately see a positive change in organizational productivity. But the major pain point with CRM isn’t with technology – it is entirely cultural. “The inconvenient truth is that some salespeople simply don’t want to utilize any system that monitors their activity or that they perceive as wasting their time,” says Marc Emmer at Forbes. “To use such a system requires a disciplined approach that is lacking in many organizations.”

Here are seven keys to utilizing CRM successfully.

  1. Pick the right system.
  2. Map your sales and marketing process.
  3. Consider creating an end-to-end solution.
  4. Pick the right partners.
  5. Get feedback early and often.
  6. Develop a project plan.
  7. Ensure you deploy a scalable solution that works.

Don’t be afraid to take the risk and implement a CRM system for your organization. Utilizing the right CRM can be a real game-changer for your company. As mentioned before, when implemented right, you’ll see an immediate return to your investment.


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6 Reasons Your Business Needs CRM Software

Businesses thrive and make profits through their customers. So why is it that not all businesses have considered investing in customer relationship management (CRM) software? CRM software is a valuable invesment because it improves work productivity and customer relationships. How you form and maintain relationships between you and your customers makes a huge difference in retaining them. It also applies to how you act on new leads and prevent people from bouncing away to one of your competitors. Lexie Lu at SocPub shares several reasons why you should invest in CRM software, as it will help your business relationships in the long run:

  1. Elevate Your Internal Communication – CRM software helps sales and marketing communicate better, as well as allows leadership tp better understand their client relationships.
  2. Reduce IT Costs – With all the money you save implementing a CRM software, you can utilize it elsewhere in the company, such as training your sales team or creating team-building opportunities.
  3. Increase Productivity – Implementing company-wide CRMs helps increase productivity and reducing wasted time trying to track down information needed to complete a task.
  4. Understand Your Customers Better – A customer who feels important and heard is much more likely to do business with you than one who feels they are starting from scratch every time.
  5. Automate Daily Tasks – A good CRM system automates some of them and frees up time for more creative endeavors.
  6. Remove Miscalculations – CRM software creates reports and runs statistics for you, removing the potential for human error.

More and more companies are jumping on the CRM bandwagon and so should you. If you’re planning on growing your company, a good CRM software may just be the push you need to increase your profits.


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How To Smooth The CRM Installation Process

In his latest Forbes post, Barrett Cordero, president of leading global speakers bureau BigSpeak, shares an interesting article for entrepreneurs on the process of installing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems as stress-free as possible. Cordero and his team have successfully implemented their CRM software and is already seeing immediate return on their investment. Of course, as with any implementation, they had their share of obstacles, though Cordero’s team managed to have an overall easy transaction. Below are some tips/guidelines on how his team did this smooth implementation.

  • Set expectations super low. That way, when things go wrong, you’ll be expecting it — and it won’t put more stress on your team.
  • Make sure the system meets minimum work integration requirements. Define the minimum work integration requirements you need the system to meet before you launch. Don’t be afraid to delay the launch by a few days or weeks if needed — it’s more important to hit your minimum requirements first.
  • Let employee experts lead the way. Ask for employee volunteers from various departments to train with the vendor. That way, they’ll be on the lookout for what solutions are needed to solve specific issues in their respective departments.
  • Overcommunicate until you annoy people. As a leader, you will need to go over the information several times and then check to see if people understood.
  • Keep pushing until it’s right. If you think all the heavy lifting is done in preparation, think again. When you install a system, look forward to spending lots of quality time with your vendor to get it right.

Implementing a new CRM will greatly benefit your business. Though you must be prepared for all the hurdles that come with it. With the few tips that Cordero shared above, you will be on your way to a smoother installation process.


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Are you not using your CRM solution to its maximum potential?

Technology has given businesses a great advantage. However, simply buying or implementing something new does not guarantee immediate return on investment. In the case of customer relationship management (CRM) tools, these powerful solutions have the potential to dramatically increase your company’s revenue — but only if you know how to utilize your software to its full extent. According to, in order to leverage your brand new CRM tool to its maximum potential, there are many things that you can do from your side:

  • Customize and improvise – Many CRM solutions come with the capabilities of customization – data, templates, communications, anything that can build better customer relations. This will not only save time but also help you in streamlining your data in the CRM.
  • Streamline your data – To take advantage of a CRM solution you should start adding the existing data to the software along with current data to make it a single point of reference for all your teams. Doing so will build transparency in your daily operations and reduce redundancy and data duplicity, ultimately saving time for your teammates.
  • Build strong strategies – Through a CRM tool, you can discover and target stronger leads with the help your existing client database. It helps you in organizing the leads according to their relevance and feasibility, thereby increasing the time efficiency of your sales and marketing teams.
  • Mobilize your sales process –  In order to mobilize your sales team fully, making the course content accessible through smartphones and other devices from anywhere in the world at any time is important. This will save the time spent in the back and forth communication required for the transfer of certain data from one POC to another.
  • Improve customer relations – This should come as an obvious because it’s in the name. In making your customers happy, you need to build your marketing strategies around customer behavior, social media, feedback, and complaints. This can be implemented through email marketing, creating attractive offers, and even event management.

Deciding on a CRM solution is just the beginning. Make sure you choose the right one for your business and utilize every tool necessary to maximize your return on investment.


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4 Things Sales Managers Need From a CRM System

Even with the advancement in technology taking over almost every business, position, and process, there is still a need for strong relationships to develop organically – with human connection. A computer cannot build relationships by itself; you still need people for that. They’re the ones who feed computers intelligence. According to HubSpot, 58 percent of sales teams are increasing in size. With an increase in staff comes the need for experienced managers who know the value of face-to-face, personalized customer relationships. Sales managers are responsible for reporting to the board, managing technology needs, and of course managing people. Technology is perhaps unavoidable and integral to today’s business world, but often it seems that the tools that are supposed to help us end up making things overly complicated and not intuitive. Salespeople for example need a customer relationship management (CRM) system. It is essential to not only the sales team, but also the manager. The right CRM solution can save you time and money while helping close more deals. But it can also get in the way and end up being a hindrance to your ability to successfully manage people if it’s too difficult to use. Desitnation CRM suggests four things for mangers to look for and leverage in a CRM system as they run their sales teams:

  1. Workflow – A CRM system should aid workflow, not hinder it.
  2. Collaboration – A CRM system can fuel collaboration by giving each team member access to real-time data.
  3. Automation – A CRM should minimize your need to micromanage.
  4. Integrations – A CRM system should work seamlessly alongside the other tools your sales team uses, like email, contracts, and inventory.

Technology has the potential to improve a sales team and free up your time as a manager to focus more on helping you grow your business.


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5 Ways AI is Changing CRM

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has greatly changed the way we do business. In one such area, customer relationship management (CRM), AI has improved its usability. An article from IT Toolbox shares 5 ways that AI is changing CRM.

  1. Increased Automation – By taking care of administrative tasks like data entry and anomaly detection, AI is making CRM more accessible to employees and less of a chore. Increased automation also helps with lead visibility, streamlining workflows and improving team productivity.
  2. Advanced Data Mining – Whereas old CRM systems gathered data without necessarily making sense of the data, AI mixed with CRM is helping the data in these systems finally become useful.
  3. Sales Process Optimization – Legacy CRMs lack personalization and aren’t very intuitive as far as understanding what drives customer sales. AI baked into CRM helps businesses optimize sales by assisting in price optimization, forecasting, up-selling and cross-selling.
  4. Improved Personalization – AI helps CRM deliver a far more personalized customer experience. This means that CRM paired with AI is starting to offer next best actions, inform users of potential customer upsells, spot customer care issues before they get out of hand, and help CRMs interface with marketing, sales and support.
  5. Enhanced Collaboration – Creativity and collaboration continue to be predominant forces in determining a company’s ability to adapt and compete. Departments can no longer afford to operate as silos — sales teams included. AI-enabled CRM is helping companies meet that challenge around breaking down silos and fostering inter-departmental collaboration.

CRM has been somewhat static for the past few years in terms of new features and functionality. With the rise of AI, that’s changing. AI-enabled CRM is reducing the pain points that used to hamper CRM use, and at the same it is greatly improving the intelligence of the system. This translates into more actionable data, and systems that are easier to use.

It is an exciting time for CRM and the businesses that rely on them.


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Destination XL Group Selects Infor to Optimize Customer Engagement

Infor’s newest partnership is with Destination XL Group (DXLG), the industry’s leader in men’s big and tall apparel. This partnership allows DXLG to increase their market share and top line sales, improve customer segmentation and drive state-of-the-art marketing activities. Infor Alliance partner Three Deep Marketing will work alongside DXLG to leverage Infor’s rich breadth of customer engagement solutions to deepen relationships with existing and new customers by better understanding preferences around promotions, pricing and assortment. DXLG will implement Infor CloudSuite CRM, Infor Marketing Resource Management (MRM), Infor Omni-channel Campaign Management (OCM), and Infor Loyalty powered by CrowdTwist to provide relevant communications across all channels. “With Infor’s end-to-end customer engagement solutions, we can understand our customers better, produce rich and deep customer profiles and drive incredibly smart segmentation to connect and engage with our customers in a more meaningful and targeted way,” said Jim Davey, CMO of Destination XL Group. Infor’s Retail division now supports more than 2,500 global fashion, retail, and grocery brands that work to modernize operations by taking advantage of the latest consumer and business technologies — mobile, social, science and cloud.


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Seven Signs Your Business Should Move To A New CRM System

Nothing makes an organization run more smoothly than the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. However, you must regularly evaluate if your current system is doing the job for your growing company. Barrett Cordero, President of BigSpeak, a leading global speakers bureau, recently learned that their CRM system needed updating. He shares seven signs below that you should look for to know when it’s time for you to update your CRM system to something better.

  1. It’s unreliable – If your CRM used to work perfectly but now can’t be relied on 99% of the time, it’s time to switch systems.
  2. It doesn’t do mobile – If you can’t access your CRM by phone, you miss opportunities.
  3. It doesn’t integrate with other software systems – integrating with other systems (sales, contracts, websites) is a huge time saver.
  4. It’s user unfriendly – friendly deisgn makes for quick and easy navigation (again, saving time).
  5. It doesn’t work well across departments – If your CRM works well for one department but bad for others, then it’s bad for your entire company.
  6. It doesn’t have growth potential – If your CRM doesn’t have the potential to grow with your company, then it’s time to find the kind of CRM that can grow with you.
  7. It’s all you talk about – When you reach this stage, it’s time to do the research, take the leap and spend some time getting a new system in place.

It may take a while to realize you need to change your CRM system. But when you first notice it, take immediate action and start finding a newer and better system to help your business go further.


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