Traditional CRM solution has an increasingly mounting number of drawbacks, including length of time for training, implementation runway, cost of administration and lack of user benefit among others. Especially with established brands, these issues have long been taken for granted—“part of the program.”
But there is a new paradigm with relation to CRM, and that new paradigm means drastic differences in cost, time and usability for those that take advantage of it:
When a CRM solution is purchased, it must then be implemented within a company. For larger sites—and even for some of the smaller ones—this can mean the hiring of a consultant for the implementation period, who will work with the IT staff and with company employees to get the new application up and running. The implementation period can and often does take months—during which the company must additionally continue business as usual. It can also cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Because of the duration and complexity of the implementation, company personnel must spend time learning the ropes of the new CRM system before it actually goes into use, and have to concurrently use the old solution as well. To alleviate the double-work, the switch to the new system could be and sometimes is immediate—but learning a new system and trying to utilize it at the same time can be a risky measure. Valuable data can be misfiled or even not entered in the first place.
Compare this traditional twisted and troubled implementation path to that of a CRM solution falling under the new paradigm. It can be implemented and up and running in as little as a week. It requires no onsite consulting. The implementation cost is literally a fraction of what it used to be. And since these new solutions are intuitive and easily learned, there is minimal to no confusion once they are up and running.
#2: CRM Solution Training
After a CRM solution is implemented—or, in some cases while it is being implemented—training must occur for all company personnel that will be using the new system. The more complex the solution, the more training is required. A number of traditional CRM vendors charge a fee for training your staff on the new system, adding more cost to the overall purchase, and the training can take weeks or even months. For your sales staff this training time is time they are not selling—an additional and hidden cost for the company.
As new sales reps come on board, in addition to learning all about your company and its offerings they must also learn the CRM system. Someone needs to train them—yet another continuing cost.
For CRM solutions falling under this new paradigm, training takes a matter of hours. For the initial training, it can be done by the system vendor over the web, so requires no onsite consulting. Because of the relative simplicity of these systems, bringing new sales reps on board is a snap and, as with the initial training, takes hours, not days, weeks or months.
Traditional CRM solutions often require a full-time or nearly full-time administrator. This is someone who makes sure the system is up and running at all times, can answer any questions from staff and who trouble-shoots when there are problems. This is time and dedicated staff that could well be used for other activity within a company.
CRM solutions under the new paradigm can be administrated in as little as a few hours a month, which means no singly dedicated staff are required. You can utilize your IT personnel for more important matters.
#4: Lack of User Benefit
The primary staff whom a CRM solution must benefit are, of course, the sales force. In actuality they are the “customer relationship” in “customer relationship management.” Hence a CRM solution must, most of all, benefit salespeople.
Traditionally sales reps are required to enter plentiful data into a CRM solution—but normally that CRM solution is of minimal benefit to them. Hence the overall salesperson opinion on CRM solutions is generally low, which should come as no surprise. They must spend valuable sales time being data entry clerks, and then generate or compose reports on top of that. It’s costing them income—and it’s costing the company income, too.
Under the new paradigm, the CRM solution is designed in such a say that sales reps can utilize it to organize and analyze their own sales pipelines. They can rid themselves of extra and previously necessary methods, such as spreadsheets and notes. Much of the data required for management can be accessed by anyone needing it, as it is easily found within the CRM system; so therefore reps are no longer required to constantly create additional reports. And the reports that are required can be generated in a minimum amount of time.
Interestingly, these new CRM solutions not only benefit the sales reps; because of their intuitive design, the rest of the company finds them far easier to interact with, too.
The velocity of today’s commerce—along with requirements to cut costs of doing business—have of necessity brought about this new breed of CRM solutions. Take advantage and see a major improvement in your bottom line.
Watch for more articles in our series on the new paradigm in CRM solutions.