CRM deployment challenges for SMEs
CRM deployment is a critical step for SMEs in their growth path. However, there are a few critical challenges that the enterprise needs to overcome for CRM deployment to give long term successful results. The CRM vendor could play a crucial role in this journey.
Any small or medium enterprise on the growth path is certain to benefit from deploying a CRM solution. You could be running a furniture store, travel agency, a hotel or a construction firm. You could be offering services such as tax consultancy, legal aid or pest control. Irrespective of the nature of your business, the best way to ensure revenue growth and customer lock-in is by implementing a CRM solution.
If CRM is so critical to a company’s growth, why do some enterprises hesitate to sign up for it? There are thousands of success stories of enterprises after adopting CRM. But there are also reports of complaints and poor adoption from SMEs while trying to deploy CRM in their company. Entrepreneurs face some key challenges while deploying CRM, which might affect successful CRM adoption.
Let’s delve into some of these challenges and figure out how to overcome them.
Key Challenges in CRM adoption:
- First computerize operations, then implement CRM – Small enterprises are often found running their entire operations manually. Payments, stock records, employee information may be maintained in book ledgers or in separate excel sheets. Most of customer leads and follow-up still happens through human to human contact.
When they realize they are unable to scale their business, they cannot right away implement CRM in their enterprise. The first step is to digitize their entire operations. They need to first invest in computer and internet infrastructure. Only then they can deploy a CRM solution to consolidate the sales and customer interface aspects. It will also help in computerizing their billing, inventory and other mechanisms. If companies already have some amount of computerized operations such as email, social media, database storage, then they have to integrate their existing systems with the newly deployed CRM solution.
But once the initial hurdle is crossed, the entrepreneur will start to see the benefits within 3-6 months. The CRM solution would help in consolidating customer records, leads, order status and all other customer facing aspects. This will lead to great savings of time and effort
- The target user is not computer savvy – One serious challenge that CRM solutions face is poor product adoption rates. Can you imagine even a CRM giant like SalesForce has a poor user adoption rate, sometimes as low as 15%? The primary reason for this challenge is the lack of focus on the actual user.
The primary user of a CRM suite is a sales person. He may not be very familiar with software usage, his key strength is people to people contact. So when complicated user interfaces are presented to him within the CRM product, he simply gives up! He might prefer his age old method of doing things manually. This is also true for the analytics part of the CRM solution. However, in order to overcome this challenge, all that the enterprise needs to do is pick the right CRM vendor partner. They will analyse your business scenario, suggest the appropriate CRM solution. They also provide ongoing training to your staff, until the staff reach a comfort level. So that your sales people can confidently use the CRM solution and benefit from it.
- Wrong choice of CRM product – There is a wide gamut of available solutions in the CRM space. Starting from basic Do-It-Yourself CRM apps to elaborate deployments like SalesForce. One crucial mistake enterprises tend to make is pick the wrong product, without doing sufficient homework. This could lead to deployment delays, difficulties in integrating existing infrastructure to the CRM system and staff training complexities.
It’s important to pick a CRM product with simple and user friendly interfaces. Don’t pick a product more complex than what you need. Consult a CRM vendor and jointly work out your 2-5 year growth map. Then based on your medium to long term sales forecast, you can choose the right CRM solution. Now it’s also important for entrepreneurs to set aside some of their time for the CRM deployment and transition from the old mechanism to the CRM enabled mechanism.
Once these challenges are overcome, SMEs can rest assured that the CRM deployment will start showing positive results within 3-6 months. The mundane and repetitive tasks will be eliminated. The customer leads and conversions will be easy to monitor. The CRM dash board will give an entrepreneur a comprehensive view of each customer’s relationship status. The company will smoothly transition from disjoint, inefficient customer transactions to lasting, integrated customer relationships!
- Lack of ongoing customer support – Sometimes enterprises choose low cost CRM products and assume that after deployment, they won’t require any vendor support. This is a crucial underestimation. Deployment might be a one-time task, but ongoing customer support is very critical for a successful CRM roll-out. Just like how a mother takes care of her child during infancy stage, provides step by step guidance, feeds liquid food initially and eventually solid food. CRM support does a similar function for enterprises. So its important to have a continuing partnership with the CRM vendor.
We at Rixyncs are a leading CRM service provider based out of Bangalore, India. We have been in the business for over a decade and have helped hundreds of small and medium size companies successfully adopt the CRM enterprise business process. As a result, our clients have seen growth of up to 35% in their revenues.
We are global premier partners for vtiger and affiliated partners with all the major CRM providers like SalesForce, Zoho and Microsoft Dynamics. Get in touch with us and we will be glad to give you a demo on how your business could benefit from acquiring the CRM advantage. Visit us at http://www.rixyncs.co.in/ to know more.
Author Profile – Anuradha is a freelance writer cum corporate trainer in the IT/Telecom domain with 20 years of experience. She served in senior technical and management positions in Huawei and TCS for 10+ years. Then gave up the traditional corporate ladder to go solo – in order to escape horrendous city traffic and to be at her own boss!