5 Common Mistakes When Implementing Your First CRM

You’ve likely decided to use a CRM because it will optimize the way you build relationships with your customers and reduce the administrative burden in your business. However, mistakes made during implementation can, at best, reduce the benefits of using a CRM and, at worst, create a logistical nightmare that will hamper your productivity and growth.

Here are 5 common mistakes when implementing your first CRM to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls. 

Not Customizing the CRM for Your Business 

CRMs are designed to be customized to your business to offer a streamlined user experience and tailored processes. One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is using their chosen CRM out of the box instead of taking time to customize it to their needs. 

What can you do instead? Here are three starting points:

  • Consider what data you really need to collect and remove surplus fields to avoid overwhelming your users. 
  • Integrate your CRM with your tech stack to cut down on the admin work involved in maintaining data quality and save your users’ time updating multiple platforms.
  • Use language that makes sense for your business to reduce the friction involved in learning new systems. 
  • Get the people who will be using the CRM involved in the customization project before go-live. It will help them understand the value of the data they are collecting to other parts of your business, and will also get them more engaged, making your CRM implementation more likely to be a success. 

Missing Out on Valuable Features 

Make sure you are maximizing the value of your CRM by exploring all the additional features included. Depending on which CRM you have chosen, the number of features available can be overwhelming, so don’t hesitate to enlist help from your Customer Success Manager or a trusted consultant who can help you pinpoint your needs.

When working with your CRM provider, explore the ways that your business will stand to benefit from the CRM. It is then up to you how you choose to realize the full value of the CRM. You may choose to get your people using all the features at once, or you may opt to let your people master the basics first before rolling out additional functions. Either way, you understand the possibilities available to you and can make an informed decision.

Limiting CRM Use to Your Sales Department 

When most companies start using a CRM, the driving force is usually a desire to help the sales department keep better track of their leads and/or increase their productivity. However, throughout the sales cycle, your sales team learns vital information about prospects, and – configured thoughtfully – your CRM can help you capture this information for your other departments.

Here are some other departments that can benefit from the information in your CRM: 

  • Marketing departments can glean vital information about which prospects are successfully converting and which are not, helping to refine messaging and ICP. Depending on the information that you track in your CRM, they may also get further insight into the wants, needs, and concerns of opportunities. 
  • Account Management, Customer Success and Customer Support teams will have a record that they can access with information about the client – perhaps information about their tech stack or user types that they can then build upon during the product customization, implementation, or troubleshooting process. 
  • Sales Engineering can receive automatic alerts from their Sales team where technical help is needed during the sales cycle and keep track of deals they have been brought into.
  • The Finance team can use your CRM to pull data on customer metrics and understand how the business both operating currently and where it is trending in the future.
  • The Legal team can review paperwork and deal terms directly within your CRM and provide feedback to Sales and Customer Success regarding redlines or potential legal concerns with deals.
  • The data in your CRM will benefit your product development teams as they develop and innovate. The information in your CRM will show patterns as to why you are losing or winning deals, which can inform future development and help to prioritize new product features. 

Forgetting to Create Data Quality Processes 

Like most business tools, CRMs are only as good as the people using them. In this case, the quality of the data in your CRM is dependent on how diligently your people enter information. 

One of the common mistakes we see companies make is not making it easy on their users to collect important data- either through overly convoluted processes or a complete lack of process! Creating simple processes and minimum standards for your CRM will help ensure that users will be guided to input the data your business needs to operate optimally and avoid poor or duplicate data.  

Not every process needs to be fully automated – manual checks and audits can have value too. For example, if Sales management uses CRM reports for sales data and quota achievement, your Sales department will naturally be incentivized to keep the CRM up to date. Knowing that the sale won’t count against their figures otherwise is quite the incentive. 

Failing to Track Performance 

Like any other project, you need a way to track if your CRM is working as you hoped. Building feedback and performance tracking into your processes allows you to remain agile. You can make adjustments as needed and take advantage of opportunities that arise so that your CRM and, by extension, your company continues to benefit your business. 

Consider how you can track both direct feedback from your stakeholders and usage statistics. 

  1. Direct Feedback – As stakeholders across your business use your CRM in their roles, they will have valuable insight into what is working well and what could be improved. This can help you refine your CRM processes to ensure they fit into the end-to-end sales pipeline. 
  2. Usage statistics – Not everything is captured in direct feedback. There may be issues that aren’t raised because they are eclipsed by bigger issues or because feedback wasn’t given. Usage statistics will help you to identify where issues occur. 

Struggling with where to start to make your CRM implementation a success? Candybox will support you from the design stages right through to deployment for a smooth transition that maximizes engagement with your new CRM. Click here to talk to us about your CRM implementation today.