What If I Already Have a CRM (And It's Not Working Very Well)?

What If I Already Have a CRM (And It's Not Working Very Well)?

We understand. You put your heart and soul (and wallet) into a CRM system you thought was “the one.” It’s been months—maybe even years—and it’s just not living up to the hype. Since you’ve been there from the beginning, you’re set on making it work. You’ve sunk too much time and money into this system to just give up on it. Right?

Okay, we want you to take a deep breath, here, as we tell you, it’s okay to leave it all behind. It’s hard to hear and even harder to do, but you have to think about the big picture. Just hear us out. Would you rather:

A. Hang on and keep striving toward goals your CRM can’t handle, sinking more time and money to make things better, but knowing it’ll never be the perfect solution you’re looking for.

B. Cut your losses and go for the gold, putting your past struggles behind you and starting over with a new CRM that just might give you everything you’ve ever wanted.

As beautiful and freeing as Option B sounds, it’s not easy. But we promise you, it’s worth the effort. Take a step back and think about how much you believe in your current system. If you’re feeling defeated looking at a CRM that just isn’t gonna cut it, it’s time to move on. We’ll give you a minute to say a tearful goodbye to your current CRM. Go ahead. Take your time.

 Phew. Dry those eyes, ’cause now it’s time to get to work! We’ve come up with a step-by-step list to keep you focused while choosing a new CRM. See our full list, below, and print off this shortened version to keep on your desk.

1. Pro and con your CRM

Take a look at your current CRM and write down what it’s doing well and what you wish it could do. Sit down with your marketing, sales, AND customer service teams and discuss it together. CRMs aren’t just a sales tool, so make sure anyone who could have access to it is part of the pre-purchase discussion.

Define your business’s vision, strategy, and objectives. A CRM should enhance your strategy, but don’t expect it magically solve all of your problems. You provide the brain power; the CRM is a tool to help you get where you want to go.

2. Look at new CRMs

This should be the fun part. Look at all the shiny, new stuff out there and dream big, kid! We’ll cut your dreams down to size in the next step.

Look at the big guys, like Salesforce, HubSpot, and bpm’online. Find some niche options that may be less well-known, but could work perfect for you. Investigate their claims by reading customer reviews. See what Forrester and Gartner have to say about them. Arm yourself with knowledge so you can make the most informed decision you can.

Don’t be afraid to draw out your information-gathering process. As you’ve learned from your current (crappy) situation, this is a big decision—and one you’re not going to want to redo a few months down the line.

3. Narrow down your criteria

Now that you know what’s out there and how it’s different from your current system, take a good, long look at those lists. Which features are absolutely necessary for you to have? What’s going to make a difference in your ROI? What’s going to make your employees’ lives easier? Which features are just new and shiny, not something you actually need? The market is full of buzzwords. Beware of companies that are full of flash and not quality.

4. Get a demo

With your many pro and con lists clutched to your chest, start reaching out to CRM vendors and get a demo. We don’t suggest that you demo anything and everything out there—that’s just a waste of time. Find one or two CRMs to really dive into, and take advantage of all the pre-purchase information you can gather. When you try out a CRM, find out how well it handles your specific workflow. Ask about integrations. Really make sure it does what you need, and if it doesn’t, ask about it. Maybe there are applications you can plug in to answer your needs.

5. Make a decision

Now, it’s time to decide. Again, try to include many departments in the decision-making process. Of course, you can’t make everyone happy, but including them in the conversation will at least allow their concerns to be heard.

In the end, do what feels right. You’ve taken your time and thought logically about your decision. If it’s a close call, rely on your gut. It knows what it’s doing.

Once you’ve reached your decision, sit down with your employees and make sure everyone understands your thought-process. Let them know that implementing a CRM and learning all of its tricks takes time. Everyone needs to have a little patience and a little faith. ’Cause this is it, folks. This is the solution that’s gonna stick. 

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