CRM Success – Fake News?
CRM software providers are trying hard to earn your business and want to convince you that their CRM software will help you close deals faster, improve close ratios and guarantee customer retention, but sometimes the marketing pitches can go a bit too far and as our new president would say: It’s fake news. To illustrate this below are three testimonials I grabbed from three CRM company websites.
“We are now selling faster, easier, and with more relevance. We close deals twice as fast as before.”
“Sales improved by 32% in the first 90 days. “
“Our CRM has given us a 99% Customer Retention Rate.”
As one of the leading providers of CRM software for small to mid-size businesses, I can tell you unequivocally that these statements are simply not true. In fact, CRM software has nothing to do with closing deals twice as fast as before. If sales have improved by 33% in 90 days it’s probably due to a sales promotion or an event; and if you have retained 99% of your customers it’s because you have a quality product and provide great service. It’s not because of your CRM system.
You see CRM is just a tool that requires management’s commitment and quality people to ensure any level of success. In fact, I believe CRM has become a commodity today and the more popular solutions like Salesforce.com, Microsoft CRM, and Commence CRM all provide similar functionality at similar price points so it really does not matter which one you select. What does matter is what complementary services these companies can offer to ensure the successful implementation and use of their products. This is an area where Commence CRM really shines.
While some firms, Microsoft CRM for example, use third parties to sell, implement and support their product, Commence CRM is a one stop shopping provider that utilizes its own staff to implement, train and support the product. The company also provides an array of services and best practices that help customers create marketing campaigns and lead generation programs, implement a structured sales process for managing the sales cycle, and create a customer portal for providing high quality service. These services actually play a greater role in improving marketing, sales execution and customer service than the software does. Of course, you do need a product that offers this level of functionality and not one of the low-cost out of the box offerings that do not. But the real key here is your commitment to using the software to streamline the internal business processes that will impact the performance of your business. CRM by itself won’t make this happen. So, forget all the hype and fake news you may read or out there and refocus your energy on the services the solution provider can provide to ensure your success.