CRM software historically has been the target of criticism by companies who haven’t seen decent ROI. Obviously, those companies that have chosen to invest in customer relationship management software did so because they understood the importance of CRM to their organizations. (Download our free whitepaper, Beyond Outside Sales, to learn how industrial sales organizations are using CRM to improve customer service, manage complex sales cycles and segment customers.)

Imagining that they will quickly reap a high return on their investment once the technology is in place, many business leaders have enthusiastically pushed forward. But critical errors during implementation can keep CRM’s valuable benefits from being realized.

The good news is that being aware of and avoiding some of the most common hurdles can improve ROI no matter where a company is at in the implementation process.

  1. Lack of direction. Companies with clear sales challenges but without clear goals that see CRM as a silver bullet will inevitably be disappointed.
  2. Lack of buy-in. Salespeople that are resistant to change, and managers that don’t lead CRM implementation by example, can sabotage CRM’s potential benefits.
  3. Impatience. In many ways, you get out of CRM what you put into it, so companies that aren’t willing to invest significant time before, during and after a CRM implementation will likely be disap­pointed.
  4. Failure to leverage the data. Entering data into a CRM is only the first step. Teams that are trained only on how to put things into the system – and not on why they are doing so – won’t extract value back out of it.
  5. Selecting the wrong software or service provider. Your processes should drive the technology you use, not the other way around, so working with a software provider that doesn’t understand your business will result in a sales process and CRM platform that are misaligned.

Companies that anticipate and prepare for these obstacles can work with their teams and software partners to overcome them, moving them closer to achieving the ROI modern CRM is capable of providing.

The importance of preparation before selecting and implementing a CRM cannot be overstated. Learn what CRM is typically used for, what features are typically included, the difference between on-premise vs. cloud-based software, how to avoid common obstacles and more in our free whitepaper, Beyond Outside Sales: How CRM is used in today’s industrial markets.

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