10 CRM Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Making Them

Customer relationship management experts and seasoned users discuss how to avoid the most common mistakes, so you can get the most out of your CRM software or service with the least amount of hassle.

By Jennifer Lonoff Schiff
Mon, November 26, 2012

CIO — While CRM systems have been around for a long time now, choosing the right CRM platform--as well as implementing it--can still be tricky. Choose the wrong system or make a mistake in how you deploy it and you could wind up worse off than when you started.

To help managers increase their odds of success, CIO.com asked CRM experts and users to pinpoint some of the most commonly CRM mistakes and explain how these mistakes can be avoided.

CRM Mistake No. 1: Not thinking about the end users when choosing a CRM solution. "To succeed with CRM, organizations should get end users actively involved before ever looking at systems," says Chris Fritsch, a CRM consultant and owner of CLIENTSFirst Consulting. Explain to the people who will be using the CRM solution how it will benefit them, as well as the company as a whole. "The discussion should focus on CRM as a tool for improving the organization and achieving important organizational goals like enhancing revenue, reducing costs, automating processes and saving time."

CRM Mistake No. 2: Not choosing a CRM solution that is sales rep (i.e., mobile) friendly. One of "the biggest problem with CRM systems is getting sales reps to use them," says Lawrence Coburn, CEO and cofounder of DoubleDutch, a mobile enterprise app developer. "Desktop CRM systems were designed and optimized for management in offices, rather than for sales professionals on the go. To see higher engagement, businesses should choose user-friendly mobile CRM [solutions] that integrate effectively with current systems, while facilitating real-time updates as they make phone calls, visit customer's offices and schedule appointments."

CRM Mistake No. 3: Choosing a CRM solution that cannot scale. "Many businesses choose CRM solutions 'in the moment,' that is, looking at the current state of the business," explains Steve Litwin, the president of Litcom. "The CRM solution may be adequate for the first few years, but what happens when a business expands? When you have more customers and more orders? Businesses need to carefully assess their data when choosing a CRM solution, keeping the future of their business in mind."

CRM Mistake No. 4: Lack of social media integration--or ignoring social media as a CRM tool. In today's social media driven world, it is essential to have a CRM system that includes your social media interactions with customers. But "it's not enough to merely collect and monitor [this information]," says Sid Banerjee, CEO of Clarabridge, a provider of customer experience management solutions. "Businesses need to intelligently listen to their customers and... actively engage with [them] over Facebook Twitter [and] other social outlets," he argues.

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