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Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Selecting a Customer Relationship Management Software

Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) function as platforms that allow organizations to select and use multiple tools, applications, and a module for enhanced customer relationship management. This characteristic means that the success or failure of CRM project often depends on the selection of the right platform.

Customer Relationship Management Software can be likened to the foundation of a building or structure. The strength and dimensions of the foundation will depend on the type of structure being constructed. Laying a foundation suitable for a skyscraper for a small home will result in huge wastage of resources. Conversely, a low-cost low-strength foundation is unlikely to bear the burden of a huge structure.

Trying to use a platform with very few or too many features and customizations can prove to be a very expensive mistake - financially as well as operationally - for the organization. This is why the management must avoid committing the following mistakes when selecting a CRM platform.

Focusing Solely on the Cost

If your firm cannot afford the right platform, then deferring the decision is preferable to go in for a low-cost platform with restricted features and options. You cannot keep switching CRM platform every few years. The deployment process can stretch over many years, and it is important to choose a solution that will not become obsolete for a significant time in the future.

While there are ways to compare, select, and deploy CRM platforms with a tight budget, it is important to look beyond the cost. This rule is true even for cash-rich firms. Those without budgetary constraints end up working on the presumption that the costliest option is the best one. A bloated and extremely complicated system that introduces too many changes into your operational processes may result in disastrous consequences for your organization.

Going Overboard with Customizations and Modifications

An off-the-shelf platform is unlikely to work well with your unique solutions, applications, and processes. Yet, it is important to avoid selecting too many customizations and modifications all at once. The pilot project must be implemented in a holistic manner to understand the shortcomings in the generic platform.

Next, the various customization options must be analyzed to identify the best mix for your firm. Finally, the approval for the changes must come from your consumer-facing managers who will work the nuts and bolts of the platform to achieve the organizational goals. Even then, firms must track the performance of customized modules to ensure it does not affect the positive impact of the platform as a whole.

Trying to Do Everything In-House

Cloud computing has become an integral part of commercial and personal usage. In such a scenario, eschewing the Sales cloud and trying to do everything in-house will result in a huge drain on your organization's resources. What is the point of allocating precious capital to your IT department when the funds can be utilized to boost sales, improve brand authority, and maximize profits?

Of course, merely putting the CRM platform on the cloud is not a guarantee of successful deployment. However, it certainly will simplify the process of transition for your entire team. Since in-house operations don't offer any significant benefit over cloud-based solutions, it is advisable to focus on the latter, especially if you want greater flexibility with minimal integration issues.

Underestimating Integration and Agility

The right platform, if deployed properly, will get integrated with existing solutions and applications in a seamless manner. Further, the platform will lay the foundation for agile strategies that can be scaled up or down or modified as the business environment changes. Instead of treating integration as something to be considered only during deployment, managers should consider this factor during the selection process itself.

This will minimize disruptions to routine operations, encourage user adoption, and allow the business to enjoy financial and operational benefits faster. While integration issues cannot be completely resolved during the selection process itself, completely ignoring this factor may result in increased risk of flawed or failed deployment.

In an omni-channel and hyper-connected world, treating different aspects of the purchase of the Customer Relationship Management Software as independent tasks can be a huge mistake. Hence, consider deployment, usage, adoption, and maintenance even as you begin the process of selecting a CRM platform for your business.

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