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Learn About Industry Trends, Best Practices, and Current Events

One of the most important tools you can provide for your organization is a customer relationship management (CRM) system. When used correctly, this centralized platform helps sales teams manage customer interactions and prioritize activities to keep customers at the very center of their attention. It also allows reps to spend more time with customers and prospects, leading to more closed details—and a sales process that’s reduced by up to 14 percent!—and an increase in customer loyalty. 

CRM solutions are packed with positive business possibilities: They have the potential to increase conversion rates by up to 300%. And implementing a CRM can result in an ROI of over 245%. So it’s no surprise that the most successful sales organizations use their CRM system 81% more often

All said and done, a CRM seems like a no-brainer for your organization to invest in. But a word of caution: There are some inconvenient truths about CRM that you should be aware of before signing on the dotted line to implement a new system. 

Five Inconvenient Truths to Know about CRM

Inconvenient Truth #1: Not All CRMs Are Good
It’s like your geometry teacher used to say: All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. CRM tools are incredibly beneficial, but not all of them are going to be good. That’s not to say a solution is bad, simply that it may not be the best one for your organization. There are CRMs geared toward specific industries or markets, and if those don’t align with your business, the CRM won’t be a good fit because it won’t meet your needs. 

Speaking of meeting your needs, make sure the technical aspects of the CRM you pursue also line up. Is the cost within your budget? How steep is the learning curve? Is there plenty of support when you have questions or hit roadblocks? Get as much hands-on experience with the CRM as you can before signing on that dotted line to make sure it does what your unique business needs it to do. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

Inconvenient Truth #2: No CRM Comes with A Guarantee of Success
You read all those stats up above. They sure sound great, don’t they? But guess what, there’s not a CRM on the market that will come with a guarantee that those success numbers are what you will experience. A CRM can’t magically turn a failing company around—and if it could, it would probably cost far more than that company could afford! Nor will it automatically fix poorly prepared sales teams. 

CRM call and email logs will certainly help your organization track customer communications, but the CRM won’t tell you what to do with the information. Your teams need to know how to leverage the relevant details in their work. Reporting and analytics from the CRM can provide eye-opening information for your Marketing team, but only if you can get those insights out of the CRM and into the hands of those who need it most. 

Like any tool, you have to know how to use it correctly for it to deliver results. 

Inconvenient Truth #3: Just Because It Costs the Most Doesn’t Make It the Best
While we all love a great deal, there’s no denying that the cost of an item can affect its perceived value. CRMs are available at multiple price points, from expensive to cheap—and even free. Resist the urge to see the price as something indicative of the CRM being the best for your organization. 

Your company is unique, so don’t simply sign on for the most expensive CRM your budget can handle, assuming it will be the best. Take the time to see what you get in exchange for the cost. What payment tiers are available? Are there free options that suit your needs? Those are worth looking into. 

Cheaper doesn’t mean “not good,” so don’t overlook the affordable options. By the same token, don’t fall for a specific CRM just because it has the coolest marketing or slickest design. Functionality should always top aesthetic. Make sure the CRM meets your needs before you look at anything else—including price.

Inconvenient Truth #4: People Make the Technology
Technology can only impact customer relationship management so much because, at the end of the day, relationships are about people. You can deploy the best and most effective CRM tool for your organization, but you need to onboard your staff and get their buy-in to use it, or the tool you paid so much to implement will not do you any good. 

Be sure to listen to your teams as you’re both evaluating solutions and implementing the CRM you choose. What do they like, what don’t they like? What can you adapt to their needs, and where does leadership simply need to enforce process change for the better? 

(Hint: If you’re struggling to gain CRM adoption, check out our FREE ebook, Understanding and Overcoming the Barriers to CRM Adoption.)

Inconvenient Truth #5: You’re Going to Need to Ask for Help . . . and That’s Okay
No matter how intuitive a software solution is, there will still be things you need some assistance with. Your CRM will come chock full of features you might need help figuring out how to get the most out of, and it’s okay to ask the experts. Many solutions will have FAQ forums and chatbots, along with customer support teams you can contact via email or online chat. Use those resources! They’re there to make you successful. 

Also, talk to your colleagues. As CRM usage spreads across the organization, learn from others. While they work with the CRM and gain experience, they may uncover things you don’t know yet, and vice versa. In short: Start working on customer relationships by forging partnerships with your colleagues. Talk about how you use your CRM tool. Together you might just figure out a new trick that takes your CRM—and your business—to the next level. 

One Convenient Truth about CRM Integration

We get it: New technology can be intimidating, but when you take the time to truly understand your organization’s needs and find the right technology to meet those needs, the results can be pretty astounding. Here at CloudExtend, we’re particular fans of NetSuite, a great CRM solution that is available for multiple industry verticals. But that doesn’t mean it escapes some of those inconvenient truths: You have to put the work in to make it successful for your organization!

We’re here to help you navigate through implementation and toward success by building integrations that make it far easier and more efficient for your team to use your NetSuite CRM for the success of your organization. Imagine being able to automatically sync email messages to contact records, or create / delete / edit NetSuite records without ever leaving your inbox. It’s possible, and it’s called ExtendSync

Whether your organization works in Outlook or Gmail, you can have a one-click solution to attaching emails, files, and calendar events to NetSuite records right from your inbox. Talk about an easy way to get your team on board with CRM adoption so you can start achieving those amazing ROI percentages! 

Ready to check it out? Try CloudExtend FREE for two weeks, no credit card required. 

Want to learn more? Check out our on-demand webinar, “How to Make Your CRM the Most Powerful Tool in Your Business,” to learn more about what’s behind a solid implementation process and why integration is the key to creating the single source of truth you need. Watch now.