by John

In the initial stages of a business, an owner must start from scratch to establish a setup for himself. Right from finding good employees, to creating an efficient system of operations, the owner must undertake all these tasks before kickstarting his business. Imagine you are a small business owner, looking for the perfect office space.

One option that you are shown is in a remote area with no internet access, and yet having a very high rent. You will not have to think twice before rejecting such a place, because it possesses a lot of undesirable traits.  

The owner would then move on to purchasing a CRM, which is a very crucial addition to his business. There are countless options available in the market, but which one of these is the best to purchase? And how can the owner be sure that he does not end up paying for a flawed CRM?

Unlike the very evident red flags, while looking for office space, it is a little more difficult to identify these with respect to CRM. It is a highly complex tool, and you should know exactly what to look for before you finalize your choice.  

We are here to help you find and avoid these CRM red flags, so you get the perfect solution to boost your business! 

  1. Poor Returns on Investment: 

A CRM demands monetary expenses, and its cost can feel like a sharp pinch for a small business that does not have a large sum of money set aside. One category of CRMs that you should definitely avoid are those that do not provide a good return on your investment.  

An ideal CRM will give you more for less. A robust feature set that will address all the pain points of your business can be acquired at affordable pricing too, and your business deserves such a CRM. Some of the ways in which you can identify tools that give poor returns on investment are: 

  • Know the complete price breakdown of the CRM that you choose 
  • Find out all the features that are offered for the basic price 
  • Find out all the features that will need add-on prices 
  • Research the features given by other CRM brands for the similar pricing 

With an understanding of such aspects, you will never fall prey to CRM systems that exploit your investment.  

2. Hidden Costs:

Price is the number one consideration for 14% of businesses while choosing CRM, and up to 6% of businesses will be open to changing their CRM if it is too expensive. The best thing for a CRM owner will be to find a good CRM tool fitting in with his price budget. The worst thing will be that the price that he ends up actually paying is more than what he was initially prepared for. This discrepancy comes due to hidden costs. 

  • Service charges 
  • Implementation charges 
  • Extra charges for features that should have been offered for the basic price 

are some examples of the hidden costs that CRM brands levy on you. The solution that you opt for should be transparent in its pricing policy, and every cost that is charged should be clearly mentioned right from the get-go.  

3. Difficulty in Usage:

The benefits of CRM for sales teams have been widely publicized in recent times. Why then do 40% of salespersons still rely on traditional methods like Excel for their work? This is because some CRM systems are so difficult to understand and use, that they end up creating more problems for sales teams instead of solving their existing problems.  

Your chosen CRM should be complex in features, but not complicated in usage. There should not be too long of a learning curve associated with it. A sure-shot way in which you can avoid landing up with an overtly challenging CRM tool is to take the free trial that most CRM brands offer. In these trials, your teams can try their hand at the CRM tool and see how efficiently they can use it.  

4. Lack of Customer Support:

Providing customers with a good experience is the foundation for the success of any business. It becomes even more important with respect to SaaS companies, which are expected to see an increase in revenue by $1 BN upon investing in customer support.  

Any CRM brand worth its salt will support its customers along their entire journey of adopting, implementing and using the CRM tool.  

  • Fast responses to queries 
  • A walkthrough of how to use the CRM 
  • Help given in implementing the CRM tool 
  • A dedicated POC for your brand 

are some indicators that you can rely on to ensure that your CRM comes with a helpful, resourceful and efficient customer support team.  

5.Lack of Mobile Access

The popularity and reliance on mobile technology has drastically increased. Almost every industry has evolved to be compatible with mobile devices, and CRM systems are no different. A mobile CRM will ensure that your teams can work on the go and can access the CRM system from wherever they are. This is especially useful to field sales teams, as well as the owners and managers who track the work of such teams.  

A CRM without mobile access is not a good investment. Statistics show that up to 65% of sales targets are achieved by companies that use mobile CRM. On the other hand, only 22% of targets are met by companies that do not use a mobile CRM. It is hence no surprise that for achieving the best results, mobile CRM is the way to go. 

6. Lack of Workflow Automation:

90% of employees confessed in a survey that repetitive and manual tasks feel like a burden upon them and that such tasks can be easily automated. Surely as a business owner, you would not want your employees to be falling within this 90%! 

Workflow Automation is an extremely important part of the feature set of any CRM. Any tool that does not offer this will fail to provide you with the most basic benefit of a CRM system- which is to scale the productivity of your organization. Without automation, your sales staff will waste their precious bandwidth on manual activities, which could otherwise be directed toward closing sales! 

7. Lack of Customization

Every business is unique, and hence the needs of every business are also unique. For software as important as CRM, your business can greatly suffer if the tool is not fully compatible and suitable with your business. Keeping this in mind, lack of customization options in your chosen CRM is a glaring red flag.  

Your CRM dashboards, reports, and pipelines should all reflect the specific needs of the business. If you are stuck with using default templates for such crucial aspects, you are not harnessing the true potential of a CRM system. Your CRM should tell you exactly what you want to know, and this can be made possible with customizations.  

If you steer clear of these traits while purchasing a CRM, you will invariably end up with a very good CRM tool. From the perspective of small businesses, taking out time to conduct research about so many points might feel like a cumbersome task.

However, you will ultimately reap the benefits that come with it, since your chosen CRM product will be the ideal fit for your business. Sales CRM is vital for the growth of small businesses, and you must select one only after covering all your bases.  

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