There are all kinds of myths out there about digital marketing, content marketing, ERPs, CRMs, and the pros and cons of business automation. The thing is that many of them are just that—myths. They are either based in older thinking or based on the single negative experience of one business.
The truth is that CRMs, especially ones that are customized to your industry and your company almost automatically increase your efficiency and your profits. But how do you get past those myths and concerns? One way is simply to bust them. So here are seven common myths about CRMs, busted.
All CRMs are Alike
This is a common myth because many out of the box CRMs may seem alike at first glance before you really dive into customizing them to meet your needs. But there are a variety of CRM options even out of the box, each designed for a different industry or with a different focus.
Of course, an even better option is to set up a customized CRM specifically designed for your company needs. While most CRMs offer a lot of options, one specifically created for you has every feature you need and none that you don’t. There is no need for additional software, plugins, or patches to make things work. Companies have individual needs, and the right CRM will meet those needs.
CRMs are Only for Big Companies
This may once have been true, as a CRM with a number of features needed a lot of computing power. This meant large servers on site, ones that could handle a lot of data and analyze it all.
The advance of cloud computing means that CRMs hosted entirely on the cloud with no need for servers at all, or hybrid systems that require smaller servers on site means that small companies, even those with remote workers can take full advantage of CRMs the same as larger companies can.
In fact, nearly every business will be impacted by business automation, CRMs, and artificial intelligence along with the gathering and analysis of big data over the next decade. A CRM will no longer be a want, but a need for every company of any size.
CRMs Only Affect Sales People
This is another common myth, but one that is easily busted: CRMs are capable of recording every transaction you have with every single customer or client or even prospect you have. This includes their interactions with your website, social media, customer service team, and more. Your marketing department, customer service teams, retention specialists, and more can and will be affected.
Not only that, but the improvements you make from data learned through your CRM will also mean that the experiences your customers have with your company will also improve. Everyone in your company from the top down will be affected.
CRM’s are Expensive and Hard to Learn
Just like the myth that CRMs are for large companies only, this one once had some truth in it. CRMs were expensive and learning them took a lot of time. The implementation process used to be much more difficult, and servers were often expensive. Even updates were often costly and time intensive.
Learning CRMs was a challenge, but user interfaces have changed to ones that are more familiar and user-friendly. Inputs are often automated, and the ones that are manual are easy to learn and use. Reports are exported in several familiar formats, and they are easier to read and more powerful than ever before.
Entering CRM Data Takes Forever
Entering CRM data is easier than it ever has been. Simple imports allow you to transfer data from a legacy system or even Excel spreadsheets and QuickBooks to new, more advanced systems. It is rarely necessary to manually input data in an era of digital recordkeeping.
There is also some value in evaluating historical data and determining what needs to be entered and what is unnecessary going forward. Entering CRM data can be done in various steps, and is easier than it ever has been.
CRMs Have Hidden Costs over Time
This is another common myth, but it can be easily debunked. Here is the truth: most CRMs have clear up-front costs and ongoing maintenance fees, and they are clearly stated up front. If you have chosen wisely, especially with a customized solution, you don’t have to worry about hidden costs.
But of course, like with a new house, a new car, or even a loan, if you have chosen poorly, there may always be hidden costs that will “get you” when you least expect it. Updates, additional software, and other items can really add up. This is why it is so important to look carefully at the solution you put in place from the start. Talk to a professional and ask questions.
CRM Leaves Data Vulnerable
This is especially a concern of many businesses as they move more to cloud computing. The number one question is often “how safe is my data?” This includes concerns about hacks and breaches like those experienced by Target, Home Depot, and others, and about simply losing records that may have taken years to build up.
This is similar to the myth above. If you have chosen wisely, your cloud services will be encrypted, backed up, and safe. If you have chosen poorly, your data may be at risk and your customer data may be as well.
As the right questions. Look for security options and ask for referrals from other customers. It is an important part of selecting the right CRM for your business.
There are a lot of myths out there about CRM, ERP, and Business Process Automation. Looking for answers? Ready for a new CRM or to replace a legacy one you have outgrown? Contact us here at SixtySixTen for a free consultation. We look forward to learning how we can best help you and your business.