According to IBM, poor data management is the number 1 barrier to getting value from your CRM software. Whether this is a matter of knowledge or process is something you'll need to figure out.
Your CRM system can lose its functionality for a variety of reasons. Problems can occur because the system itself is too small or limited to handle your business's workload.
Conversely, the problem may be in the processes your business uses or in the way it has implemented the CRM's tools.
However, you can determine the root cause of your system's problems by performing an audit of the program.
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When should you perform an audit of your business's CRM system? Most business owners wait until their system has degraded so much that they're considering just scrapping the whole thing and installing a brand new system.
Although you should definitely audit your system in such a situation, there are other times when an audit can head off larger problems before they become a mess. Audit your CRM when you want to integrate new features into your system, when employee usage of the system drops or the functionality of the system decreases.
You Want to Integrate New Features
Social media is the newest way for businesses to connect with their customers. However, if your CRM system doesn't integrate with social, you can't take advantage of this new source of customer data.
According to an industry report by Scribe Software, only 6 percent of CRM users have integrated their system with social data, while the market for CRM systems designed for social is estimated at over $1 billion for 2012.
- Perform an audit to determine 1) if your CRM can automatically integrate with social and the cloud and 2) if not, whether it is more effective to install an integration add-on or to purchase an entirely new system.
Employee Usage Decreases
Your CRM system is used to collect and manage customer information for the purposes of sales, marketing, customer service, and more. However, if employees aren't using the system, the information will become outdated or obsolete, restricting your ability to give the best service to your customers.
- Getting employees to utilize a new system is one of the biggest challenges towards creating a functional CRM system, according to 83% of CRM users surveyed by Really Simple Systems.
- It's time to audit your CRM system when employee use of your system decreases, if employees use other channels to communicate customer information, or if you find that significant amounts of customer data are incorrect, incomplete, or out of date.
Usability and Functionality Decreases
Finally, you should perform an audit on your CRM system should you experience a decrease in usability or functionality of the program. Symptoms can include:
- You can't pull up sales data for your customers or generate sales reports.
- You can't access marketing campaign response information.
- You can't track your customers online.
- Your customers can't access your system through their end.
These processes are integral to running and maintaining your business, so if they're not functioning the way they should, an audit is in order.
Again -- the problem with your CRM may ultimately end up being rooted in inefficient processes, poor systems integration, or inadequacies of the tool itself. You won't be able to determine the root causes until you perform an audit of your system. An audit will help you figure out how to fix the issues you've been ignoring -- whether through better systems maintenance or a complete re-installation of a new system.