Top nine common business pain points CRM can help fix

12th Feb 2015

No business is run perfectly – well apart from the theoretical one they teach you!

Real-life throws up all sorts of challenges – stuff happens! So don’t worry if any or all of these sound familiar. These are all pain points that a CRM strategy can help your company address. You’ll be surprised how many companies have all or some of these pains and we have helped plenty of them find a solution.

Do you find you find yourself saying any of these?

1. We do not have a single version of truth – we need one system
Your customer information is on a combination of post-it notes, 3 x spreadsheets, 5 x Access databases. Time to put the 'customer info' house in order!

2. Sales and marketing tend to blame each other – I want them to work as a 'single team'
Does your sales team complain about the quality of leads coming from marketing? Does marketing complain about sales not following up? Are you stuck in the middle playing 'parent'? When marketing and sales work together businesses generally do better. Time to put lead generation tools and opportunity management into the same place and break down those old barriers. Provide the platform for them to succeed “together”.

3. What are the sales people doing? – I need pipeline visibility
Do you have a monthly conference call for pipeline updates from sales? However, you still have a fear that information might be out of date tomorrow. You can’t have a conference call every day, you just need insight into the pipeline when you need it. Time for a single pipeline in one place!

4. My key people spend about five days a month 'doing reporting' – I need easy reporting
Do you find your most expensive resources are too busy reporting to either generate leads or close deals? Whether it be your marketing manager, sales manager or sales executives - you would prefer them to be achieving their objectives rather than 'building' reports. How do you know they are “on track” if you don’t have the reports? Time to get one place to run reports from, so one click gives you the management information you need.

5. That company sounds familiar, I thought we called that person last month? 
Do you find that sometimes a potential customers says “thanks for calling but I told another person from your company we weren’t interested last month”? Valuable data can be lost because people don’t have somewhere to 'put it'. Time to provide the tools for your people to enter the data in one place so they can follow-up effectively.

6. “OK, please can you update the system when you get back to the office (next month)”!
Being out on the road is sometimes hard but often there is 'downtime' that could be used effectively. Time to provide mobile or offline tools to your 'road warriors' whether in sales or service so they can provide updates 'on the go'.

7. We don’t seem to clearly know why we win and lose – I want to know my “sweet spot”
Sometimes it really hard to see the big picture – why do you win or lose? You probably know the customers with 'big accounts' well, but sometimes the truth lies in the wider customer picture. Sometimes the actual sector of 'highest value' customers are hidden in a 'confusion of data'. Time to ask for (and get) clear facts presented to you, easily, so you can find your strengths and weaknesses and take appropriate action.

8. I want to grow fast but that is equally scary & exhilarating at the same time - I need the tools to help manage and create the growth
The flourish of success is a wonderful feeling but sustaining that in business involves finding scalability of your business processes. You need have a plan on growing your customers by significant numbers and still delivering your products or services to the same high degree of quality. Time to put the foundations in place for the future.

9. Customer issues are hard to track, who said what - I need an information trail
Pulling together emails and meetings notes from the four people involved in a customer issue is time consuming and inaccurate. This can lead to a difficult conversation due to a lack of information about the history of the problem at hand. Time to provide quick ways to store customer notes in one place.

Duncan Wood is marketing manager at Infor. He can be reached on Twitter: @DuncanCRM.

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