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Is it time to switch your CRM?

Many businesses and organizations have embraced the use of software to manage their contact data, finding that in today’s digital era, it is essential to efficiently store, categorize, and capitalize on that contact information. Over the past few years the Customer Relationship Management software options have grown in number and the features offered have increased as well. Selecthub confirms that CRM software is a “competitive growing space.” Now, in 2020, perhaps the moment has come to evaluate if you are receiving best value for your CRM investment, or are there other more streamlined, affordable, or efficient options out there to consider? It is highly possible that at some point in the evolution of your business the effort to switch systems will outweigh the implicit costs of continuing with your original purchase.

Granted, it will always cause a stir within your organization to start talking about change, especially when it involves a hands-on tool such as contact management software. Many employees have no doubt become comfortable with the interface and are reluctant to consider a switch. And you have invested a lot of time and effort building the contacts and making sure the software works for you; what about migrating all that data? Lots of concerns come to mind when the possibility of a new CRM is raised. The first task in any consideration of moving to a new CRM is ensuring that your colleagues are on board and willing to adapt. And of course, their feedback will be essential. 

Consider the possible reasons to switch your CRM

Let’s consider the reasons why it might be time to look at a switch to a new contact management system. 

  • Outdated – Is your current CRM now out of date? When this type of software first became available it may not have offered users the full suite of features now found in tools such as Contact Boss. You should be looking for a CRM that offers intuitive interface, solid security features, enquiry management, ability to interface with your other apps, and options for event management and tracking calls and visitors.  And of course, if your data is still stored on your internal server, then it is most likely time to join the rest of the data management community and move to storage on the Cloud.
  • Outgrown – Has your company now outgrown its current CRM, or are you still mired in spreadsheet systems? If, over time you have gained more customers and employees, you may indeed require a more sophisticated system. Perhaps you are ready to perform more complex sales and marketing actions, and your current system is not up to the task.
  • Out of favour with users – The most important aspect of any CRM is positive user adoption. If employees are frustrated, they will avoid interacting with your contact management system. Thus, your data will be incomplete or out of date, and the efficiency of the system will be lost. If you can’t get your staff to “love the one they’re with” maybe it really is time to introduce a new option to the team. But first make sure that you have tried all possible solutions to improve internal user satisfaction. Maybe it is just a case of adjusting the interface, asking the supplier for customization, or hosting a few hands-on training sessions. If it is determined that a whole new relationship is required, then be sure that staff are involved in the selection process – they can provide many insights into the types of features that are important to them and will be much more likely to get on board and support the new system.
  • Out of sync with other apps and systems – Over time your business has no doubt installed many new systems to communicate with customers, manage reporting and organize events. Take a look at your current CRM to evaluate the way it integrates with these important tools. Are you creating “work-arounds” to deploy marketing Eblasts for example? Can you match up your contact management system with your event registration? A little research will reveal that many of the new customer relationship management systems will have these tools built in, adding valuable features that may well warrant a move to a new CRM.
  • Poor customer service – Is your current CRM provider available and responsive when you need help? Or did they forget all about you once the deal was made and the sale closed? It is essential that a qualified support service is ready to assist when technical issues arise. Good customer service could also include the willingness to customize your solution to best fit your company needs. If you are unhappy with the service offered by your CRM provider, then be sure to communicate that dissatisfaction to the company contact, outlining the issues and making it clear what is expected. Don’t just drop your relationship without making an effort to repair the situation. However, if after repeated requests for attention, you are still feeling ignored, then it is quite possibly time to move on, and find another means to manage your contact data.
  • Poor price – Depending on when you purchased your current system, and contingent on the features you were looking for, you may have found yourself committing to a hefty monthly price tag to cover the cost of managing your contacts efficiently. Frankly, the sector is very competitive at this time, with a good selection of CRM options on the market. According to Capterra research in 2014, CRM software was “the largest grossing enterprise software sub-segment, and it was already the fastest growing type of business software.” Since then the buyer has access to many possible choices to modernize or upgrade the organization’s CRM. 

It is well worth the research, first of all, to analyze if you are indeed using all the features you paid for in the first instance, or if a less complex data management system will meet your needs. Many small to mid-sized companies find that they use regularly only a few of the included features; find the software that has the size and complexity that best fits your needs. Be sure to take all the cost factors into account, both obvious and hidden. Once it is clear what features are required, it is also well worth the research to check out the competition, get a sense of pricing and consider if you are currently paying a fair price, or if you can do better with one of the newer start-ups. “Boss Pro” from Contact Boss, for example costs only $99.99 per year and offers some very impressive features attractive to almost any sized company.

Be sure to do your research before jumping to a new system! 

According to a Capterra CRM Industry User Research Report, the main reasons companies look to switch their CRM are a lack of important functionality, inadequate support, price, or that the system has become outdated relative to marketing and sales expectations or ability to integrate with other apps.   

An excellent recommendation suggests regular evaluation of your CRM system to ensure that it currently suits your requirements and that it does not succumb to the contact management software issues identified above. If you find yourself in the market for a new contact management system, take a look at Contact Boss – they offer a one-month free trial, with a 15-day extension on request, whereby you will soon see if it can outperform your current system and to test-drive the best-in-class, most affordable Contact Management system available today!    

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A consummate communicator, Carol Horne has undertaken a variety of content creation projects over the past few decades. She supplied, assigned and edited copy for the majority of Tourism PEI’s consumer content. She led the marketing team at Confederation Centre where she developed marketing and communications strategies to enhance awareness and generate revenue for the theatre, gallery, restaurant and gift shop. In her role as Chief Marketing Officer she oversaw the development and execution of marketing, graphic design, social media, communications and PR, sales, development and guest services activity plans. As manager of the Canadian Tourism Commission’s online media centre and the US consumer E-Newsletter she was in charge of creating and curating Canada’s tourism promotion content.

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