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When CRM goes wrong: Why you’re losing sales with bad CRM software

What’s the difference between a good CRM system and a bad one? 

For sales teams it comes down to one thing – how much you sell.   

When you’re using your CRM the right way, you’ll get a 360-degree view of your prospects and customers. That means tracking figures, understanding prospects, automating lead generation, identifying opportunities, and even invoicing customers – all from one place. You’ll have a system that’s designed to adapt with your business as it changes. 

But what about a bad CRM?  

There aren’t many truly bad CRM systems out there (they’re all designed to help you improve your sales and marketing). But what can be bad is your support, your customization, usability or even how future-proofed your CRM strategy and system is.  

If your CRM partner hasn’t gained a deep understanding of how your business works, what your needs are, and how your business is likely to change in future, before implementing your CRM – chances are it isn’t doing a great job.  

For sales, this can have a huge impact. 

If your CRM isn’t customized to your sales teams’ needs, it can be hard to see the figures that motivate your teams. If sales reports are difficult to create, it can take up too much time. If the right dashboards aren’t available or the CRM is set up in the wrong way – it can feel really difficult to use. 

 All of these roads lead to the biggest reason for CRM failure – not using your CRM. And if you’re not ‘all in’ the quality of your data can start to diminish. Especially if teams go back to using spreadsheets or other systems to track certain information on leads, opportunities and customers. 

The other factor to think about when reviewing your CRM is usability. Sales teams need a system with great contact management, reporting features, and reliable support. Some CRM systems simply don’t provide the full breadth of functionality that’s needed. Or they may charge a hefty price for them.  

The good news is that there are great systems out that can help you boost your sales. 

TechRadar recently lauded Workbooks for being the best CRM for tracking sales. And there’s three ways it helps your sales team thrive. 


The product 

TechRadar called out Workbooks for its extensive reporting and tracking features. Here’s a step-by-step view of a simplified sales pipeline to show how you can use reporting, tracking, and Workbooks’ other sales features to improve your chances of a sale. 

  1. Get attention: Your sales teams can easily see all communications with contacts – from leads to customers.  Use that information to understand customers in different industries and job roles. Then create customized messages to them that really grab their attention. You can even see which channels your customers are using so that you can create marketing messaging that gets noticed. 2.
  2. Qualify your leads: Don’t waste time on leads that aren’t likely to convert. Easily score and prioritize your leads based on their conversion potential. Store contact details, company details, and even pain points and preferences. Then segment leads in a way that works for you. Some people segment leads by location, others do it based on preferences. This makes it really easy to update your data and track your progress. 
  3. Keep engaging your leads: They’ve shown interest, but to keep up your momentum it’s a good idea to keep in touch. Run targeted campaigns, send newsletters, hold webinars – all to guide your leads towards becoming an opportunity. To save time, you can automate follow-up messages that are triggered by events like a form submission. It’s a great way to build trust and to keep your audience thinking about you. 
  4. Report on your progress: Use automatic tracking and real-time reporting so that you can progress leads and opportunities easily. TechRadar shared “The area where Workbooks shines most is in its reporting features. The platform makes it easy to generate detailed reports that give you great insight into your sales pipeline. For example, the reports can help you identify which market segments and products are giving you the highest revenue. You can also easily monitor which salespeople in your organization are hitting or missing their targets.” 
  5. Meet your prospect:  Once you’ve demoed your product or had a call, easily convert the lead to an opportunity based on their need for your product. 
  6. Win that opportunity: With a click of a button, you can turn a quote into an order. Use e-signatures for faster turnaround and save time with automated order approvals.  
  7. Share invoices and contracts: Workbooks integrates with accounting software like Sage and Xero so that synchronising orders, credit notes, and invoices is accurate and easy. 

If your sales team is missing any of these steps or simply doesn’t have the functionality accessible to them to recreate this sales pipeline, you’re likely missing out on opportunities.  


The price 

Lots of CRMs offer similar functionality. But it’s surprising how much the prices can vary. Go with an enterprise CRM partner and you’re looking at spending up to 70% more than if you chose a CRM like Workbooks that is aimed at midsize businesses. That’s why TechRadar voted us highly on cost-effectiveness.  

While it might not seem like the price of your CRM can affect your sales directly, it can make a difference. Lots of CRM partners will charge for additional packages of features and functionality which means you may not be able to get complete control over your sales pipeline without spending a lot of money. 

It’s very possible to find an affordable CRM that gives you all the functionality you need. The key is to do your research. Take how much you’re spending on your existing CRM and how many people in your company are using the system. Then compare it regularly with other solutions out there. Many make the mistake of focusing only on enterprise CRMs but this can be very expensive along the line. Make sure you check out CRM partners that focus on your size business – it’s a great way to keep costs down without compromising on functionality. 


The partner 

Most people focus on features and functionality when deciding which CRM to adopt. But don’t forget the partner.  

A good partner will visit you before your implementation. They’ll take the time to understand your business, your challenges, and your goals. Then they’ll configure your CRM based on your needs.  

This means that your sales teams will get everything they need from their CRM, whether that’s clear, real-time dashboards showing sales progress which they see as soon as they log in or a clear way to predict whether you’ll win or lose prospects. 

A bad partner ultimately means a bad CRM. It’s impossible to configure a CRM well for your sales team if they don’t understand your needs. And every company is unique with their requirements so don’t settle for less.  

If you find your CRM difficult to use, time-consuming, or unmotivating – it’s likely because your CRM partner hasn’t set it up in the best way for your business. The less you use your system, the more likely you are to miss sales opportunities. 

To find a good partner, start by looking at the implementation. Single party vendors manage your implementation and your relationship. This cuts out third-party consultants and an extra line of communication where your needs can get misinterpreted.  

 If you suspect you’re using a bad CRM, start to get a feel for other solutions out there. You might be surprised with how much easier it is to create opportunities and sell when you have a great CRM in place.