Hitting the ‘go’ button on a new CRM implementation is a big decision. It involves a significant investment of money and time, it will probably involve reorganising parts of your company, and it will have a deep and lasting effect on many people.
You know of course that the deep and lasting effect will be a positive one. You’ve spent time looking into the specific improvements CRM could make to your organisation, you’ve assessed vendors and identified the one that’s right for you, and you’ve done the ROI calculation. It all adds up. You want to do it. But for some reason you can’t quite bring yourself to hit that ‘go’ button.
You’ve entered the procrastination zone.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone there – far from it! Many of the businesses that start evaluating CRM projects don’t end up buying one, and whilst this is sometimes because they discover very good reasons not to proceed, as often it is because they drift into the procrastination zone.
It is hard work dragging yourself out of this zone. It is a seductively safe place where everything remains the same as it always has. Yet, it is also where you deliver none of the improvements that you know CRM could bring. Customer acquisition and retention rates remain static, inefficiencies persist, and the information that could improve processes remains hidden from view.
Here are seven of the most common reasons for procrastination. See which one of the Seven Deadly Procrastinators is holding you back from your CRM implementation, and see if the argument we make against it is enough to persuade you to take action and hit that ‘go’ button.
1. I haven’t got time to implement a CRM platform; I need to get out and see some sales prospects
This enthusiasm to get out and meet sales prospects is commendable, but are you meeting the right ones, the prospects most likely to convert into business? And are you going there armed with the right information?
The right CRM solution will make the time you spend on sales far more efficient. It brings sales and marketing into sync, and according to Marketo, organisations when sales and marketing are in sync become 67% better at closing deals.
2. How can you expect me to spend time putting a CRM platform in place? I need to spend my time with current customers, making sure they’re happy.
Similarly, according to MarketingProfs, organisations with tightly aligned sales and marketing functions enjoy 36% higher customer retention rates. This is because a CRM platform will give you a single, real-time view of your customer and make your interactions with them far more effective.
3. We can’t afford that level of investment! Look at all the other costs coming up.
A key benefit of CRM is that it automates and streamlines a wide range of processes from sales reporting to quote raising, and much more in between. There is an initial cost of implementation but over a five-year period you can expect to see a clear return on this investment from a cost saving perspective alone. Add to that the increased customer retention and acquisition covered above and for many organisations it becomes clear that CRM is an investment they cannot afford not to make.
4. There’s just so much going on right now – we can’t afford a distraction like this.
You will need to focus some of your attention on your new CRM system. But in return you will quickly be able to bring together all of your important prospect and customer data in one clear, focused location. In many organisations that is information previously held on emails, spreadsheets, and in peoples’ brains all collected in one location that you can access anytime, anywhere. Bring in automation of business processes and you can see how CRM can boost productivity. Far from being a distraction, CRM is for most organisations the foundation of a streamlined, efficient, and successful operation.
5. We need to get our processes and systems in line before it makes sense to invest in something new like this.
The process of implementing a CRM platform encourages, often forces, organisations to revamp outdated processes and align systems that have been operating against each other. Without CRM they tend to simply rumble along as they always have done, and this can be expensive: according to IDC, the inability of B2B companies to align teams around the right processes and technologies has cost them upwards of 10% of revenue a year.
6. We’re all for it in sales, and I think we can persuade marketing to go for it, but finance and customer service have different priorities right now. In fact, they always have different priorities.
A key benefit of CRM is that it helps reduce this sort of siloed thinking, which can be so detrimental to sales, customer service, and overall organisational management. In simple terms, CRM pulls everyone together on one unified platform.
Marketingprofs reports that companies that succeed in aligning just two of those functions – sales and marketing for example – generate 208% more revenue from marketing. Imagine what you could do if you aligned all of your organisation’s functions.
7. I just need a bit more time to properly make up my mind
This is what sits at the heart of all procrastination. We all want more time. More time to be certain we’re right, more time to weigh up options. And we can probably have this time. We can wait another day, another week, another year, before making up our mind and hitting the ‘go’ button.
But while we take our time, our competitors are making decisions and getting ahead of us. While we take our time, our own organisation carries on with the same inefficiencies and the same lost opportunities.
So, procrastinate no longer. Trust in your assessments, calculations and judgements. Seize the moment and hit that ‘go’ button.