Penny Wise and Dollar Foolish

Is a discount or promotion the reason to buy CRM?  While special promotions help to close sales, they’re not the reason I sell CRM, and they certainly should not be the reason one purchases it!

When it comes to CRM, you spend money to make money! You purchase CRM to significantly increase sales, productivity, and customer retention. You don’t buy CRM to save on the cost of your CRM!  Getting a one-time $100-a-user savings because of a special discount, is not the reason to purchase CRM. 

Furthermore, the cost of the software is just the beginning!  Everything which contributes to the success of your CRM implementation contributes to the success of your firm.  Investment in CRM expertise, training, report writing, let alone hardware, network performance, security, and telephony integration, are all worthy additional investments. 

Here are costs that should concern you more than the cost of your CRM:  The cost of slow sales because of the ineffective use of CRM technology; or, having to hire staff to do tasks that your CRM system could have automated.  Or, having no idea what’s going on with your prospects & customers when their sales rep leaves your organization because they kept it all in their own personal system which you have no record of. 

Training is smart investment. When it comes to training … provide as much as it takes!  It makes no sense to short-cut training for all your users!  If you don’t give your users the training they need, you’re actually handing them an excuse not to use the system you just invested in to run your business on! 

Reporting is another smart investment!  You put data into your CRM so you can get information out of it! Management can work smarter if it has the information it needs; information that could answer questions about the performance.  Much of this information can be derived from well designed reports based on the data in your CRM.  Don’t choose to operate in the dark, without the objective basis for their decision making – develop the reports you need! 

CRM Software is for making money, gaining a competitive advantage, handling new leads, better serving existing customers, working as a team, and more.  Once the emphasis for why you purchased your CRM is put on deriving tangible benefits from your system, the value of your CRM system will overshadow the costs of your system.  If you only focus on the costs, you’ll fail to get the results or the ROI.

One of the most significant investments that management needs to make isn’t about money.  That is an investment of time! Management needs to invest the time to plan out the strategic and tactical ways in which the organization can use their database technology to the organization’s benefit. When your employees see management making this effort they will know that there is a real commitment to the CRM system and your employees are far more likely to make the best use of it themselves. It’s time to show them you mean business!