Let me write off CRM?

Did you cheat at school? Then surely remember who you copied from: either from excellent students, or because of the harmfulness of them – from more or less trusted, quick-witted classmates. Would it ever occur to you to copy from a newcomer from a parallel class who came in one day ago? No, of course, you risked your grades and reputation with your teacher and parents. And somehow we, schoolchildren, intuitively came to this.

But for some vague physiological reasons, this valuable skill of trusting proven people has been erased in adult brains. Otherwise, I just can’t explain why people ask the question on social networks: “What is your CRM / ECM / ERP / PM / BI …?” and make decisions based on advice from the thread. The questioner does not know anything about the company, or about the falsity of the account, or about who is in front of him – an experienced entrepreneur or a newly minted cloud CRM dealer who walks on such threads to shove his services through. And then we hear: “I chose CRM X, but it did not suit me. Can you help? ”

Why is it categorically impossible to “write off CRM”?

Companies are exceptionally unique

Each company is a unique structure that consists of its own business processes (even if they look like chaos), relationships, business rules, regulations and culture. Even if in Moscow on Vernadsky Prospect there are company A and company B, which are engaged in the wholesale supply of office supplies purchased from the same manufacturers, these are two completely different companies – even if some processes and organizational features may seem similar. So, CRM system in the case of high-quality implementation, it adapts to the business processes of each company, management mechanisms are configured and customized in accordance with business requirements, which include hundreds of parameters: from the profile of collecting information about customers to organizing a warehouse, business processes, setting up reports and the specifics of the funnel and sales models. Accordingly, if company A has successfully implemented CRM X, company B may simply not find the most important functions for itself in this solution – and then it will have to plunge into revision, huge technical tasks and, in fact, into the processing of the entire CRM. At the same time, there may be CRM Y on the market, which will suit company B with minimal revision. Therefore, it is important to consider 2-3 options and test what exactly suits your team and perfectly automates the main processes and operational work.

Employees in companies are different

Even if the head of the company is a domineering authoritarian boss who does not recognize the word “impossible”, the implementation of a CRM system can be guaranteed to fail if employees decide that they do not need CRM. Unfortunately, companies do not take this feature into account. Thus, employees of one company can be active users of CRM and find their benefits in minimizing routine and in end-to-end automation of the company, while employees of another company can practice gray schemes, kickbacks, private “their” clients, and the implementation of CRM is a direct danger for the established “ traditions “. Implementation in such a company should be subtle, gradual and seamless in order to lose as little staff as possible while retaining and organizing as large a customer base as possible.

Company resources differ

When you choose CRM system, you need to understand that there are no free CRMs (really, a surprise?), tangible resources are needed for implementation. If the vendor tells you that some of the resources are not needed, then do not hesitate, you will need it, but you will pay for it a little later and more expensive (when you mature and will be practically in a hopeless situation).

  • The money that the company is willing to invest in automation. The cost of CRM and implementation directly depends on the real and objective requirements of the business. Thus, CRM for a small company may be more expensive than for a medium-sized business, for example, in the case of high complexity of business processes, availability of a warehouse and production, etc. About how the cost of implementation is formed, you can read in our article

  • People capable of teaching and learning. It is desirable that each company has such people: an internal expert who is well versed in CRM; several internal mentors who will help other employees (the number depends on the size of the company and the level of technical literacy of the bulk of the employees); CRM administrator. In some cases, all these functions can be combined in 1-2 employees.

  • Time for implementation. Some company needs an urgent start to work in CRM, for example, before the hot sales season, and someone does not experience problems with seasonality or prefers to prepare in advance. The tight deadlines give rise to their own implementation features and a special attitude of employees to CRM.

  • Technical environment for CRM implementation Is the most difficult factor and varies greatly from company to company. Someone has their own server room with advanced hardware, someone has one combat server, someone is ready to allocate one very powerful PC for managing the IT infrastructure, someone prefers VDS / VPS, and for someone the only IT religion is a cloud in which CRM must exist. These features determine which CRM to choose, how to work with the security of corporate information systems, how to embed CRM into the IT infrastructure.

  • Resources for maintaining a CRM system at the moment they are no longer as critically important as before, but nevertheless, the speed of implementation and the start of full-fledged operation still depend on whether there is a good IT specialist (sysadmin, programmer) on the staff or not. Almost no self-respecting vendor will leave you without technical support (paid or basic), but your IT guru in the company is the key to a quick and correct solution to all possible problems. So, perhaps your interlocutor is terribly pleased with his CRM only because there is a system administrator Vasya who works 24/7 and forgets to drink tea, solving problems of internal users (aside from jokes, some cannot find the cross that closes the program window).

The reasons and circumstances of implementation differ

Someone implements CRM in order to free their hands and accelerate sales, someone wants to protect the customer base, someone wants to debug business processes, for someone analytics is important. One reason always prevails over the rest, although a good CRM system can handle all of these tasks at the same time. At the same time, each company includes its specific requirements in the implementation project: for someone orders from the site are important, someone develops logistics and their own transport, for someone there is nothing more important than forms of documents, contracts and commercial proposals. Accordingly, implementations will differ. But these are subtle matters, there are mistakes at the macro level: for example, a B2B company chooses CRM, which is literally sharpened for B2C and work with sales through social networks, and then wonders why automation does not take off. And it is just uncomfortable, like a bicycle on a sandy beach: it seems that the surface is flat, the weather is good, and the bike is expensive, and the wheels get stuck and it’s impossible to ride – just think, they did not take into account the presence of sand. As a result, you need tracks instead of wheels, protection from dust, lubricant for cleaning components, etc. – a lot of additional costs when you could just choose another road a meter from the beach.

Again, there are completely different circumstances of implementation: how experienced the employees are, how they accept CRM as users, how urgent was the implementation, did it go right away or lasted in parallel with the start of operation. All this affects the profile of using a CRM system and impressions about it: it happens that the client realizes all the benefits of working with the system after a few months, and it is then that his objective impression is formed. Alas, most of the negative reviews come not even from dissatisfied customers, but from the one who registered on the site, tested, was too lazy to figure it out, quit, got angry with himself and went to write: “Don’t buy CRM X, it sucks.” And lying about the experience is a matter of one minute of inspiration, you remember:

You may stumble upon PR tricks

It is done like this: employees of the vendor or his partner come to the branch and start talking about an ideal and cloudless life with a specific CRM system – so much so that you read it. For us, techies and developers, now such blocks of discussion are noticeable from a cursory glance, but inexperienced beginners looking for their own system react violently and joyfully to someone else’s success, and here the phenomenon of a cargo cult comes into play: if you repeat everything exactly after the commentator, we will have the same. But in reality, you will only be taken to pay the bill after hours of negotiations and presentations about what a good company is to be an implementer (surprisingly, there will not be as much about CRM as we would like – almost always a cursory glance).

An example of such a thread: in the comments game and revelry of PR people, marketers and cautious guerrillas-implementers. Particularly pleasing are phrases like “I liked CRM…” or “have been using CRM for a long time” and then quotes directly from corporate advertising materials. Rarely does one manage to catch hold of a comment in which at least they offer to clarify the requirements (and this is the first thing that a competent specialist working with CRM does as a user or as a developer’s employee!).

It is as easy as shelling pears to protect yourself from such “guerrillas”: check the advisor’s account, look for him in the search, correlate the information received with his answers. If you find that they are trying to impose a specific solution on you, immediately stop communicating and try to find another implementor (even the same CRM) – simply because such methods of promotion on forums and social networks speak of the general immaturity of the company. Well, yes – cloudless introductions happen extremely rarely, so some story of fabulous success should immediately alert you.

So do not communicate with anyone?

Doctors have a joke: “Patients’ conversations with each other make it difficult to make a correct diagnosis.” That’s right: when discussing symptoms and diseases, neighbors in the ward or corridor in the clinic find in themselves not only what they received or applied to, but also something from the diagnoses of the interlocutors. It’s the same story with CRM: when discussing implementation with another company (especially on social networks among strangers), you try on their fears, concerns, demands, and only then realize that you have a completely different situation.

BUT. Discussion is not only possible, but even necessary. By discussing the choice and implementation of a CRM system with friends and strangers, you can learn about some new systems, learn about the main mistakes, rakes and pitfalls of automation. Your task is to collect and analyze information so that you have a general vision of the implementation process, so that you can communicate with your CRM developers already savvy and with formulated questions.

What should you pay attention to?

This is a very popular question. Here here you can download the CRM system implementation diagram file (without registration and SMS), but article about this circuit… This is how the circuit looks like:

Pay attention – if in the case and with the right approach – you need to do everything, each parameter is important. However, each company has its own key points and the most significant stages. Therefore, instead of consulting on social networks and studying cheated reviews in fake ratings gather employees, study and design business processes, process and formulate requirements, and then select some interesting vendors and start communicating with professionals. This will be both more correct and faster, and not at all scary.

Your company is a complex organism unlike any other. Whatever it is, it requires effective automation for itself, which will make the company more productive, more technological and more adaptable to market changes. Therefore, the correct answer to the giraffe in the first picture is: “We will go our own way.” Then we will definitely not drown.

Well, if you are just creating your own delivery service, then in RegionSoft we have RegionSoft CRM with the ability to manage warehouse, assortment, discount programs, etc. and cloudy GeoMonitor service, which allows you to track the movement of objects (couriers and vehicles) on the ground. In this area, automation determines a lot.

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