The Implications of changing your CRM system

This article tells the story of the recent CRM change we conducted at ItsMyCargo.

This article tells the story of the recent CRM change we conducted at ItsMyCargo.
A change that has facilitated a huge improvement in our sales productivity as well as our ability to identify the ideal customer profiles. This had led to faster sales cycles and improved sales conversion rates. Customer feedback is now being utilized in a much more efficient way and hence it helped us deploy more customer-centric features increasing swiftly our sales success.

We are going to look at various purposes for switching a CRM as well as share our experience of the transition phase. Ultimately, the goal of this article is to explain the process on a holistic level, so that you can get a better understanding of the implications of such changes and potential consequences.

Things to consider before changing your CRM:

In a globalized world, change is happening non-stop and organizations have to adapt in order to remain competitive. They need to continuously challenge their current ways of working and aim to improve their business model and IT system landscape. If a business does not react in time to growing expectations or fails to develop tools to increase efficiency, failure is inevitable.

There can be several reasons why a company desires a change of their CRM system. A few common objectives seem to be recurring though.

For instance, the content stored in your previous CRM is lacking the quality to continuously improve operations and sales.

Another reason is the superiority of a new system in terms of reporting and hence, transparency. In sales, information is key, and being able to filter out the information that you require in order to analyze the performance of your team is crucial.

Another factor to consider is integrations. Today, most applications that contain information, facilitate communication etc. need to be integrable with one another. Thus, we desire to achieve one single point of truth instead of multiple information islands.

Lastly and more importantly, the right CRM system needs to be user friendly and have a dedicated plan that suits your requirements. If a system is too complicated, efficiency will deteriorate and better results will be unattainable.

Hence, we at ItsMyCargo decided to switch our CRM system to leverage the improvement opportunities. We specifically aimed to improve our reporting capabilities in order to get the best possible results out of the team when working on our potential prospects.

What to acknowledge in the transition process:

Changing a CRM requires meticulous research and the willingness to also adopt cultural changes to the organization. In an ideal set up, the transparency of all customer relationships will be displayed connected with the individual performance of the sales team - this step towards full transparency in a single point of truth environment pushes employees outside their comfort zone - sometimes not perceived as a benefit on an individual level.

It takes time, open communication, and hands-on management in order to select, roll out, and take full advantage of the additional feature set that comes with a new CRM.

Most importantly, do not just select a system due to its visual appeal or because another company is using it. It is a hard urge to fight when something just looks stunning and other iconic companies are using it, but at the end of the day, these things should weigh very little in your decision. Usability will matter far more than looks over time. During the evaluation process, it is crucial to get feedback from your team, the users, that will be working with it on a day to day basis. If they buy into the system, the transition phase will be much more frictionless.

Our research was guided by a list of prerequisites that enabled us to conduct a rough pre-screening before going into the actual selection process. We contacted our current provider, the market leader, and looked around in the market for other alternatives. After having seen a demo from multiple providers, we created a table with the list of features per system that would help us to improve our customer service and the associated costs. Consequently, we decided to select a new company to provide us with our CRM system.

Our chosen vendor offered us to input the data into the new system free of charge and over the span of a few days which gave us the opportunity to start working with our new and superior program in no time.

Advantages and disadvantages of a CRM system switch:

The introduction of a new CRM system enables a company to evaluate the quality of the data and delete any unnecessary or outdated information. Hence, improving the employees' focus on important tasks. The initial phase of working with the CRM can be seen as a clean slate. It gives you the opportunity to review old deals/prospects and make additional sales as a result. Lastly, the new system might offer improved capabilities that enable you as the users to work more efficiently and extract more data for analysis which will have a positive impact on the overall business.

However, such a transition process does not come without any downsides. The data transfer can be draining and can lead to the loss of relevant data. It will be time-consuming, and not only the decision-making but also the implementation process can take time. Finally, the new system requires a monetary investment. Quality CRM with a broad range of features will cost you money. We went from a system that was free of charge with limited functionality to a much more advanced system which costs us around 40 Euros/user per month. However, analytic deductions were not possible to conduct in the CRM, saving us multiple hours a month on tracking that data. Furthermore, we could observe our success rate of talking to companies on several levels (location, size, company type etc.) Hence, we could put our focus on where it was most promising.

Personally, I felt that the process of changing our CRM has mainly had a positive impact on the ways of working at ItsMyCargo. We managed to improve our customer service through enhanced task-setting functions and time management capabilities. Consequently, this has led to a rising number of sales. Moreover, leaving our comfort area of working in our previous CRM has made us realize any irrelevant information which clouded our system. However, we ended up having to manually add our conversation history to the accounts afterward. Ultimately, we ended up encountering companies in our CRM that we could serve as customers now but could not in the past. Overall experience was a big success.

Make sure you select the right CRM to meet your requirements and start elevating your sales to a new level!