On CRM slander too much: we deal with gossip

    We have already become accustomed to the fact that “CRM is like an exelka,” “she sells herself,” “look, I have a handwritten CRM on my knee — your best”. But myths, gossip and rumors about CRM-systems are constantly growing and becoming more outlandish: CRM is big data, an invention for big business, there should be artificial intelligence in CRM, etc. But we are not lazy either - today we are playing the role of rumor hunters and are dealing with some of the most common misconceptions regarding CRM systems.

    TRUE: CRM is not as expensive as it sounds.

    FALSE: CRM is expensive

    Well, let's start with the most banal. CRM is very expensive. Not that it was just a myth or slander, but the concept of “expensive” is also very loose. The roots of this myth go back to the beginning of the 2000s, when even small and medium-sized business companies tried their best to raise money for the introduction of SAP and Salesforce, which opened representative offices and partner offices in Russia. Indeed, licensing prices (and now for SaaS rental) from some vendors still raise two questions: “What for?” And “They didn’t fuck up?” However, if you integrate the foreign system with the Russian 1C and write to it connectors to work with our primary documentation (this is not invoicing!), then the price tag can come out high.

    We have already written more than once about how much a CRM system actually costs and whyRegionSoft CRM can be cheaper than the simplest cloud-based CRM with rent, and maybe more expensive than the simplest. In short - the whole thing in the business requirements and the amount of improvements. But the fact is that for the majority of imported CRM a significant part of the budget is allocated for training and technical support, this is an important point when choosing. Alas, if you just carry out a mini-investigation and ask to comment on the introduction of imported CRM of a local partner and vendor abroad, you will be amazed at the difference in the level of professionalism. Actually, therefore, the technical support package will be expensive: if only because for western developers we are working in a foreign language, and it is always more expensive.

    TRUE: CRM integrates with third-party software.

    FALSE: CRM does not integrate with anything!

    It is also a story from the beginning of the 2000s, when the complexity of the architecture and the complete closeness of the development greatly interfered with various integrations. Then I had to build crutches and build bicycles in order to somehow coordinate the work of the CRM system, accounting and storage systems.

    Now everything is much simpler: there are APIs, marketplaces with ready-made applications for the base system, plug-ins and add-ons, SDK and much more. Perhaps, all top-end CRM-systems can integrate with IP-telephony, call-tracking, virtual PBX, exchange data with 1C, and this does not cause major problems or a strong increase in the cost of basic software. For example, we at RegionSoft have written our RegionSoft Application Server script server for integration and other extensions of capabilities.which allowed to process data arrays as it is necessary for the user.

    TRUE: Starting work in CRM is almost instant.

    FALSE: CRM launch takes a long time

    The difficult launch of a CRM system implementation project is not a far-fetched problem. It is caused by the fact that some developers still manage to burden the user with an inconvenient installation of even a demo version, illogical and scattered documentation, some kind of creepy instructions that are sent to the post office after registration. I swear, sometimes it seems that inside the letter there will be something like: “Go to Sukhobezvodnoe village, go into the pine forest, find the hole behind the right stone, empty anthill in the hole, fill it with lead and after cooling see the registration key number”. Well, okay - they are making lead. 6.1 grams Joke. But sometimes you really want to shoot yourself.

    However, today the process of installation, implementation, and even refinement takes place competently and painlessly. It is not necessary to wait for the developer to put the last custom report, which was registered in the specification for revision. Everything is simple: put a demo, consult with a vendor, buy, install, configure, train, start operation, and all other issues are solved in working mode without problems for interaction with the selected CRM. Again, old data that requires manual entry can be entered already working in the CRM system with new information.

    Here the whole process of CRM implementation is described and a convenient CRM implementation scheme is attached .


    TRUE: CRM system must be in every company

    FALSE: CRM systems - only for large companies

    This misconception is not so common, but it still occurs. The fact is that many companies perceive their customer base as a small set of records that can be stored in a spreadsheet. But at the same time, they overlook the fact that CRM is not just a data warehouse, but an operational tool. That is, it is a sophisticated software that can link all the data and process exactly in the context in which you need it. In this case, CRM ensures the organization and security of data, helps to keep the customer base up to date.

    CRM is needed by any company literally from the first day of its existence - this is how it turns out to get the job done right away, and not to rake the Agviyev stables of accumulated data. Accordingly, a CRM system is simply a work program for each employee within the company. The same tool as a browser, text editor, or operating system — that is, a means of providing essential activities. Just the CRM-system should be chosen "on the figure," that is, correspond to the functional needs of the company and not contain anything extra. This is quite difficult to achieve in terms of redundancy CRM-systems on the market, but there are various options: for example, SaaS-vendors have a division into packages and tariffs, and we divided the RegionSoft CRM into editorial offices that will suit both small startups and large production companies .

    TRUE: you need to choose the right CRM, and not to be carried on the brand

    FALSE: if you choose, then only promoted CRM

    Since we are not a very business article, let's allow ourselves to go into marketing. If the CRM system is promoted, then a) it is expensive, because the costs of promotion are passed on to users; b) it requires the purchase of additional plug-ins and add-ons (to suit everyone at once (and this, as you understand, a very conditional “fit”); c) its vendor charges you for everything, including technical support for its “brand-name” softphone (literally for each question). Enterprise level CRM-system will never gain wide popularity due to its functional complexity, but it will prove to be the most suitable and useful

    Sometimes it seems that the promoted CRM-systems have a definite plus - around them a community of developers, users, consultants and freelancers is formed. Inside this community, you can find answers to many questions (in fact, no - all the most important and difficult you will find only for money). Although, on the other hand, such CRM-systems generate the same freelancers who are willing to perform only junk, poor-quality work. Such is the unpleasant side effect of popularity.

    And then, what is considered popular? Full hall of students and young people on a party with media faces? Speeches of talented evangelists at conferences on topics abstract from CRM? Implementations in several thousand companies (such as ours)? Network of consultants and partners in the CIS (as in 1C)? The criterion is not clear.

    In any case, the CRM developer should ensure maximum attention, which is aimed not at external activities, but at development and customer service. Well, the client must still pay an economically reasonable price, and do not pay for the bells and whistles and investments in public relations.  

    TRUE: there is a lot of CRM in the market for any needs and scale of business

    FALSE: all CRM are the same

    And this thesis is the exact opposite of the previous one. Of course, no, CRM systems are not the same - they differ in the scale of the business for which they are intended, by industry, positioning and, most importantly, by functionality. A few years earlier we would have told about the division of CRM-systems into analytical, collaboration and operational. Now in 90% of the systems, this facet is erased, and the software includes both operational and analytical functions.

    Conditionally, you can select these types of CRM-systems:

    • classic universal CRM for sales, commercial service and support
    • CRM with complex analytic functions
    • ERP CRM - systems, including including warehouse management, production, finance, HR-functionality, etc.
    • CRM "young team" - a set of basic functions for working with clients
    • CRM aka corporate social networks - systems with a focus on relationships within the company
    • industry specific CRM.

    Some developers offer several types of CRM.

    In general, the CRM system should be chosen not according to popularity and not according to the principle “but everyone has it,” but based on how it correlates with the objectives of your business. First of all, it should transform your approach to working with clients and provide automation of routine processes. Your business is unique, which means you should not copy automation templates either.  

    TRUE: CRM must be fast, reliable and secure.

    FALSE: if CRM, then only cloud

    At one time, cloud technologies, speaking with a stamp, blew up the market. Everything went to the cloud - and not at all because it is convenient for the end user, but because vendors immediately transferred customers to the subscription fee (SaaS), the purchased software ceased to belong to the client. And, as you know, the monthly fee for the vendor is always more profitable than a single purchase, because over time it brings a lot of money. And of course, the small business was glad not to bother about the server inside the company and the maintenance of corporate hardware. Happiness was short-lived - vendors fell into the trap of providers and users learned that there could be a public cloud (cheap, but rotten) and a private cloud (expensive, but cute). Immediately raised the issues of availability, security, fault tolerance.

    Again, if you choose clouds, then you should give up the vendor’s capacity, and not be too lazy to use the excellent services of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, from the Russian - Infobox, etc. And then you can, for example, get in the vendor cloud Oracle DBMS, which, due to the supplier’s not very powerful servers, loads so long and badly that you have time to worry and smoke about it.

    But we, yes, we are for the desktop: flexible development, any improvements, data security, perpetual licenses, a significantly lower cost of ownership. Again, if you are not ready to pay immediately for the project, you can rent RegionSoft CRM and then redeem it at fair value, without enslaving contracts and asterisks.

    TRUE: CRM accelerates the work of managers and simplifies the routine.

    FALSE: CRM - a waste of time entering data

    This is the most hypocritical statement from the list. As data was entered into other storages, so will it be, but the efficiency of their processing, interpretation and output grows significantly. Using filters and reports, you can display the necessary information in a given section in just a few seconds.

    Moreover, thanks to the organization and composition of the client card fields and other sections, the collected information is unified and complete. To achieve such an order and such automation in MS Excel and other interfaces is impossible.

    TRUE: the company should have a single CRM system for all

    FALSE: each unit must have its own CRM

    It's fine. Probably, all vendors marketers would die of happiness - such positioning! Moreover, some CRM developers did just that: they divided the CRM into a marketing system and a sales system. Of course, this is pure marketing. CRM-system should be unified in the company so that all units have the opportunity to obtain the necessary data for work.

    But if you decide to implement CRM separately for each unit, first of all be prepared to multiply the price, the speed of implementation and the period of time before commissioning twice. In addition, purely technical, there is no point in the “reproduction” of CRM:

    • If the CRM system is delivered by the same vendor and separate applications for marketing, sales, support, etc. "Clinging" to a single DBMS - it's just a divorce for money, they sell you split functionality (well, as if instead of an all-wheel drive car, for 1 million, you would have sold the same car, but painted options: car (body + engine + transmission + wheels) - 900 thousand rubles, four-wheel drive - 200 thousand rubles, salon flock - 70 thousand rubles, a total of 1 million 170 thousand rubles. However, somehow, so they are sold.)
    • If the DBMS are different, then what's the point in this CRM? Automation should be end-to-end.

    Yes, you can now argue that you need CRM only for sales or only for marketing. This is the wrong approach - CRM should contain as much information as possible about the company's business activities in order to see a customer 360 degrees. If CRM is a local information base of one department, this is anything but CRM.

    TRUE: CRM is a tool for productive work.

    Almost FALSE: CRM is beautiful right out of the box and solves all problems.

    Of course, most modern top-end CRM-systems are beautiful on their own, but how else? For example, we have been developing RegionSoft CRM for more than 10 years; new experience is continuously being introduced into it, the best offers of our customers, etc. That is, in fact, she knows everything that a business needs and can start serving your team from the very first hour after its purchase. However, a business may have specific tasks and requirements - then it is necessary to either set up the system or refine it, after which you will receive a solution that is customized for you (such as tuning and upgrading the car).

    Of course, the CRM system does not solve problems, does not sell, does not call customers, does not close deals and does not stand with a head in front of the boss. But she helps to do all of the above in order not to stand with this very pensive head. In essence, CRM is an electronic assistant for an employee who stores data, starts processes, generates reports, displays the progress of tasks, sends reminders, and provides lightning-fast formation of contracts, controls and other documentation.

    TRUE: collect and store only the necessary data

    FALSE: Need more data!

    This is generally a favorite story. After the installation and implementation of a CRM system, managers are overcome by a wild desire to accumulate information about everything, including the height, weight and eye color of buyers of their exquisite silicate bricks and high-end concrete M500. Employees spend a lot of time collecting and entering this data, taking time away from the client. Do you know what happens with this information in the future? And nothing. It is completely irrelevant to the company's core business, does not correlate with user requests, and cannot be adequately used in any way.

    Therefore, the matter is not in the amount of data, but in quality and relevance:

    • collect accurate and necessary data
    • be sure to collect transaction data
    • request customer feedback
    • save all the information that can tell about the buyer's preferences
    • do not collect data that is not relevant to your activity
    • do not just store, but process and interpret the data.

    Information and analytics are the blood of modern business. Therefore, treat them carefully and professionally.

    TRUE: CRM vendor is your business partner

    FALSE: CRM vendor is just a seller, store, supplier

    This thesis is often translated, including in the comments on Habré:

    The attitude of the company to the vendor is like a store: came, bought, left. And then here such attacks pour in our direction. However, the vendor is interested in the fact that his product worked as it was intended, so he is open to constant interaction. Here are the most common points of contact between the developer and the client:

    • CRM demonstration before purchase, discussion, answers to questions
    • requirements collection
    • CRM system implementation
    • training
    • development of technical specifications for revision and revision itself
    • implementation of changes
    • upgrade of the CRM-system to the new version
    • and of course, technical support.

    In fact, you interact with the developer continuously and at any time you can contact him with any question. But if you or a vendor have chosen a “store-buyer” relationship, it means that either you are able to cope with software of any level, or the vendor is not ready to professionally approach the implementation.

    CRM are different: complex and very simple, the level of "for all" and the level of the enterprise, new and from developers with experience. Here, for example, the flagship RegionSoft CRM 7.0 came out and we call it a spaceship, Tesla, Falcon and Brabus behind our eyeswe like it ourselves. In general, there are no guarantees that you will buy it, implement it and the next morning your business will wake up with an IPO on the Chicago Stock Exchange. And even no guarantees that the profit for the quarter will tripled. But it will become easier to work, operational management will become intelligible, and processes stable and transparent - this is a proven fact. And there and close to the IPO.

    Our new flagship RegionSoft CRM 7.0 - until September 21 with 15% discount and other buns

    Slowly write a video with an overview of functionality

    Chat discussion of articles in Telegram for those who cannot or do not want to write in the comments

    Also popular now: