Don't like CRM systems? You just do not know how to cook them.

    “I don’t like this C ++, I’m not happy with JavaScript,” “Oh, I won’t use this PowerShell, I’ll set up handles in the admin panel of all 400 users”, “To hell with my server, I rent a cloud, and great” etc. Surely you have heard such phrases in any sphere of life, and they all have a clear inner meaning “I am lazy / difficult / incomprehensible / there is no time to deal with C ++ / PowerShell, etc., therefore I will not like them and drown them for their usual technology ". The same thing happens with CRM-systems: a business postpones implementation as far as possible, just not to plunge into the process, not to change something inside the company, otherwise the FIG knows how it will still be there. And time is running out, the customer base is lost, employees are working at low speed, the business does not die, but does not run very far. High? Not. We need to take and figure out - with us the next iteration of clashes with the CRM-system.  

    We often write about CRM-systems, on Habré and not only, but we never once wrote one thing that vendors often broadcast, but this does not make it true. We have never stated that the introduction of a CRM system in a company is simple. There is nothing more false than this statement: the fact is that automation is always an intervention in the state of affairs in a company, whatever it may be. Even the transition from the usual telephony to IP-telephony and virtual PBX is a stress for the team and for business. Another thing is that stress (shaking) is positive, aimed at intensive development, growth and progress. However, if everything is clear with the IP-telephony and the benefit is almost indisputable, then everything is not so simple with the CRM system.

    Our team of developers and managers of RegionSoft CRMcontinuously monitors the "noise" around the various CRM-systems on Habré, on social networks, on specialized sites and even on narrow specialized resources. And we understand that there are three main areas of reflection:

    1. CRM is very difficult, I will think about it tomorrow
    2. CRM - it's cool, figured out, implemented, there is a result
    3. CRM is terrible, I had / have Abvgd CRM, and I no longer

    We would like everyone to be number 2, we approximately know how to figure out and help number 3, but in many respects number 1 prevails. Indeed, despite some unbelievable number of CRM systems on the market (for now, let's leave a discussion of their quality), the level of business automation in general is rather low, especially in the small and medium business. So, our survey a year ago showed that 50% of companies have CRM, but our sample was lame - we interviewed only on Habré. In fact, the share is significantly lower.

    So what's the matter, why is it easier to turn away from an effective tool and postpone it for later, than to start right now and progressively come to a good level of automation? Let's figure it out.

    First, let's answer a few questions.

    What is a CRM system?

    CRM-system is a computer program (desktop or cloud), which solves the problem of customer relationship management. About ten years ago it was software exclusively for sales (made a client → created a transaction → conducted a transaction in stages → closed the sale), today large CRM systems have outgrown this level and include operational and analytical functions that automate the entire commercial service, including sales , marketing, technical support and top management. Moreover, CRM can become an end-to-end automation tool - for example, we ourselves, the development company, use RegionSoft CRM for all our activities, our CRM system automates warehouses, cashier, retail stores, and so on. from our customers.

    Such versatility, on the one hand, is a great boon for all: acquiring an end-to-end automation system from a vendor, you get an integrated approach to support, seamless integration (actually modules within one system), the vendor’s total responsibility for the operation of all this software, as it should be, we, developers, do not struggle with thousands of lines of curves and not very API and with other integration crutches.

    On the other hand, universality turns into redundancy programs: by acquiring a CRM (or by renting it), the client gets something extra that you either need to turn off, or not notice, or learn to use to your advantage (this is for real Jedi). Actually, redundancy is one of the first arguments of managers who decided to “think tomorrow.” We, for example, found a fairly simple workout: sharedRegionSoft CRM on editors and now everyone - even the smallest companies - can find the option that they need and not overpay for unnecessary functionality.

    Therefore, now it is better to consider CRM systems not in terms of industry or price, but in terms of feature sets:

    • basic functionality (contacts, deals, tasks, calendar, basic reports)
    • standard functionality (documents, integration, primary, currency accounting, etc.)
    • enterprise functionality (call centers, incident handling, etc.)
    • niche functionality (something very industry-specific, for example, as in RegionSoft CRM Media — a CRM system for operators of advertising , radio and television: media planning, rental of places, placements cards, on-air help, etc.).

    This is not to say that a tiny company needs only the first set, and a bigger company, say, a third one. Need to look at the requirements. It’s more likely to consider the order of implementation and commissioning: from the very first day it’s easy to start working with basic functions, after some adjustment we start standard functions, and then, after launching, full implementation, training and improvement, the world of expanded functionality and niche functions opens . That's it from such a stepped, gradual implementation and you need to proceed, thinking about the CRM project in your company.

    Why do you need a CRM system?

    In fact, the CRM system has one big, supreme goal: to improve customer relationships. Today there are no non-competitive spheres, and the client is looking for where it is better, cheaper and more gracious - and in any sphere, not only in B2C. It means that it is necessary to work competently, and this can be done only on the basis of an array of information and with the utmost punctuality and responsibility. So that not to forget anything, not to lose and do it as quickly and accurately as possible, and need a CRM.

    No matter how we all on Habré were lofty and dreamed of a world of development without these scurrying marketing specialists and salespeople (as is often the case here), the world is impossible without them: our programs, services, engineering, etc. you need to sell - even word of mouth doesn't work without a great commercial incentive. Here's a CRM for this and is invented - to make the work of businessmen simple, understandable, transparent and technological.

    Sometimes you can read the promises “let's boost business”, “bring customers”, “CRM will give sales growth by 34%”, “let's make leads hot”. Of course, these are just words - the only correct slogan for CRM systems is something like “freeing the hands and heads of your managers,” but these hands and heads are capable of working with automation more efficiently, more intensively and professionally, and there clients will catch up and sales will rise.

    Who chooses a CRM system in a company?

    Anyone - we will answer, being a vendor of CRM-systems and software for business. And in these two words lie the features of the “image” of CRM. For example, the ITSM system chooses CIO and sysadmin, the production management system is chosen by engineers and technologists, and CRM is everything, really everything: from the general director to the secretary. In different areas, these are people with different educational profiles and even basic computer literacy. Sometimes for them CRM is like Excel or like a notepad with a rug, and the demo version shows the opposite, hence the legs at the desire to postpone the collision with the unknown for a long time.

    And most importantly, it is a factor that is difficult to handle. Therefore, one advice: choosing a CRM, ask a lot of questions to the vendor and rely on his experience - he also knows what to ask you to make a normal effective implementation. We do not know how our competitors are, but we are definitely not interested in negative feedback on our work or in crushing CRM to a client and forgetting about it, receiving money. We think they too.

    Who can be against the CRM-system in the company and why?

    In addition to those who fear new things in the company, there are those who, quite consciously and motivatedly, can oppose the CRM system and lobby their interests more abruptly than any lobby group at the top: to incite employees to protest, discourage the boss, evade towards light solutions and .d., hiding behind the principles of economy, security, cohesion and anything else.

    1. Heads of sales and leading sales managers are often driven by fear for the growth of transparency of work and the need to conduct transactions in a single database. So they lose their "lured customers" and their practices of the customer base, which they consider to be exclusively personal.

    2. Marketers - they may not be ready to work with data and intensive changes in the structure of activity. In addition, marketing and sales are often in a state of confrontation (which in itself is not very good for business) and are not prepared to share an information base with each other.
    3. Top managers - everything is simple: they are against the transparency of the work of their departments and the growth of the level of access of the manager to the operational data. The director, who has access to CRM, cannot be cut by tsiferki, he can form a report and see all the flaws and sags, in full view.
    4. Company executives - oddly enough, they can also be against CRM. The reasons are trivial: the desire to save (whatever one may say, the introduction costs money), the unwillingness to understand something new and the fear of annoying the team with their decision on automation.

    Speaking of savings. According to a Select Hub survey (USA and Europe), 63% of managers are willing to pay any price for a CRM system, 28% - $ 50–200 for a license (not implementation - either a license, or a month of rent per person), 9% - up to $ 50 . By the way, the eternal license (pay once) RegionSoft CRM Professional Plus (popular) costs 14,100 rubles. (approx. $ 210), and the most inexpensive - only $ 111. This is probably the lowest price among strong solutions of equal level.

    As you can see, none of the listed employees are concerned about the growing load on processors, servers and system administrators (who can also be against - too lazy to support) :-) All of the reasons are purely personal, lying in the plane of private interests. So, from a business point of view, they are not justified and dangerous. The remedy is simple: make a decision about automation and implement it in order to get off the extensive rails and get on the intensive ones.

    Why CRM-system can not fly up?

    Okay, we bought CRM, we relaxed the lobby groups, we trained our employees, but the CRM doesn't take off - they forget to use it, they forget what data they can extract from it. Cases with the client base and security have become many times better, but there is no bright effect. Why? There are options.

    • You did not answer the question of why you need a CRM system, what goals you are pursuing and what results you expect. And if so, with what will you compare the result? Be sure to identify the tasks that the system should solve in business and what you want to achieve with this tool.
    • Employees use the system without enthusiasm. Your task is to make it valuable not for you, not for the company, but for them, for each user: to facilitate their work, allow them to lead more customers and applications and earn more, find free time for training, etc.
    • CRM for you is first of all technology. This, of course, IT specialists sin: they embed CRM into infrastructure, set up backups, write custom functions, turn CRM into super CRM, but at the same time it is not perceived by the company as a working tool. Of course, this is wrong: the technology decides, but it should not interfere - all the improvements, settings, and so on. Not to the detriment of the work of the main users.

    CRM-system - is the organization of work, labor efficiency and communication, working in conjunction. Making it work is easy: start with simple functions, train employees and continue to expand within the automation. When you are done, you will look back and understand how difficult and interesting the journey you have been. But due to the discrete overcoming of tasks step by step, the process of full deployment of a CRM system can be relatively painless.

    CRM chips, without which the business can not live

    In today's advanced CRM systems, there are many functions that are necessary and unnecessary, from a simple sales funnel to personnel management and a corporate portal. Many use some features for detuning from competitors, some cover their flaws, and someone has the same funnel implemented as ... a static picture. It is very difficult to find one that combines a reasonable price, full stuffing in terms of functionality, a simple and intuitive interface, and super speed. However, no, not difficult - just impossible. As they say in the great film, "everyone has his own shortcomings."

    But there is a set that is better to detect and test in the CRM-system before you buy it.

    E-mail and mail client- it must be a perfectly working function. If it is integration with external services, find out the price of the plug-in and check its performance so that there are no surprises. But it’s better, of course, the built-in proprietary email client — for example, we chose this path, so all correspondence with the client is attached to his card in RegionSoft CRM, and even after the employee leaves, you don’t need to look for access to his working mailbox — just give access to his clients.

    Reportsin different perspectives - without them, CRM is not a business program at all. See how many reports are in the system (we have more than 100 operational reports in RegionSoft CRM), which cuts can be created, whether there are filters and the possibility of customizing reports using built-in or external tools (report designer).

    Sales funnel in one form or another is in almost all CRM-systems. But the ability to customize the profiles of the funnel, view in the context of the manager, department, by date, etc. - not at all. And these profiles will start to miss you in about a month of using the system, when you want to do an analysis of the fact of sales and see the reasons for leaving the customers, find out where the weak link is. Therefore, pay attention not so much to the beauty of the funnel, but to its flexibility.

    Telephony and integration with virtual PBX - mandatory integration. Check that in CRM there are no specific paid PBXs or even connection fees, this can greatly increase the cost of implementation. The CRM system must be able to take a call, pick up a client card, save call information, record a conversation and hook it to a client card. Simple and obvious, but not all implemented in human terms.

    Automation of business processes is an important mechanism for any business. Yes, it's not easy to understand even the native visual process editor (we know this from the experience of using our handy editor and business process wizard in RegionSoft CRM), not to mention the BPMN notation. But this is really very convenient and necessary functionality, which will save a lot of time, help you perform routine tasks on time and establish personal responsibility of employees for each stage.

    With automated business processes, this focus will not pass.

    Security and access control- a strictly required component of any corporate software, not only CRM-systems. The more security levels, the better: down to physical, when you can use a USB key to access the system. Backups (creating database backups) are also a key element of security: ask the vendor how the backups are arranged. The fact is that with some suppliers it is carried out either for money or on a special schedule and it is quite simple to lose data placed on other people's capacities (in the cloud). So remember the three basic security questions: protection, access rights and backups.

    Of course, there are many other important functions in CRM systems (see the grouping at the beginning of the article), and each vendor has its own “tricks”. For example, we in RegionSoft CRM have several very cool features that we are proud of: planners (including a three-week pass-through planner), working with a warehouse, with the needs of retail stores, managing complex project sales, multi-currency calculations, calculating and developing TKP (technical -commercial offers), built-in custom calculators for calculating measurable orders (for example, the volume of boxes, windows, furniture, distances, etc.). Such features of each vendor are due to its experience and customer demand (by the way, it is often possible to determine by functionality who “loves” this or that system more: start-ups, creative agencies or the grocery and manufacturing business - but this

    What is important in the CRM-system?

    There are several highlights on which it is worth to focus attention when working with a CRM system.

    • The balance between security and usability is the most fragile, often broken: either it is an affordable and simple solution with storage in a public cloud, or it is a little strained, configured and supported, but has its own server, reliable backup and increased security.
    • The organic nature of the functions - the CRM system should remain in demand within the company with software to support commercial activities and operational management of the company, and not become a means of total control over the staff or corporate chat and photo storage from vacations.
    • The maximum concentration of functionality in one interface - it is better to choose "heaped" CRM-systems with many functions, so as not to produce a software zoo in a company that costs a lot of money and eats resources. It is more convenient for employees to enter data, plan, write, send, call, read and write documents in one interface. By the way, somehow we met a study that adaptation to the interface of a CRM system is required in 9 cases out of 10, so it is not surprising that employees want to learn, understand and start working, and not to rush through different software or third-party plugins .

    And also a mini-tip: if you do not have any special reasons and needs, do not acquire CRM with an English-language interface - employees will suffer, and you will not get half of the functions needed in Russian business turnover (a typical example: their invoicing against our bulky primary).

    • The speed of work and data processing is a very important moment in the work of a CRM system. Agree, it is strange if she "thinks" over the formation of each report or hangs on a call. And it seems like 2019 in two weeks, and there are enough corporate braking systems in all categories.  
    • The balance of price and functionality is an important criterion. A system that seems cheap or even free in its basic configuration requires an expansion very quickly, which has to be expensive to pay. As well as too expensive a system can include many unnecessary functions and even entire modules. Choose not at the price, but according to the requirements of your business.
    • The stability of the CRM-system within the IT-infrastructure of the company is a task to be solved by the system administrator and, in part, by the vendor. In principle, a CRM system today does not require any enormous computing resources and powerful servers (again, there are exceptions if you have a very busy database), but it’s better to ensure that backups and databases are properly stored, connection speed was stable, and the server itself was protected in accordance with the standard rules of information and physical security in the company. It does not require a lot of money, but it requires attention and thoughtful attitude. Still, you protect the second most valuable asset after employees - information.

    Awareness of your needs, close and open communication with the vendor and step-by-step, gradual implementation will allow you to automate business comfortably, at the same time transforming the “old way” into a more progressive and orderly one. At the end of this sometimes quite long journey - a qualitatively new level of business and all employees inside it. In the meantime, there is no automation, do not ask for whose fault is simple in business. Surely you know the answer - which means it's time to change something, accelerate, improve and overtake competitors as standing.

    imageWe have a New Year's action on all the software developed by our team, so if anyone needs a powerful desktop and functional RegionSoft CRM at a discount, take a moment, there are additional buns.

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