5 Things Your CRM Vendor Does Not Want You To Ask

Most of today’s CRM solutions have a feature set consisting of contact management, activity and forecasting. Some also include lead scoring, social media and collaboration tools. Here are five things to consider in your buyer selection journey that many CRM’s fall short on:
Access – How long does it take to actually get the software up and running? Is it the same if it is on a PC, Mobile phone or tablet? Sales people are busy – it has to be easy to use or they won’t use it.
Usability – How many clicks does it take to find what a sales rep needs or take to get things done? Is it quick & easy to complete the tasks the rep needs to do and does it follow the sales process the way a rep thinks / acts in your organization (i.e. rather than what the non sales rep CRM programmers think)?
Data Entry – Black and blue fingertips on sales reps is a sure sign of too much data entry! Does the system force them to add un-necessary data or just what they need to get the job done? It has to be simple to enter, minimal data entry and the rep see’s the value in doing it.
Give Back – Reps need to see immediate value when they use a CRM or it’s just another management tracking device. Do the reps receive more value than the time / effort they put into it? Does it provide actionable work for the rep or is it basically a CMS (contact management system) just keeping your data but not adding real value?
Data Presentation View – Is the data presented in a way that is instantly actionable? Does it conform to the way your reps sales process flows? Is it easy to see what you need without having to click back and forth too much? Can the CRM be customized to show you just what you need to see without the fluff?
These are just five overlooked features / benefits to consider. Bottom line if the CRM you’re evaluating isn’t fast, easy to navigate, easy to use and provide significant value to the rep then why would you expect them to use it?
In fact, some CRM installations take two years before sales reps become comfortable using it (Technology Advice Article). I can’t think of any sales organization that would knowingly go down a two year sales training path for a CRM.
Also, don’t forget about your sales process. If it’s working well then your CRM should support that process. If it isn’t, you probably need more than a CRM / Training session– it might be time to review the process then find the right CRM to support your team.