Myth # 1. You need a CRM.
You don’t need a CRM. Let me say it again, you don’t need a CRM. You need a solution to a business problem that you have. You only need a CRM if you know (that is, not been told) that you or your business is not running as efficiently as it should or could. If you feel totally in control using emails and calendars and spreadsheets and these will scale with you as you grow, then STICK WITH IT. DON’T CHANGE.
Myth # 2. I will have less work to do if I get a CRM.
Don’t go into a CRM if you think it is going to save you work, especially initially. You will need to be very disciplined in how you use your CRM, and get into good habits. This will feel like more work, not less. For instance, a good tip is to put aside 30 minutes each day to make sure your contacts are up to date, your leads are entered and your tasks and activities for the next day and week are organised.
Myth # 3. CRM’s should be free, or cheap
It is true that most common CRM’s you can get off the cloud on a cheap monthly subscription. Many will have a free version. Software providers are generally not stupid – they know their competition and price accordingly. As a rough guide, I tell my clients that you should expect to pay between $100 and $200 a month for a CRM that does what you want. If that breaks the budget then seriously reconsider your CRM journey.
Myth # 4. I have to find the right software before I start
The beauty of our modern world of cloud-based subscription software is that you can stop and start usage any time you want. Data can be easily extracted and imported into something else. Don’t deliberate for ages over finding the exact fit for your CRM needs – it is highly likely that you won’t find it. Just start. Start with a package that does some or most of what you want, understand the gaps in the software and then keep exploring the CRM market as your needs and requirements change.
Myth # 5. It will help me automate my sales process.
Well maybe. Do you know your sales process? Have you mapped it out and have you documented it? Is it working the way you want it to? What parts of your sales process do you want automated? Don’t expect a CRM to magically fix any issues that you may have. Optimise your process first, decide on your automation points and then look at a CRM to help you automate. (Note that automation in CRM software usually comes at a cost, which brings me to…)
Myth # 6. It will help me with marketing.
Similar to Myth # 5. I can help you facilitate your marketing, but it can’t help you do your marketing. I was at a client recently who bought a fancy CRM for outbound marketing and then a) didn’t know how to use it and more importantly b) didn’t know what to do with it. You need a marketing strategy first and then work out a tool that can help you. A/B trees? Customer journey maps? Yes, all good stuff, but walk before you can run.
Myth # 7. I need to be technical to set it up.
Many are scared off getting into a CRM because they feel they need to have an IT degree to set it up, or pay someone big $ to do it for them. Whilst paying someone to help you may be a good idea (hint, hint), it is not necessary to get started. Most modern CRM’s have lovely interfaces that are easy to use out of the box, or you can easily make some changes (e.g., adding fields) yourself.
Myth # 8. I can just get my Admin Assistant to do the work.
Of course, your admin assistant can help, but don’t go into CRM land thinking it is just an administrative system. The data that you put in to the CRM must be useful and of value to the whole business. It must be on your mobile, on your tablet and on all your computers, being used all the time. If you are just focussed on entering data, you are wasting your time and money.
Myth # 9. Not everyone will need to use it.
A very large telecommunications provider in Australia spent countless millions on a CRM for their sales teams and then didn’t enforce its usage. Consequently, very few people used it. It wasn’t until bonuses were directly tied to the sales numbers in the CRM system (not in random spreadsheets) that the CRM had widespread adoption. CRM’s, big or small, are a kind of “all for one and one for all” type of system.
Myth # 10. It’s just software. It’s not changing my business.
Read Myth # 1 again. If you don’t want to change, then don’t. A well-used, functioning CRM will become the lifeblood of your business and enable you to grow and scale. Your products and services are cool, but your data is a critical asset to your business. How are you using yours?