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The seven frustrations of DIY CRM – a story

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Imagine – in a recent sales meeting it was decided that your organisation really did need a CRM.  All of your competitors, colleagues and friends now seem to use CRM.  Some of them rave about how much easier it makes work, and a few grizzle about all the data entry.  But there will always be some people who complain.  You volunteered to take this project on – it cannot be that hard – after all it is only CRM – customers, addresses and some property  viewing appointments.

Your boss – the Sales Manager – was really pleased as he really felt that it was something that he did not want to do.  This was your chance to shine.  Promotion beckoned.

Major Frustration one :- which CRM is the best?

That night you did a quick internet search, and to your amazement you found that there are dozens of possible CRMs.; thousands of people claiming to be experts and nearly as many reviews of products, features etc.

You posted a few questions to Facebook and Linked In.  Now you are even more confused.  Lots of people came back and told you which CRM they used and their thoughts about it – usually not very polite   A few sales people offered to show you their solution and some people had a good moan about their CRM. Which CRM is best for me?

But nobody really answered your questions.  Surely, we are the same as, or at least similar to, other businesses – after all we talk to companies and people about their problems and then fix them.  Has nobody ever put CRM into an Estate Agent?

CRM Trial - which way from here?  How do I navigate this?

So now what?  You are getting worried.  Perhaps you have bitten off more than you can chew with this CRM project?  But, giving up is not your thing.

Sign up for the trial – what next?

Some of the CRMs that you discovered have a trial.  That will enable you to which of these CRM’s fits your business.  So you sign up for the trials – four in all.

Almost immediately, you receive emails with instructions to log on to the system.  That sounds easy enough.

So you log on to the first one.

Whoa – what is this?

CRM is huge!  What do I do now?

It is huge – far more than you expected – after all CRM is only customer names and addresses and some follow up details.  Obviously not to these people.

Major frustration two: It does not look like our business

It does not look anything like you expected.  Prospects do not appear anywhere.  Nor do companies.  And certainly not repair requests – which you do all day long.  And there is loads of stuff that you have never heard of.

These CRM products are like chalk and cheese when I think about how we work.

How do people use these things?  They must be geeks who speak a different language.  This cannot work for us.  Let’s try the next trial.

This one seems better – but still not what you expected.  This one seems to be specifically for people who sell luxury chocolates – you sell and rent houses and commercial premises – so you cannot see how that one can work.  After all each house or office is unique, not made by the box in a factory.

On to the next one – no better.

Back to the internet – there has to be a way of making them work – not everyone sells luxury chocolates or bikes.

Configuration is the answer

Several late nights later, you discover that the trick is to configure CRM.  Almost nobody uses these things exactly as they come.

CRM configuration is like making a house meet your family's needs rather than the needs of your vendor.

The penny dropped – configuration is how you make a standard product look like something you can use – just like very few people move into a house and leave it just like their predecessor had it.  After watching several hours of videos and reading more blog posts than you can count, as well as a couple of books, you have made some progress.

Two months later, working late into the evening most nights, you have made it look like something that you can use.  It talks about companies and prospects.  It has the addresses of properties – and a map to show where they are located.

Major Frustration three:- Getting the data in

The CRM now looks like something that you can use.  But it still does not have any of your data in it.  Now you are thinking “We have hundreds of spreadsheets – how do I get all that information into CRM? Getting data into CRM

This is important customer information – when do we need to follow them up, who came to which information evening, our seating plans, what each of them has enquired about, even who has sold through us before, the problems like leaky taps and broken fixtures that we have to fix.  This stuff is important to us and I cannot possible retype it all.  And my boss will kill me if I show him something without our data.”

Back to the trusty internet – again.

Finally you discover about data importing.  But that needs a PhD in Excel.  However, there is no giving up now – you are on the final straight, you can see that promotion, perhaps even the award at the end of the year.

Major Frustration Four:- I’ve put all this information in – how the f**k do I get the reports?

At the next sales meeting you proudly showed your boss your work.  His first question was “Where are the sales reports?” You nearly walked out.  But you stayed – you were too tired to leave – and thought “I sat up all weekend figuring out how to get the information in from our 953 different spreadsheets.  I finally cracked it – using about 397 different imports and learning stuff about Excel that I could not imagine.

And all he could ask ‘where are the f***ing reports?’  Does he not understand anything?”CRM Frustration - implementing CRM without expert help is like banging your head

However, he did tell the team to use it.  So thank goodness for small mercies.

Major Frustrations Five, six and seven:- You’ve spent ages making it work and now no-one will use it?

At the next sales meeting he asked “who likes the new CRM?”  Silence.

All you could think was “Three months of late nights, no sleep, too much coffee, 5kg extra round my middle, to get this thing right for him.  My girlfriend said I loved this CRM thing more than her so found someone else.  All this for what? Nothing.  Absolutely NOTHING.  And certainly no promotion”.

The one easy way to make CRM successful – Opsis

You can have an experience similar to our hero above.  Or, you can take the easy option and partner with an organisation who has done this before – for estate agents, recruitment consultants, telcos, internet companies, not-for profit organisations, labour hire companies, computer companies, government departments and more small and larger organisations.

When you partner with Opsis we will work with you so you get a solution that fits your business.  We configure CRM so it looks like your business.  We will bring in your data and create the reports that you need.  A typical Opsis CRM project includes:

  • A Scoping workshop– we work with you to understand exactly what you need from your CRM, your kpis, processes and reports;
  • An implementation done by experienced consultants, who have encountered most problems before, who ensure that the solution both leverages the out of the box functionality and matches your business. We also work with you to test the solution, so it really does meet the requirements that you asked for in the scoping
  • Training for all users appropriate to their roles so they are happy to use the new CRM solution

And if you want to trial CRM before you commit, we offer GuideMeGuru – a free trial supported by our experienced consultants so you do not have to figure it out for yourself.

We are happy to talk to you about configuring CRMGuideMeGuru or any other questions that you may have about making your CRM journey a success.  Please call us on 02 8212 3480 or contact us.

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Ways to Contact Opsis

Phone: +61(2) 8212 3480

Email: opsisinfo (at) opsis.com.au

Skype: opsiscrm

Postal address: GPO Box 2479, Sydney, NSW 2001

Office Address: Suite 1a,
993 Pacific Highway,

Pymble, NSW 2073

Taming the Beast of CRM data

presented by Gill Walker at CRMSaturday in Sydney

Download slides and notes here

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Opsis is an expert CRM consulting company. We are not an IT company, nor a management consultancy, although we often work with both of these.  Our focus is wholly CRM, and particularly Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  We are based in Sydney, NSW, with clients in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane and across Australia.  Our range of CRM services include CRM strategy, CRM scoping, CRM implementation, technical  support and CRM training.