The 4 kinds of CRM tune-ups

Every CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system requires some level of maintenance to stay up to date with security and feature changes as well as with its company’s business processes, If it’s been a while since your CRM has worked seamlessly for your company, it’s time to ask, ‘does your CRM need a tune-up?

Before pursuing professional assistance from a CRM professional, it can be helpful to consider what type of tune-up you might need. Here’s a quick guide to the 4 main types of CRM tune-ups:

  1. Maintenance Tune-Up – AKA the ‘our-CRM-isn’t-keeping-up-with-our-processes-anymore’ tune-up.
    Even CRM systems that were thoroughly customized to suit the needs of a business need to be maintained. While people tend to think these systems are of the set-it-and-forget-it variety, business processes and user needs change, and if the CRM doesn’t change with them, it will eventually need a tune-up to return to its former glory and keep your team working smoothly. These sorts of tune-ups tend to move quickly because the concerns are clear to both users and management, and the majority of the system is still working as needed.
  2. Enhancement Tune-Up – AKA the ‘we-just-think-it-should-do-more’ tune-up.
    When the CRM is ‘just fine’ but the company wishes it could get more out of the system in terms of quality reporting or workflow efficiency, there’s a good chance the CRM investment is being underutilized. Few companies really get all that they can out of their CRM system, particularly if it’s one of the powerful major players like Salesforce or SugarCRM. An example of this is when a company has set up some custom fields to track unique data, but everything has to be manually entered and sometimes important fields are neglected. A well-configured CRM system should use automations to simplify the steps and guide users to prevent them from skipping important ones.
  3. Delayed Customization Tune-Up – AKA the ‘we-never-customized-it-and-it-never-worked-well-for-us HEELLLPP’ tune-up.
    This need for modifications is often only identified after months of user frustration, when management realizes that not only is the staff no more efficient, productive, or content since the CRM implementation, but also that the data they’re getting from the system isn’t very useful or accurate. This happens when companies implement a CRM system without planning for customization and roll-out by a professional CRM consultant. This CRM tune-up is similar to an initial implementation, except that all the users are already active in the system, so the modifications must be made in consideration of the existing data and user workflow. The sooner the needed CRM adjustments can be made, the sooner it can provide a return on investment for the company.
  4. Complete Overhaul Tune-Up – AKA the ‘we-DIY’d-it-and-now-it’s-a-quagmire mother-of-all-tune-ups’ tune-up.
    Sometimes CRM modifications are taken on by an employee who doesn’t have CRM technical expertise. Because they may not be aware of all the implications of the changes they’re attempting to make, things don’t always work out as planned. This can result in inefficient user interfaces, frustrating work processes, mysterious things happening in the system, and very bad data. This type of tune-up often requires a lot of planning, investigation, and troubleshooting to uncover the changes made that are causing problems and replace them with effective solutions. Data clean-up is often needed in these situations, and the more data there is, the bigger the job becomes.
 As you’ve probably gathered, it’s best to work with a CRM professional from the moment you decide to implement a CRM system to make sure your users will be able to work efficiently in the system and to prevent problems that may arise when changes are made by an inexperienced party. And once your system is in place and working, it’s important to have ongoing maintenance done by a CRM professional. Whether performed by someone in-house or by a CRM Administration service like that offered by Pacific Street, ongoing maintenance keeps your business operating in a streamlined fashion.

As your business changes, don’t forget to check in with your users periodically and make sure it’s still working well for them. If problems with using the system are affecting their workflow, your business would likely benefit from a CRM tune-up.

If you think your business could benefit from a CRM tune-up, get in touch with Pacific Street for a consultation.