Ann Arbor HubSpot User Group Blog

4 Questions You Need to Ask Before Jumping into a New CRM

Posted by Ben Jessup

Nov 5, 2015 7:00:00 AM

Your customer relationship management system is only a tool—not a solution. Whether you’re using SalesForce, HubSpot CRM or another system, it will only be as good as your sales process and definitions.

So if you’re thinking about getting a new CRM system, it’s vitally important that you ask the right questions before taking the plunge. Here are four questions too many businesses don’t ask—but should.

What do we need from a new CRM?

There are a lot of ways to configure a CRM system. Many companies just take a hodge-podge approach, and they’re surprised when it ends up resembling Frankenstein’s monster. Make sure you know what you want out of your system, and set it up with that goal in mind. Do you want a more efficient sales process? Are you looking to increase the lifetime value of a customer, or increase new sales volume?

Remember, inbound marketing is about more than increasing awareness. It’s also about nurturing existing customers and leads to increase your sales and revenue. It costs 4 to 10 times as much to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one. So at a minimum, set up and plan your CRM to help your sales and marketing teams keep on top of your existing customers with relevant information.

Are our activities measurable and reportable to all stakeholders?

Movement and activity aren’t the same thing. Sales is a process and at each key step, you need to determine if your lead moves forward, is disqualified, or needs to be nurtured and dealt with later. Define each stage with the specific tasks and requirements needed to transition a lead to the next step in the sales process. This makes it a lot easier to analyze your pipeline and it helps you identify where leads are getting stuck in the sales process.

What’s scary about a new CRM system?

Switching to a new CRM system or setting up a new one usually makes people break into a cold sweat. Opening up the messy closet of prospect and client data can be terrifying and overwhelming. The better the data in the system, the better your transition can work—but having messy data is better than no data at all. HubSpot’s CRM lets you get going right away and learn the system over time. It’s unbelievably easy to use—there’s no need for lots of upfront mapping that has to be done right the first time. Over time, you can adapt the system to your needs. You can add a workflow or two and you can clean up your system based on your behavior.

Training can be a huge deterrent to switching systems. Many of the core issues with teams adopting the new CRM have nothing to do with the tool and everything to do with the process. Clarity and simplicity in the steps make it much easier to adopt a new system.

Take the time to really look at the buying process from your persona’s perspective. Align your sales process to how they buy so you can increase adoption and buy-in from staff even faster. The more you understand your buyer’s process, the better you’ll be able to set up your CRM to assist you throughout the buyer’s journey.

Do Sales and Marketing play nice with data?

Misalignment between sales and marketing can be the biggest issue. Each team needs contact data, for similar but different uses. All of that inbound marketing using content to generate leads is great for getting lots of contact information, but is your marketing team collecting data relevant to the sales team? Make sure both teams agree on what data they need at different stages. Having clear steps in the sales process, clear needs and clear hand-off points will help keep everyone to move your prospects through the marketing and sales funnels.

Next Steps

Find out more about how to get the most out of your CRM—join us at the next HUG meetup!

Topics: Smarketing

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