If You’re In Over Your Head with Your CRM, You’re Not Alone

If You’re In Over Your Head with Your CRM, You’re Not Alone

A lot of people come to us for Sales Force implementation solutions after trying to do it themselves without much luck. I mean, Sales Force seems like a simple enough CRM right? There are tons of tutorials, lots of documentation, a support line—what’s so difficult? That’s what most people think… and then they beat themselves up for not being able to get the seemingly “intuitive” CRM to react the way they envision.

If this sounds like you, don’t think you’re alone! Here’s a real story of a typical Sales Force integration.

The VP of customer service for a mid-sized internet start up company knows they need to do something to organize customer inquiries and has heard about CRMs. After doing some research, he decides on Sales Force.com and gets an annual budget of $24,000 approved to pay for it.

He has no idea how to implement it, but that’s ok, he’s just hired a new Operations Manager, and that will be her job. The Operations Manager knows zilch about Sales Force, but is pretty smart and can normally tackle technical challenges, so they assume everything will be fine.

Armed with copy of “SalesForce for Dummies” the new Operations Manager begins the long learning curve of setting up this new system for a new company. Between reading books and watching video tutorials, there were numerous calls to the Sales Force support line, during which the customer service department staff often overheard a profanity or two.

6 weeks later, the task was accomplished and it was time to test out the results in real time with the companies real customers. Here’s the story from the point of view of the Operations Manager:

“The rollout worked out ok, there were definitely glitches and there were a LOT of things that I kind of rigged up to work right… I found out later that there were more effective ways of doing some of the earlier tasks, but at that point there was no turning back. Oh! And scalability for other departments! I didn’t even think of that!

Once analytics and biz dev saw the cool graphs, they wanted to add user accounts. But because I hadn’t planned it for interdepartmental scalability, we had to do more work-arounds to separate the data. At some point I just felt that the entire CRM was a house of cards that could collapse at any moment. I mean, this was what was housing some of the company’s critical business data and it seemed like it could implode at any moment. Whenever someone from one department would add a user or a new functionality, I would just hold my breath… and that’s when we decided we needed some help!”

So if you’re hiding a dirty little secret about the potential instability of your CRM, rest assured that there are plenty of others out there just like you. It might be uncomfortable to ask for the budget to bring in CRM software experts, but it can be a lot more difficult to explain what happened to all of the company’s data! If anything, getting a second opinion about your architecture and having an xpert poke around for signs of potential future problems is a smart idea.

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