7 signs it’s time to upgrade your outdated CRM system

7 signs it’s time to upgrade your outdated CRM system

Like people, companies often have a natural aversion to change. After all, the stakes are high in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, with new technologies and trends creating new opportunities for businesses to succeed — or to fail.

Particularly when it comes to new technology, business owners can feel overwhelmed. Which CRM solution is the best pick? Should you implement it yourself, or connect with a third party? Is it worth the cost? And, most intimidating of all… how do you even begin to overhaul the way you and your employees have been doing things for so long?

Having spent over 20 years in the CRM industry, we’ve seen this firsthand with clients reconsidering their outdated CRM (customer relationship management) systems.

Why is a CRM upgrade so intimidating?

Often, our clients have either built a wealth of data within various folders and spreadsheets, in antiquated CRM tools that function as little more than rolodexes, or are relying upon a combination of both. These outdated information management systems cause painful inefficiencies they’re well aware of — yet they still find themselves afraid of and resistant to change.

Why?

Maybe you’ve found yourself stressing over some of the same questions: Which CRM should you migrate to? How will you get all that data moved over, and without losing anything? How long will it take to get it set up? How much is it going to cost you? And, when all is said and done, will your employees even use it — or will it just cause more of a headache for your organization?

If this sounds like you, you’re certainly not alone.

But in our experience, if you don’t face your fear, your business is likely to face far more severe consequences sticking with the status quo than it will investing in a robust, long-term CRM solution.

Signs it’s time to change your CRM

If your business has run into any of these red flags, it’s a strong indication your current CRM system has outlived its usefulness.

1. Your CRM doesn’t fit your process

We find companies often fall into three categories when they realize their CRM tool isn’t fulfilling their needs.

For some, when first starting out, they made their initial solution decision with a limited budget or without much time spent on research. This resulted in a subpar tool from the get go. Others may have chosen the best technology available at the time, but have found it hasn’t aged well or been properly maintained and updated, leaving you with a slow, limited version.

Perhaps most frequently, however, are businesses that find they have outgrown their solution. While their CRM system once met their needs, the organization has grown and evolved, implementing new business goals and internal processes that the CRM system simply wasn’t designed to serve.

Whatever the reason, if you find your CRM solution can’t provide key functionality to support how you do business — such as tracking client leads and sales performance, creating tasks and calendar appointments, and setting up workflow reminders and alerts — it’s time to consider a new platform.

2. The data is limited or unreliable

Another common complaint about legacy CRM systems is that there isn’t enough data input options, or that much of the data is junk. And as the adage goes, “You’re only as good as your data.”

If your current CRM system isn’t configured to not only gather a wealth of critical data, but to organize and connect it in ways that drive actionable insights, ask yourself: What does this mean for sales representatives and marketing professionals attempting to use the system to look up company information, create buyer personas, and identify histories and trends to aid in their outreach efforts?

Inaccurate or incomplete data undermines your staff using the system. Ultimately, this translates to drains on your bottom line. In fact, bad data costs organizations nearly $3 trillion annually across all industries, according to Harvard Business Review.

3. Your system won’t talk to others

While CRM is crucial to any organization, it’s certainly not the only tool your business relies upon. Your system needs to integrate seamlessly with other software and plugins to help your sales, marketing, and customer service teams do their jobs efficiently and effectively.

If you’re not currently connecting these solutions centrally through your CRM platform as a single system of truth, you’ll likely struggle with conflicting or duplicate data, redundant manual entry and inefficient workflows, and a disparate picture of your customer base and sales activities.

4. You lack reporting and forecast visibility

For most companies, sales results aren’t the only metric critical to measuring sales team performance. An effective CRM system should track the sales and marketing activities and interactions throughout the entire sales process, easily analyzed through a customizable reporting dashboard.

Equally important is the ability to forecast future sales through an accurate and user-friendly forecast tool. Your CRM should take the guesswork out of both short- and long-term pipeline forecasts, equipped with dynamic fields such as probability, volume and status.

If your CRM lacks robust sales reporting and forecast functionality, you’re seriously handicapping not only your sales staff and management, but company leadership’s ability to make informed decisions based on projected profitability.

5. Your CRM lacks workflow automation

Many outdated CRM systems function as a digital address book, without workflow automation capabilities.

We commonly design workflows that help our clients automate key milestone tasks within their internal processes, such as customer follow up tasks, marketing outreach, alerts and reminders, and departmental approvals. Such tasks are key to generating leads for your business, and moving them smoothly through the buyer lifecycle.   

If your legacy CRM platform doesn’t have functionality to unite sales and marketing efforts to generate and convert leads to sales — with workflow automation to streamline the process — you’re missing out on high-value CRM functionality.

6. It can’t keep up with you on the go

Companies are increasingly expanding beyond traditional brick and mortar operations — with employees traveling back and forth between working in the office and out in the field, accessing systems from airports and hotels while traveling, or working in a completely virtual capacity from their home or local coffee shop.

If you have staff that fit any or all of these descriptions, it’s important they can remotely access your CRM system quickly, easily and securely. This means it must also be available through mobile, email, and web-based  channels — a key requirement for your increasingly mobile team.

If your CRM doesn’t facilitate out-of-office access with multichannel capabilities, you’re wasting productivity and likely alienating an expanding pool of remote-savvy talent, as well as potential clients.

7. There’s no support

If you’re still reading this article, we assume one or more of these outdated CRM system red flags resonates with your current situation. But you may be asking yourself — do I really need to migrate to a completely new solution, or can I simply update my current system?

While we help our clients explore the update options available through their current CRM solution provider, we run into many legacy CRM systems that no longer provide ongoing support and development. Or some, such as Infor CRM (formerly known as Saleslogix), may provide one-time updates for a fee — which is just a temporary fix until the next upgrade and fee.

In either case, the lack of ongoing free updates is a clear sign your current CRM provider isn’t investing in their system to ensure it keeps up with new technologies and trends in the market to best serve your business. What’s more, the lack of ongoing updates will likely cause compatibility issues with other key business systems over time.

Therefore, in most cases, we find it’s more cost-effective to invest in a modern, well-maintained solution.

Migrate your outdated CRM faster and more affordably

Knowing the pains our customers continue to face with their outdated CRM systems, TrellisPoint has developed solutions to ease the pain of migration.

Regardless of the legacy system you currently have, our team can work with you to identify your current process needs, make recommendations for functionality improvements and data clean up, and ultimately design a CRM solution tailored with the right fields, entities, and workflows in place to drive impact for your business.

And for those currently using Infor CRM (formerly known as Saleslogix), we can migrate your data to the latest innovative Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution for less than the cost of upgrading Infor CRM (Saleslogix) to the newest version — using our unique Infor Migration tool.

To learn more about migrating your outdated CRM system to a robust CRM solution, contact us today at 440.390.1619 or sales@trellispoint.com. Be sure to ask about a 30-day free trial of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales!

By | 2019-03-29T19:28:38+00:00 March 1st, 2019|Uncategorized|1 Comment

About the Author:

Peter is a business and information technology consultant that helps organizations grow faster and operate more efficiently using Customer Relationship Management software. He has acquired deep experience across delivery, pre-sales and sales roles within the mid-market and enterprise IT consulting space and has spent more than 15 years focused specifically on CRM solutions.

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  1. […] sales decisions and build strong, profitable relationships —and if they’re still working from an outdated legacy CRM system, it will become increasingly difficult for them to compete in the marketplace for business, and […]

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