What Are The Disadvantages of a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management systems have become an essential part of the modern business landscape. By now, we all know why they are so integral to business and that they bring several benefits that will give you an edge over your competition. But, have you been wondering what the tradeoff is?

Here are the five disadvantages of CRMs:

  1. Difficult implementation
  2. Costs of CRMs
  3. Training
  4. Complexity
  5. Security concerns

There is always a tradeoff in anything in life, and CRMs are no different. It’s difficult to make a decision on whether your business truly needs a CRM or not, especially when you start looking at the positives and the negatives. So, let’s dive deeper into the drawbacks you can expect from a CRM.

Five Disadvantages to Implementing CRMs

1. Difficult implementation

No matter which CRM you choose to go with, you’re going to be faced with a complex and challenging implementation process. All CRMs are complex systems that need to be integrated properly if you want to make the most of them.

In fact, almost 70% of all CRM integrations fail. The problem is that if you have one bad experience with a CRM, there is a chance that you could turn your back on this powerful system entirely without ever experiencing any of the benefits that it could bring to your business.

Many businesses don’t understand how they need to implement a CRM into their business so that it will seamlessly integrate with their other business systems. Then there’s also managing the project to ensure that it goes smoothly, and integrating the current business’ data without losing any of it! 

It’s an incredibly difficult process, so this is one area where you can’t afford to cut corners. It’s always best to team up with an experienced CRM implementation team to help you get the system up and running.

2. Costs of CRMs

One of the biggest elements that hold businesses back from using a CRM is the costs involved. If they’re not incredibly expensive on the surface, then you’ll likely be faced with hidden costs or trial accounts. You’ll also likely only find out about these once you’ve committed to using the CRM — as we know, implementing a CRM is not easy, and neither is switching to a different one.

This is why it’s so important to make sure you carefully choose the CRM that is right for your business, rather than the most popular one on the market. CRMs are not “one size fits all” solutions, and what works for Apple might not work for your medium-sized furniture upholstery store. 

CRMs can quickly become more and more expensive, especially if you don’t do in-depth research into each one before you make a final decision. Some CRMs even require specialised teams to be set up just to keep them running, and this is something that’s not suitable for smaller businesses.

Nevertheless, there are some truly free CRMs out there that give you the flexibility to only pay for the features that you need, rather than paying for features that you’ll never use. HubSpot is one of our personal favourite free CRMs, which is perfect for small to medium-sized businesses.

3. Training

Anything new needs to be adapted to. The same goes for CRM systems. Once the system has been implemented and integrated with your business, your entire team will need to learn how the system works and adapt to using the CRM rather than your old business systems.

Whether you were using manual processes or just spreadsheets and emails, your team will likely have a steep learning curve ahead of them once the CRM is up and running. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is what everyone always says. But, when it comes to integrating a CRM into your business, you don’t have a choice!

Training your team can be difficult, but you need to make sure that your business management understands how the CRM works and are able to answer any questions that your team members may have. It’s also a great idea to have some training resources handy when you need to onboard new team members, or have team members that need to refer to some training modules.

4. Complexity

On the topic of teaching an old dog new tricks, you may find that some team members are resistant to the changes you are trying to implement. Getting your entire team to buy into the CRM is the best way to get them onboard with the idea of overhauling your business’ systems.

The key to getting your team to accept the idea of using a CRM rather than the systems they’re used to using is simply discussing it with them. Most of these problems can be solved with simple and clear communication. You simply need to help your team members to understand how a CRM will make their life easier.

Throughout the discussions, you need to be ready to address any concerns that they might have — learning a complex new system will certainly be one of those concerns. At some point, the team will have a realisation that the system is being used to assist them, which will encourage them to become more open to the idea.

5. Security concerns

With a CRM integrated at the core of your business, your entire team will be working on one unified system. This means that every team member will have access to your data. Whether it’s contacts, projects, finances, or marketing metrics, you need to have the confidence that you can trust your team with this information.

Having all of this information available at the click of a button may be great when it comes to streamlining your business and allowing your team to collaborate effortlessly, but there’s always the risk of data being leaked outside of your organisation or used for malicious purposes.

Nevertheless, there are security processes that you can put in place if you feel that this is too much of a risk. With the correct safety measures in place, you can use a CRM without having to worry about where your business’ data is going.

Final Thoughts

CRMs are revolutionary systems that have become integral in the modern business world. But, they do come with some drawbacks that you need to know about. While some of these drawbacks can be major, they can often be avoided simply by teaming up with some CRM experts to help you get the best out of your chosen system. Get in touch with a GoCRM expert as soon as possible.

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