Tell Tale Signs you Need a CRM Upgrade


CIO put together a list of some tell-tale signs that you need to refresh your CRM system, or that it may be time for an upgrade. 

Signs your CRM system needs an overhaul

Poor data quality, broken add-ons, and ineffective integrations are just a few of the tell-tale signs. 

That one CRM expert leaves

Even though it is a well understood risk, single point of knowledge (SPOK) continues to be a common challenge for IT.

“If you rely on a single person to create reports, make changes to the CRM and provide other kinds of support and they leave, you have a problem. The right solution may be to overhaul your CRM and staffing approach to prevent this problem from occurring in the future,” Mark LeVell, president of 4Thought Marketing, a consulting firm with a specialization in Oracle Marketing Cloud explains.

Integrations are more manual than effective

In larger firms, CRM systems become valuable only when fully integrated with other organization systems.

“If your CRM does not have good connections with the ERP, business intelligence or marketing analytics units, it is probably time for an overhaul,” LeVell says.

How do you spot this problem in your organization? Look for complicated manual processes where staff work as “human integrators” between systems that could be connected.

Standard reports take several days to create

Creating a report for the first time often requires give and take as you fine-tune the presentation and details. But once a report becomes a monthly essential in describing the status of a line of business, that kind of effort better be easy.

“I have seen cases of managers and sales representatives taking several days each month and each quarter to prepare reports. That suggests that the CRM does not have the required business capabilities,” LeVell says. If your staff take time to collect reports and data from multiple sources and coordinate it with Excel or Access, your CRM is probably due for an overhaul.

Overcoming this problem starts with understanding the lay of the land. Create a list of the reports that sales, marketing and other business units require, and question each of those report to find which add value and which collect virtual dust when issued. At the same time, look into the quality of the data and related processes that feed these reports. In some organizations, governing data quality is an IT responsibility. If that’s the case at your organization, IT will have a critical leadership role to play in overhauling the CRM program.

You want to take advantage of new data sources

Problems are not the only reason for investing in a CRM overhaul. New data resources can mean new opportunities, and sometimes refreshing the CRM is necessary to capitalize on this.

Adoption and usage is low

A CRM produces results only if it is used. 

“CRM adoption data is a key metric to consider in looking at your CRM. For example, you can look at login frequency to gain a sense of which users are using the CRM and which are not using it. You may discover that a whole unit — such as marketing or your field sales staff — is not using the CRM,” says Steve Chipman, co-founder of CRM Switch, a consulting firm that provides CRM strategy services.

If you already have raw usage data, consider painting a more in-depth picture by collecting qualitative information about your users. Though such observations may not be statistically robust, this approach helps you to discover pain points you may have failed to discover. 

Nonprofits are expecting and demanding increased functionality from their CRM for specific use, such as:

  • Online fundraising
  • Mass emailing
  • Event management
  • Advocacy work
  • Program management

A CRM gives nonprofits not only the ability to streamline these processes but also track, analyze and report the success of their campaigns. provides nonprofit organizations with 10 free licenses to its CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) cloud-base software.

They'll even provide nonprofits with a "Nonprofit Starter Pack" which is a CRM template built specifically for nonprofits to use. 

Most non-profits need help to be successful with Tech Impact can administer your database or support your existing administrator to get the most out of We can:

  • Implement and support the Non-Profit Starter Pack or NGO Connect
  • Provide support in integrating with other systems
  • Create reports and dashboards
  • Help you adapt to suit your organization’s specific needs

 Get Started with Salesforce




Topics: CRM, Salesforce
View the original article from CIO  
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