When And How To Consider A CRM Upgrade

21 June 2022 in Sales & CRM

There are many benefits to implementing customer relationship management (CRM) software for your business. From streamlining working processes to improving customer service and helping sales and marketing teams drive traffic and conversions, the right solution will make a measurable impact. But there may come a time when your existing system needs a CRM upgrade to keep delivering the kind of value that elevates your end-to-end business performance.

The following article outlines how you’ll know it’s time to upgrade your current CRM system to a newer version that meets your unique requirements and keeps pace with an ever-changing business and technology landscape.

Upgrade Methods

It’s important to point out that upgrading your CRM system doesn’t necessarily mean switching to new technology, for example, moving from Zoho CRM to Hubspot. Before making this type of move, do some research to ensure that transitioning to a new CRM system is key to achieving your goals.

Oftentimes, you may only need to update your software to a new version or upgrade your current plan with the same vendor. Many providers offer multiple tiers that give users access to greater functionality, support, security levels, and new features. In such cases, upgrading to a higher tier of your existing CRM might be sufficient for meeting your unique business objectives.

5 Indicators That It’s Time For A CRM Upgrade

Now that you’re familiar with different ways to upgrade your CRM software, here are five common indicators that’ll tell you it’s time to consider levelling up from your current solution.

Your CRM & Processes Don’t Align

Does your current solution have poor integration with the tools you rely on for work every day? Can’t automate certain customer support processes that are affecting productivity? You can reach a stage where your CRM and internal processes don’t align for several reasons.

  • Your initial CRM decision was limited by budget constraints, meaning as your business processes have evolved, you now recognise that additional spending is likely to offer advantages.
  • You deployed the right CRM solution at the time, but it gradually declined in performance due to a lack of maintenance and updates, rendering it difficult to work with today.
  • Your current solution was fit for purpose at the start but doesn’t have the level of scalability and flexibility to meet your evolving business needs. In other words, your business has outgrown the CRM over time.

Regardless of how you reach this stage, you’ll know it’s time to consider an upgrade when your system and processes don’t align.

Unreliable Or Limited Data

Your CRM is only as good as the data you feed into it and the insights it returns. Not only should your CRM software be configured to store volumes of important data, but it also needs to consolidate that wealth of information and present your staff with helpful intelligence that facilitates decision-making.

For instance, is your CRM telling customer service what products your customers need or may be interested in or issues they may have faced before? Does the system make measuring the effectiveness of lead generation to identify areas that need improvement easier for marketing?

Experts estimate that organisations are spending between 10-30% of revenue to handle data quality issues. So, if your CRM software isn’t giving your staff reliable, accurate data to help them fulfil their respective roles, it’s time to consider an upgrade.

Basic Automation Capabilities

Any CRM solution worthy of the name will have some automation capabilities. It helps workers save a significant amount of time on monotonous manual processes. But all CRM software isn’t created equal, and your current system may not have the level of functionality needed to handle more sophisticated workflows. If this is a key requirement for your organisation, you should consider an upgrade.

Updating your CRM workflow automation isn’t limited to switching to a new solution or upgrading to a higher tier with your current CRM provider. You also have the ability to integrate your software with online automation tools. For example, if you only have basic automation capabilities, integrating your CRM with Zapier opens a plethora of opportunities to automate workflows with numerous external apps. For instance, you can set up a custom workflow where your CRM automatically sends out email drip campaigns through Mailchimp to customers who visit one of your product pages a certain number of times.

No Cloud Option & Mobile Access

The business landscape has evolved, and people now expect their CRM to give them the ability to work from anywhere at any time. But simply having a cloud option isn’t enough. The best CRM software also has a user-friendly mobile interface that provides all the data and functionality your team needs to do their job on the go.

Your current CRM provider might already offer a mobile app, but there are constant compatibility issues with different devices. This could mean your provider isn’t keeping pace with ever-changing industry trends or operating system updates, which both act as big red flags.

Mobile CRM users have been shown to increase productivity, sales, and customer satisfaction, which demonstrates the importance of having a cloud option with good mobile access. If your CRM doesn’t provide this, it’s outdated, and the time for an upgrade has likely arrived.

Inadequate Reporting & Forecasting Functionality

Oftentimes, companies can find themselves constrained by their CRM’s limited reporting capabilities. However, the most effective solutions come complete with functionality that provides a clear view of sales and marketing activities as well as interactions throughout the entire sales cycle. Your software should then present valuable insights in an easily digestible format, allowing you to make informed decisions moving forward.

In addition to insights on how you’re currently performing, having access to accurate forecasts on future sales pipelines also benefits your business greatly. For example, sales reports and forecasting can help you plan your resources for busy periods appropriately and also assess future profitability. There shouldn’t be any guessing involved. Modern solutions have useful fields like volume, probability, and status that provide good short and long-term forecasts.

If your CRM software lacks these reporting and forecasting capabilities, it becomes much harder for you to evaluate your current performance and also limits your ability to make strategic decisions that take your future projections into account. It’s time to consider upgrading your CRM if you lack this type of visibility.

Get The Most Out Of Your CRM Solution

Your CRM should help you achieve your unique company goals. Whether that involves your sales, marketing, or customer service function, there are five good indicators that point to your current system no longer meeting your needs. Evidence of any of these signs could mean it’s time to consider an upgrade. Just remember that upgrading doesn’t necessarily mean switching systems — you may simply need to update your software to the newest version or upgrade your current plan.

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