Why don’t more businesses invest in CRMs?

I’ve worked for many companies, from a large subsidiary of Viacom to a suburban mom-and-pop retail shop. The jobs were all sales oriented, to an extent, and relied on relationships with customers to keep the business afloat. Yet strangely, the one thing all of these businesses – the large and the small – had in common was that we never used a CRM.

Why the aversion? Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are great for organising sales information. For example, look at Flightdeck CRM. Their website spells out quite plainly exactly what you can do with a CRM; everything from lead sheets to contact management is fair game. Yet the businesses I’ve worked with have used a variety of other methods to accomplish these goals, from good ole pen and paper to massive Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that were just begging to be corrupted.

So what’s out there in the land of business management software systems? I like the Flightdeck CRM, and their website for that matter. The language on the site does require a certain degree of understanding of business management, but that’s par for the course – you’re talking about high-spec company software here. But what’s great is, although there’s some jargon, the site has a very matter-of-fact approach to their sales pitch. The menus are clearly laid out (and colourful!) in a “Tell me this” way (“Tell me why Flightdeck is different”, “Tell me how Flightdeck can help me”, etc). Plain English is a wonderful thing.

I also like Flightdeck’s “Case Studies” area. It’s tempting to sort through and find a business with a similar problem as yours and see how the CRM software was able to help. Again, this comes down to selling a complex app in a relateable way.

I can honestly say that, despite having a passing familiarity with CRM systems, I learned some things from the Flightdeck website. Their “Features” list is extensive and, like the case studies, allows businesses to read through and imagine how the software could help their business, from problems with contact management to invoicing.

Perhaps more businesses do not use CRMs because they are daunting. I think this is where a useful CRM sales website (like Flightdeck’s site) can help. Even if the product is the best thing out there, rattling off those features isn’t enough. The sales pitch has to address what this product does for the business owner, and Flightdeck does that. I can certainly imagine more businesses using CRMs if they knew that there was software with these types of problem solving features available.

Bottom line: Flightdeck’s website is what CRM software sales should be about – the customer/business owner. Now if only I sent this link to some of my former bosses…