CRM Best Practices: 8 Signs You Have a Dead Shark and Ought to Get Help, Part 1

As small business owners, we tend to be “DIY” (Do It Yourself) types.

This is not all bad, but it is not all good.

Often times we end up spending WAY to much time, energy, and needless angst trying to go it our own when the smart move would be to get some experienced help.

CRM Best Practice:  One bad move doesn't have to lead to another.  Here is the first installment about recognizing a CRM "Dead Shark".

I know! It’s ugly. But acknowledging you have a CRM “Dead Shark” on your hands early is better than before it really starts to stink!

Selecting and implementing CRM (customer relationship management) software is a critically important strategic initiative where many small businesses fall flat on their faces.

The worst part?

Many small business owners don’t even realize that they have failed.  Getting the software installed or “turned on” does not equal “success”.

Following is Part 1 of the 8 signs that you really ought to get some qualified help – and get rid of the “dead shark” before the stink starts pushing even more leads and customers away.

Bad Sign #8:  Your Company Implemented a CRM System Some Time Ago and You Can’t Tell The Difference.

If you have “rolled out” a system in the past 6-12 months and you really can’t notice any improvement vs. the “old days” before the system – you need help.

A well planned and implemented CRM system will have immediate impact on how you sell to and service your customers.

When done right, the benefits from using CRM the right way is never a “Maybe this is going to work” scenario.

If you are in question, you are in trouble.  Time to get help.  Fast!


Bad Sign #7:  None of the Executive Team Uses The System.

This is so common it’s scarey!

If you – the business owner or top level executive – never bother to use the system or read reports from it, you have a dead shark on your hands.

An elegantly crafted CRM solution is not difficult nor onerous to use, and getting the data you need (sales forecasts, sales department activities, product penetration…) is not hard, and typically has automated delivery to your inbox.

Having a login is not akin to being a “user”.

If this sounds familiar, you need some guidance so as to learn the benefits of driving your organization through the feedback the system provides.


Bad Sign #6:  You Didn’t Pay for Formal Training.

If you implemented the system internally or by your network support firm, and no system “expert” with CRM experience was hired to train your staff, you have a dead shark.

I don’t care how smart you think your people are – and they may be – “self guided” training is a joke.

Every month you do not invest in a structured training for your people, I can assure you, you have squandered significantly more in lost opportunity cost and wasted payroll expense.

Each month.

No doubt.

Face it:  You need a dead shark removal service.


Bad Sign #5:  Your Sales People Claim that They Can Do More By Not Using The System.

Ok, probably every company is going to have a hold-out or two.  We all know the guys:  They were the hotshots back in the day when your Dad ran the company, and they insist on “doing what has always worked for me”.  Really to their own detriment (and your company’s).

I’m not talking about them – that is a different discussion.

What I am saying is that if MOST of your users ignore the system or barely use it – you have a dead shark.

If consistently a significant portion of your users tell you that they can accomplish more without the system, they are likely correct.  This is typically the result of a poorly managed system selection process, one which did not include sufficient “Proof of concept” testing or input from the user population.

Get some help.

Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

  1. MScott821
    5 years ago

    Gregor, you are quite right. In my experience it seems that things tend to lean one way or the other – either a company, as you point out, attempts to “shoot the moon”, going after too much too quickly, or they do too little for the effort to generate results.

    Thank you for the post!

  2. Gregor McKelvie
    5 years ago

    One of the problems that small business owners have is thinking that they need a full on CRM system with all the bells and whistles. That leads them into spending waaaay too much time on configuration and set-up (especially if they are DIY types). Unfortunately, the majority of CRMs don’t help owners keep things simple.

    Good post! Thanks.

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