Your sales and marketing team is ready for a great 2016, and they have some great ideas for improving the overall process that will really drive results. Does your organization have the IT capability to support their needs?

We’ve explored all the ways that automating your CRM can make your processes more efficient, allow greater mobility and flexibility, and let your team focus on their goals rather than updating contacts and leads. You know that you need to embrace new technology in order to continue your growth and provide your team with the best possible tools. But where do you start? When you have a goal in mind, how can you choose and implement the best solution for your team members and your business as a whole? Here are two ways to launch your search and transition to a new tool:

Option One: Select a System and Learn as You Go

The first problem that comes with starting your search for a new CRM system from scratch is starting your search for a new system from scratch. How can you learn what all of your options are? How can you find and balance reputable reviews that are relevant to your industry? With over 500 different tools, it is a challenge for anyone to get a full view of all the possibilities.

Even if you’ve dedicated plenty of time researching the different CRM programs and applications and found one that seems to meet your needs, there are no guarantees about the transition process. Implementation can take longer than expected, training documentation may be scant or nonexistent, and importing contacts and leads from your old system can cause all sorts of headaches. There will always be lost productivity initially as your sales and marketing team unlearns processes that they may have used for years. But if these changes prove too inconvenient or complicated for your team, are you certain that they will adopt the new method and not resort to workarounds using your old, inefficient system?

Finally, what if, after this exhaustive process, you come to realize your selection lacks a crucial feature, or that you can’t customize it as much as you expected for your specific industry and needs? At that point, do you throw in the towel and continue to work with a subpar solution, or do you go through the whole research/select/transition cycle again?

Option Two: Adapt Your Current System to Your Changing Needs

Alternatively, you could opt to save the headache of migrating to a new system and simply modify your current one to be more convenient and relevant to your needs. Maybe Samantha took a class a couple years ago and can unlock some hidden potential, or Tom is the “guru” who answers everyone’s questions and could work out a way to get what you want with your current resources. Or, maybe they can’t, and they just end up losing time, pursuing something beyond their own abilities or outside the system’s basic functionality.

It is also likely that after years of adapting your own processes to the limitations of your system, the system will continue to dictate what your new process looks like. If your needs are beyond the scope of the system, chances are a solution that keeps the system and achieves your goals will be a hodge-podge of unrelated functions and workflows. It may ultimately achieve your end goals, but can it really be considered a success if inefficiency follows you from one process to another? And that’s assuming you have the visibility to measure the results on a large and small scale, and that your new solution doesn’t conflict in some way with applications used in other areas of the business. CRM here becomes a burden, leading straight back to the lost productivity and inflated budgets, which inspired you to revamp your process in the first place.

The Bottom Line

Clearly, both of these processes have issues for a company that wants to focus on energizing sales and fostering growth rather than researching and buying all the latest gadgets and software. But this process doesn’t have to be a normal growing pain that your sales team must tolerate to achieve more growth and success. You do, however, need to have a plan for any new process or business goal that takes into consideration your organization’s IT capability. In Awecomm’s next blog article, we’ll cover better ways to utilize technology in a strategic sense and how to transition to processes that drive communication, growth and success.