What is the most important feature of a CRM system? Easy-ButtonIs it the ability to easily integrate with other systems and applications that your business uses? How about contact management, that’s pretty important, right? Or maybe it’s a robust reporting engine? Perhaps it’s mobile functionality, or data security, or is it something else? One could seemingly go on forever naming key features of CRM, but there is one feature that is often overlooked in its importance, and overlooked to a point that some may not even consider it a feature at all. However, this feature is undoubtedly a fundamental aspect of successfully deploying a CRM system. In 2009, a survey was conducted to gauge the perception of CRM for individuals in private equity and venture capital. Two important topics discussed in the survey were:
  • How satisfied CRM users are with their CRM system?
  • What is the most valued CRM feature?

The first question found that 76 percent of CRM users were dissatisfied with their CRM:

CRM Satisfaction

CRM-Satisfaction  

The second question found that the most valued feature for CRM was none other than ease of use:

Most Valued CRM Feature

Ease-of-Use   So, here’s a question: When I rambled off a list of CRM features at the beginning of this article, at any point did “ease of use” come to mind as an essential feature of a CRM system? If you answered yes, then you are a CRM genius that deserves a medal for understanding this important element of CRM software. However, if this answer wasn’t at the top of your list, you should feel embarrassed and ashamed. Okay, I’m only kidding, but I completely understand if you’re embarrassed just a little bit. But let’s move on and get into why ease of use is an important feature of a CRM system.  

Ease of Use and User Adoption

When deploying a CRM, a major goal for businesses should be ensuring high user adoption. At its most basic definition, user adoption is simply about having the people tasked with using a CRM actually use the system. High user adoption means that the business has an opportunity to receive a return on their investment, but to achieve high user adoption, and any ensuing ROI, the business must first have a system that is easy to use. For CRM users, ease of use is often related to the ability of the CRM to make their jobs easier. This means the CRM either enables the user to do something that they couldn’t do before, or the system allows them to do more in a shorter period of time. If the CRM doesn’t meet those standards, it doesn’t matter how simple the steps are to complete a task, users will not perceive the system as being easy to use. To deploy a CRM that makes its users jobs easier, businesses can take a number of steps, including:
  • Working with users prior to implementing a CRM to ensure that the system is aligned with processes potential CRM users have grown accustomed to.
  • Configuring and customizing the CRM for tasks users will carry out in the system, instead of having users work around out of the box functionality.
  • Rolling out the CRM and other additions to the system intermittently. This allows users to progressively learn how to work in the CRM without having to grasp an excessive amount of features at one time.
Quickly going back to the survey mentioned earlier, of the 76% of people that said they were dissatisfied with their CRM, what percentage do you think would have given the same response if they believed their CRM made their job easier? We can safely assume that the percentage of dissatisfied CRM users would be much lower. So, in conclusion, if your business is thinking about implementing a CRM system, or if your business wants to enhance its current CRM, make sure to place CRM users at the forefront and ensure that the feature that gets the most attention is the CRM's ease of use. UA-Newsletter-Image