10 Signs You Need a New CRM

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10 Signs You Need a New CRM

Is it time for a new CRM system? Maybe you’ve known it for a while, but it’s easy to become complacent with technology and accept it for what it can and can’t do. Whether you are currently using a CRM, a custom database, spreadsheets, your email, or a combination of all of these, if you are frustrated by its limitations or complexities, you are not alone. Recognizing change is needed is the first step to making it happen.

What is a CRM? CRM stands for Constituent Relationship Management. CRMs are systems that enable you to track data about your constituents, such as donors, volunteers, partners or clients, and manage your organization’s relationship with them through related interactions, such as email correspondence, donations, enrolled programs or provided services. This 360-degree view is what makes CRM systems so powerful as you engage your constituents in meaningful ways towards your mission. CRM systems also help organizations collaborate, analyze important metrics, and streamline manual processes.

Now that you know what a CRM is, let’s evaluate your current system for tracking constituent relationships and see if it’s up to par. Below are ten signs your organization should be in the market for a new CRM.

1. Unable to record data history

You are overwriting data and unable to record historical changes about your constituents, such as when they transitioned from one program to another. This presents difficulties when tracking someone’s journey with your organization and makes you dependent on institutional knowledge kept inside staff’s head. 

2. Manual reporting

It takes a lot of manual time and effort to run reports and analyze key impact metrics. Whether it’s for your annual report or upcoming board meeting, these reports are a pain to put together. Being unable to pull accurate, timely information when needed significantly hinders any strategic decision-making. 

3. Duplicate records

Staff departments are storing data in separate systems which causes teams to work in silos and maintain duplicative records. If you are working with overlapping constituent groups, such as volunteers and donors, this means neither the fundraising team nor the volunteer management team is getting a 360-degree view of those constituents. 

4. Lack of ownership

Necessary changes to your system, big and small, require a third-party developer to implement. The system isn’t built for end users to maintain ownership, and there is no reasonable path for staff to learn how. This causes frustration when the system isn’t user-friendly or enabling staff’s work. This also means your organization will always be dependent on a developer. 

5. Limited integration capability

Your system lacks the integration capability to work with other tools within your organization, for example, an email marketing or e-signature tool for agreementsSaid another way, you may be unable to add or switch out features within your system. Some CRMs will have a robust feature list with seemingly all the bells and whistles, but you run the risk of being stuck with features that are sub-par when best-of-breed tools are readily available otherwise. 

6. Limited vendor ecosystem

There’s a lack of industry support for your current CRM system, meaning vendors and consultants are few and far between. When you choose a CRM, you want to make sure there’s a large vendor ecosystem to support your organization in case you need ongoing maintenance or future buildouts. A large ecosystem ensures a variety of vendors offering specialized services that suit your needs best so that you are not stuck with a single vendor in case that relationship goes sour.

7. Unavailability of new features

New features and updates are no longer being released. You want to work with a CRM system that is constantly innovating and making their product better for you. If you are unable to take advantage of the newest technologies, it’s only a matter of time before your organization’s needs outgrow the system you are using.

8. Non-cloud CRM

Your system isn’t cloud-based, meaning you can’t access it via the internet. Especially with a growing remote workforce, you need to make sure staff can access CRM data from anywhere to maintain their productivity. 

9. Limited security controls

Security controls are limited within your current system. It’s best practice that staff should only have access to the data they need and that they are accessing that data safely. Without proper security setup, you risk unauthorized access to your constituent data.

10. Limited functionality

And lastly, your CRM only functions as an address book, meaning it stores constituents contact information, and that’s it. Remember, a CRM is meant to store constituents’ related interactions with your organization. If you can’t do that with your current system, then it’s time to move on.

How many of these apply to your own situation? If you were able to check off more than three or four from this list, that’s more than enough to begin your search for a new CRM. That’s the fun part! Spoiler alert: ECHO is partial to Salesforce CRM, and the great news is that Salesforce can address each of these tell-tale signs. We help organizations like yours implement the CRM of your dreams. Learn what ECHO and Salesforce can do for you.