Why are companies slow to install a CRM in Reunion?

In Réunion, barely more than 15% of companies have installed CRM software, the customer file management tool. While more than one in four in mainland France are equipped with this tool, why are companies slow to install a CRM in Reunion? However, with 593,000 Internet users and completely different (omnichannel) purchasing behavior from recent years, companies are not yet taking the measure of such a tool in their digital transformation process. Why don't they equip themselves? We provide some answers below, taking into account the information reported from the field.

What is a CRM?

As we detailed in our article "Implementing a CRM at the service of business strategy", a CRM is "a set of systems that optimize the relationship that the brand maintains with its customers, in order to build their loyalty. and increase its turnover per customer” (definition).


It allows “to coordinate a multi-channel customer journey (point of sale, mobile, Internet) in order to offer a unified customer experience” and “brings together the analysis of customer data and the marketing actions put in place”.


If you want to know more about CRM, see the article What is a CRM for a business in Reunion?


From a more concrete and material point of view, a CRM is a software allowing to gather the data of your prospects and customers:


  • those collected via your website
  • those from your social networks
  • those provided by your sales representatives following a meeting
  • those collected during events.
  • those from quotes, purchase orders, requests for information, etc.

These solutions are mostly accessible via a simple internet connection (and even on your smartphone for the best of them).


At the service of your commercial performance and while its usefulness is demonstrated, these solutions are nevertheless shunned by 84% of Reunionese companies (all sizes combined). For what ? What are the barriers to implementing these solutions? Here is a small anthology of the objections we have encountered in recent months.


Barriers to implementation

During our various interviews, audits and meetings, we found that at the mere mention of the customer file or a CRM project, certain barriers closed. Here are the main reasons mentioned (some gossips, like me, would even go so far as to call them “pretexts”).

1. My current information system is not compatible

First reason mentioned, the incompatibility of a CRM solution with the current IS (information system in the jargon of technicians).


Many CIOs (Information Systems Departments if you follow), have chosen to develop an in-house solution in order to stick to the tailor-made data model imagined at that time. Many systems have also been grafted onto this IS (production, payroll, logistics solution, etc.).


However, with the new expectations of customers and prospects, the needs of the marketing and sales teams have changed, and have not been taken into account because this required a complete rethink of the IS:


  • audit of the existing time-consuming,
  • specifications that change every 4 mornings,
  • responses to RFIs (Request For Information, or Request for Information in VF) sent to potential service providers that are rarely satisfactory for CIOs, etc.,
  • the engineers who spent weeks developing it don't want to see their baby replaced by obscure American software over which they have little or no control.

Before even addressing the possible solutions: native integrations with many software packages, APIs, etc. which tend to be simplified and which allow the majority of systems to communicate with each other, CIOs close the debate by pulling out the “ This is not compatible with our current IS”. All of this, of course, to the great dismay of the marketing and sales teams, who suddenly have to fret with a good old excel spreadsheet running at full speed on a version of Windows XP that their IT department was kind enough to install for them.


2. The CRM will not adapt to my future needs

Reason N°2: in addition to not adapting to current needs, the proposed CRM will not adapt to future needs either. After all, it is well known that the IS Departments (again) can read the future.


More seriously, (because I have nothing against CIOs and love exchanging with them), we are aware that a majority of IS are real gas factories and that each migration takes months.


Let's not forget that in 2018, data is more than ever the sinews of war (along with finances) and it will be necessary at "given time" (as we say in the country of rugby), to abandon the old systems in favor of its slightly scalable solutions.


Under the pretext that the CRM would not adapt to future needs, companies are unfortunately confined to using a system blocked in the past (rather contradictory, isn't it?).


3. There is no CRM that fits my job.

Overheard in a meeting:


"Ah but that's not going to be possible with us, you know, we do a job apart".


The problem is that many confuse product and business offerings. Differentiating your offer from that of your competitors is a good thing, even necessary. Not doing like your competitors does not mean creating a new profession.


The beauty of technology (and a team that understands your business if you take the trouble to explain it to them) is that it can easily adapt to your “business specificities”. It is even possible that a company with similar activity in another country has already successfully implemented a CRM.


The leading solutions on the market (mostly international such as SalesForce, Hubspot or Microsoft Dynamics), provide their subsidiaries and partners with a huge knowledge database (“knowledge base” in VO) in order to allow users to capitalize on this which has already been done.


Pretty handy, no?


There is also the case of “we have already tried in the past, and it did not work”.


There are several phrases of this type that block the digitization of your activity. But the real question to ask is above all: did all the stakeholders feel concerned by this major project? Have all efforts been made to ensure that the objectives are achieved?


We remind you that involving your employees is essential in the deployment of a new method or new tools. The support of the management, the IT department, the marketing and business departments are necessary for a project of this magnitude. If your last failure dates back 10 years, there is a prescription… the market has evolved enormously since then (both in terms of the number of solutions available and the features offered).


4. My employees do not want to change their habits

We could qualify this by “new tools and old methods”. It is definitely difficult to classify in order of frequency the reasons that we are presented with, as they come up so often. Change is later and for others. Especially since this reason is usually accompanied by:


".. it's a waste of time, we've always done without and look where we are today...".


Change management is a long-term action that should be anticipated. Notifying employees a week, a month, before the deployment of a new solution (CRM or other for that matter) is sure to fail. At best, your tool will be suffered and misused, at worst, it will be rejected.


To put all the chances of success on your side, we advise you:


  • to communicate upstream on the adoption of a new solution and all the advantages it presents.
  • offer support for configuration
  • communicate on any changes to the organization of your teams
  • train your teams
  • select a service provider that offers available technical support.


5. My collaborators will feel policed

A CRM allows you to record all the actions of prospects (web behavior, behavior with regard to your newsletters, last call, last email exchanged, etc.); but also their interactions with your sales and marketing teams.


At first glance, the majority of employees, not to say salespeople, consider CRM as a tool allowing their manager to monitor their sales performance, and which also wastes their time.


To circumvent this objection, it is necessary to communicate on the different functionalities that will allow them to manage their opportunities and ongoing transactions, and which will allow them to optimize their administrative tasks (65% of a salesperson's day according to Prialto).


As we detail in our article “What is a CRM for a Business in Reunion”:


  • Productivity increases by 14.6% when sales reps have mobile access to their CRM (according to Nucleus Research).
  • Once adopted, a CRM can increase sales (up to 29%) and forecast accuracy (40%) according to the publisher Salesforce.

It is essential to focus on the positive in order to overcome objections.


6. I already have a client file

A client file only really expresses its value when it is well exploited. Exploiting a scattered customer file: business cards at the bottom of your salespeople's briefcases, countless more or less updated Excel files, quotes in proprietary format exported by your invoicing software is a challenge.


A real effective customer file must be constantly updated, accessible by the teams that use it (sales, marketing, after-sales service, sales administration), and if possible secured (access rights, encryption) so as not to fall into n any hands.


The majority of CRMs offer all this and even more: smartphone application, personalized performance reports, etc.


7. A CRM is expensive

Hiii. Fake.


Some solutions are indeed expensive, but these generally concern the behemoths of the CAC 40 (and other international stock exchanges), and meet many technical requirements: integrated with around twenty other solutions, available for 5,000 employees, in 85 different languages.


The majority of VSEs / SMEs in Reunion do not have such needs and a multitude of solutions could largely meet their expectations.


And you know what ? In most cases, free or basic solutions could change your life. However, the choice of a CRM solution is made on a case-by-case basis: the needs of the marketing and sales teams, the IT department, and the solutions currently in operation must be taken into consideration.


In the meantime, you can consult our article “6 criteria for choosing the right CRM in Reunion”.


8. We don't have the skills


Closely related to points 2, 3 and 4 of this article, the “we don't have the skills” can refer to an implementation failure.


  • Either because the team in charge of the project was not the right one: the marketing team wanted to manage the project without involving the IT department, or vice versa,
  • Either the teams that set up the current system have left the company and no one dares to touch the information system “because it works”.
  • The "we don't have the skills" can also arise in the conversation because current teams overestimate the complexity of implementing such software.


3. The different solutions

We will not benchmark the solutions in this paragraph as there are so many of them, but we still provide you with our advice:


1. Trust market-leading solutions

Rather than developing yet another in-house solution that only one or two people can maintain, we advise you to trust the market-leading solutions.


For what ? Quite simply because the solutions that still exist to this day are solutions that have proven themselves, which have solid backs as it is customary to say.


Beyond an experience that is no longer to be proven, these solutions will offer a wide range of services in order to stick to as many scenarios as possible. There is something for every need and every budget.


2. Choose a partner to support you in choosing, installing and using it

Most solutions can be subscribed directly online, but these giants being mainly American, it is on the support side that you will have to pay attention.


  • Is it available 24 hours a day or at least from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.?
  • Is the support in French?
  • Is training included? (for current employees and newcomers).


In general, we advise you to deal with an authorized distributor or an agency which will have the advantage of offering you a local service that American publishers cannot provide, especially in Reunion.


NB: Find out here how we implemented it at Teralta


3. Opt for turnkey: CRM + automation

Depending on their position in the company, employees may have different uses of CRM. Salespeople will use it to manage their client portfolio, their managers to monitor the performance of their teams, and the marketing teams to measure the profitability of their market campaigns.

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