Struggling to get a clear picture of their customers, more than half of sales leaders say their CRM is costing them revenue.

According to a new CRM and Sales Impact Report from SugarCRM, many companies are facing a customer relationship crisis. Forty-eight percent of sales professionals believe that their CRM systems are unfit for purpose, while customer churn is costing mid-market companies an average of $5.5M per year each.

The research reveals that many businesses lack the necessary tools to provide the kind of customer experience that will keep them competitive. Besieged with status quo CRM systems, sales leaders are struggling to ensure their sales teams are spending enough time with customers and can access the data required to build and maintain these vital relationships. The report surveyed 1,000 sales decision-makers in the US, UK, Germany, and Australia, and found that 52 percent believe their CRM systems are costing them revenue – demonstrating the extent of the issue.

Craig Charlton, CEO of SugarCRM, said: “Customer behavior has fundamentally changed and businesses around the world are facing a customer relationship crisis. Sales teams are bogged down with administration and stuck with an inaccurate picture of the customer with little advance notice or insight into customer churn. These findings are a wakeup call for companies relying on the market-leading incumbents in CRM with software that is tuned to steady-state and known customer behaviors.”

The research found that 53 percent of sales leaders are fatigued and frustrated with the CRM admin burden placed on their sales teams, which is taking them away from customer-facing activities. Indeed, sales reps are only spending 54 percent of their time selling. 

The report also reveals over half (56 percent) reported their customer churn increased in the last 12 months, with 57 percent of respondents having trouble predicting when customers would churn.  And upon reflection, almost half (48 percent) of sales professionals reported not knowing why customers churned.

In addition, 50 percent of sales leaders admit that they cannot access customer data across marketing, sales, and service systems, leaving customer-facing team members without a clear picture of their customers. The gap in customer data, the millions of dollars lost to churn and the lack of insight, prevents sales and business leaders from acquiring the intelligence they need to make both vital strategic and tactical decisions. Companies that close the data gaps and improve the accuracy and completeness of their customer data, stand to improve retention, increase revenue, and gain more predictable business outcomes.

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