Think of functionality as a bell curve. In the beginning, as more features are added to a product, it becomes more and more functional. However, there comes a point where each additional feature actually detracts from the functionality. In software development, this is known as feature creep – where a product begins to have so many bells and whistles that it becomes a burden instead of a value.
A great example of a product with feature creep is Salesforce. It is so confusing to use that there are literally companies out there that do nothing else but train and consult with businesses on how to use Salesforce. Our company recently decided to drop Salesforce in favor of a much more simple CRM system, and here are the top three reasons why we made the switch and why a retail business should think twice about buying a similar feature-packed product:
If you’e looking for a CRM with bells and whistles, Salesforce pretty much has them all. However, for us, customizing Salesforce to meet our needs was a challenging and lengthy process. Many times, solutions that are that complicated to set up simply end up collecting dust instead of being used. They were intended to save time, but end up being a waste of time to implement and learn.
A complex system requires more training. Ideally, we wanted a CRM that was so easy to adopt and use that little to no training was required. Instead, we found ourselves spending up to a full week training a new sales rep on how to use the program. In retail, employee turnover is part of doing business. Do you want a retail task management solution that requires intensive training for each new employee or one that is intuitive enough to learn on your own?
In our office, we like to use the analogy of a Cadillac versus a Volkswagen. We could pay for the prestige and extra bells and whistles that come with a Cadillac, but at the end of the day we are still just as effective at reaching our destination in a Volkswagen. The same was true with Salesforce for us. We found ourselves paying for many features we weren’t using just to have the few features we needed. It was not a good way to save money.
So what is my advice to you? Next time you are looking at buying a retail management solution, look for the one that has the most functional solution that meets your needs, not the one that has the most features. Focus on the product that is user friendly, will be easy to adopt throughout your organization, yet still gets the job done. You’ll be able to save time, save money, and team will thank you for it.