Dispensary CRM Cannabis CRM cannabis sms analytics tracking

6 Mistakes to Avoid when Selecting a Cannabis CRM

July 31, 2019 | Jeffrey Harris

Analytics Learning From CRM Mistakes

In the immortal words of Eleanor Roosevelt,

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” 

In other words, you don’t have to take every risk when you can learn from the experts. Likewise, you don’t have to fly blind looking for ways to use a cannabis CRM. Lucky for you, springbig and our partners have compiled years of experience with effective strategies for cannabis business owners to utilize customer relationship management tools. 

We aren’t too proud to admit that we’ve also learned a lot from the mistakes of other CRM platforms. As amazing as our software is --because let's be honest, it’s amazing-- we couldn’t have come this far without a few growing pains along the way. But on the bright side, we can now share some of those important insights with cannabis retailers who are trying to find the CRM that is right for them. That includes the red flags to watch for.

6 mistakes to avoid in selecting a cannabis CRM

1. the ‘fish out of water’

First and foremost, it is critical that businesses in this space make sure their CRM provider is compliant with the regulations of the cannabis industry. You might find a platform that promises you the world without realizing that their services don’t meet the unique guidelines of the cannabis market. 

All the results a CRM company brags about getting for the local gym might not translate so well to this unique field. In other words, they might seem like a big fish in a different pond, but in cannabis, they are just a fish out of water. Remember, every industry has different kinds of customers, users, and processes to follow. 

With springbig, dispensaries gain access to the leading CRM software that is dedicated to the cannabis industry. Our platform has been specifically designed for the cannabis community, and every step in innovation is to enhance that experience and meet the needs of both recreational and medical dispensaries.

2. the ‘one-trick pony’ 

There isn’t much better than getting the most bang for your bud. Still, many dispensaries make the mistake of enrolling in one-trick pony platforms that only do one thing, like offering loyalty points without messaging or reporting. So, you end up needing separate software for:

  • Loyalty programs
  • Text Messaging service
  • CRM
  • Reporting/analytics

Even worse, some of them aren’t that good at their one job. So you end up with multiple platforms trying to get a comprehensive solution to one issue. Now not only do you have to keep track of more account info, but you’re paying more to keep a stable full of one-trick ponies.

If you want a consolidated and cost-effective solution, look for a cannabis CRM that includes a variety of other features. For instance, marketing automation refers to technologies designed to effectively consolidate online advertising and automate repetitive tasks, like email and text marketing. In cases where CRM and marketing automation resources work together:

  • 80% of marketing automation users saw an increase in leads
  • 77% saw an increase in conversions

With springbig, you not only get access to a CRM, but also a number of essential marketing communication features.After all, a CRM not only needs to inform you of how much your customers are spending and who your most loyal customers are, it also needs to connect you with those customers in order to reward them and turn them into repeat customers.

Springbig doesn’t just offer a mass text messaging solution, it offers a dispensary text message marketing solution. Our entire marketing platform is designed with the cannabis retail customer persona in mind. We give you the ability to completely customize the structure of your dispensary loyalty program and integrate with all major Cannabis POS systems, so your metrics are in line with the purchase behavior of a cannabis consumer. 

3. the ‘not my circus, not my monkeys’ 

If you’re not familiar with the expression, it is a more colorful way of saying ‘that isn’t my problem,’ which is not uncommon when dealing with a lot of software companies. Too many cannabis retailers will end up struggling to work with customer relationship management tools that have no interest in improving the experience for them or their consumers. But customer service should always be a core element of a CRM. Therefore, you want to make sure the software you select is easy to work with and willing to go the extra mile to get the results you're looking for. 

Our primary focus at springbig is to ensure that business owners have access to the resources they need to grow and connect with the cannabis community. Each dispensary client is given a dedicated onboarding specialist to walk them step-by-step through setting up their unique CRM. We provide:

  • Detailed insights into all of our features
  • Reference materials for your staff and customers 
  • A dedicated support team available 7 days a week from 9 am to 9 pm
  • Education on how to keep your advertising compliant with state and local laws

We do our best work when we’re going the extra mile to make sure your dispensary CRM is delivering quality results on campaigns, accurately measuring your ROI, and helping improve your marketing strategy. That is why we also offer ongoing training and strategy support.

It might be your circus, but we are here to cut back on the monkey business.

4. the ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ 

This is the CRM company that tricks you into thinking you have to take what you can get. They might blame it on your budget, or say the cannabis industry is still too unpredictable to hold them accountable. Really, they just want you to lower your expectations.

Truth is, picking a CRM requires onboarding time, not to mention additional training for you and your staff. A fair amount of time and effort goes into using a CRM right. Therefore, you should also put in the time and effort into finding the CRM that is right for you. Do not settle. Make sure the CRM can support the KPIs that matter to you.

Don’t let a software provider dictate your needs. Instead, determine what your needs are and then do the research to make sure you pick the system that will help you obtain your goals. As a dispensary owner, you get to set your own standards and build relationships with customers based on those. At springbig, we strive to facilitate the needs of our clients, not the other way around.

5. the ‘take our word for it’ 

Earlier, we said you get to learn from the experts, so you don’t have to make all the mistakes yourself. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t want you to think for yourself. Some CRMs will expect you to just take their word for it without giving you the evidence to back it up. But we think it is important for retailers to ask CRMs to show their work. 

We encourage you to ask them to prove it. When looking at a potential CRM software to purchase, request case studies that relate to your industry, or at least relate to the campaigns the service would provide. Try to find out if other retailers found success with their solution? If so- how? And make sure the retailers set goals that were similar to yours.

At springbig, we know the importance of ‘walking the walk’ when we ‘talk the talk.’ That is why we are always happy to share our own market research with cannabis retailers to show just how effective our platform can be. If you are interested in finding out how a certain approach could help your business, we are here to offer our own experiences and insights, while respecting the privacy of our clients.

Don't take our word for it, ask about us!

6. The ‘Gatekeeper’ CRM

Some CRMs don’t allow retailers to customize their experience. Instead, they hold all the keys to the kingdom and leave your team constantly requesting updates and adjustments to your program. Needless to say, the gatekeepers aren’t always easy to work with either.

Try to find a CRM that you can configure or customize yourself. Most business owners know that their needs can change very quickly. Either that or you may gain a better understanding of your needs with the right reporting. The ability to control your own CRM configuration and adapt your approach to meet these new needs is a huge step. 

Pick a system that puts the control in your hands, instead of being dependent on the CRM  vendor to make every little change. Choose a system in which most of your requests can be managed by configuration, not by putting all programming request through the software provider. 

To that end, the springbig dashboard puts all of our program’s features at your fingertips, making it easy to make important changes to your customer relationship management system. Our software allows retailers to:

  • Design your own loyalty points system
  • Update available rewards and offers
  • Set your own text marketing automation  
  • Establish your own requirements for referrals