The disposable world of CRM

The disposable world of CRM

It has long been said that The United States of America is a throw-away society. For years, possibly decades, rather than fixing something, we toss it and purchase a replacement. You don’t believe me? Simply do a google search for TV Repair in your area. You could do the same for microwave repair, cell phone repair, etc.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying some people don’t seek to repair a broken item, and that no TV repair companies exist, I’m simply saying repairing versus replacing is happening less and less. I believe there are several reasons for this phenomenon: Continue reading →

Don’t waste your money on CRM if …

Don’t waste your money on CRM if …

Over the last 18 years of CRM consulting and software implementations and integrations, I have come to learn several truths.  The most basic of these is the role software plays in a CRM implementation.  And over the last 14 of the 18 years I have been sharing this CRM implementation chart. The funny thing is that at least 95% of the executives I share this with agree that a CRM implementation is about so much more than technology. In fact, I believe it is roughly 10% technology, 30% process and 60% culture (or people).

With 95% of the executives I speak to agreeing that CRM is so much more encompassing than software, how many of them truly believe it? How many of them actually spend the time to analyze their processes and people in relation to CRM? How many of them actually make a plan for incorporating CRM into the Process and Culture of their organization?  Less than 5%! Continue reading →

Why I Believe You Need a CRM Strategy, and How to Create One

Why I Believe You Need a CRM Strategy, and How to Create One

In my earlier blog post, CRM Selection in 4 (Huge) Steps, I gave a brief overview of the four main steps to CRM selection. Since that post, I have been in several discussions as to whether the first step, defining your CRM strategy, is needed. I will attempt to highlight what a CRM strategy is and why you need it.

My biggest argument for developing a CRM strategy is the age-old adage, “if you don’t know what you’re aiming for, you will hit it every time.” I have said it may times, if your goal is to implement CRM, implementing CRM will be the accomplishment of that goal; however, your company may see little or no benefit from the action of implementing CRM.

Continue reading →

CRM Selection in 4 (Huge) Steps

CRM Selection in 4 (Huge) Steps

Implementing CRM is not the same as implementing an accounting package or an email system. An accounting system is used for tracking financial information for internal and legal reporting purposes. The number of users is generally limited to those who understand accounting practices, and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) are the foundation for the implementation. Email on the other hand is a communication tool, and also adheres to standards. CRM, on the other hand, is the wild-wild west of implementations. While there are some standards in the CRM industry, most of a CRM strategy is custom to the company implementing CRM. This makes buying a CRM system a custom process.

The first thing I tell my customers is this, “don’t implement a CRM system, if you don’t have a plan and honest, straight-forward goals for CRM.” Why? It will be a huge waste of time and money, since CRM is so much more than an address book or a quote tracking tool.

Continue reading →

CRM … Changing the Role of “Sales Manager”

CRM … Changing the Role of “Sales Manager”

I cannot remember how many times I have sat in meetings with sales management discussing their need to see what their sales team is doing. They want sales call and activity reports accounting for every minute of a salesperson’s day, especially for out-of-office days. This is usually done in one or a series of spreadsheets, until they implement CRM. Then, it just makes sense to them to implement the same thing in the CRM system: 100% accounting of everything the sales person does. Their employees ultimately perform the required tasks, not out of belief in the CRM system, but out of fear. When asked, most employees think CRM is just a leash used by management to account for their time.

Continue reading →

You Might Not Understand CRM, If …

You Might Not Understand CRM, If …

Recently I was sitting in a cigar lounge enjoying a conversation with a professional-looking couple in town from San Diego.  They had come to Green Bay to attend the Packers/Chargers game. Through billowing puffs of smoke, the question came up, as it typically does, “what do you do?” I replied with my standard, fifteen second answer, “I facilitate the adoption and implementation of CRM systems.” “I’ve heard of CRM,” he blurted, “that’s an electronic account list.”

I was aghast. I thought this guy was a professional. Surely he didn’t just say that CRM is an “electronic account list.” This man, a professional, or so I thought, turned out to be a CRM redneck. I was certain the next words out of his mouth were going to be “yuuuup,” and “get’r done.” All I thought about the rest of the evening was Jeff Foxworthy type jokes, except that instead of, “you might be a redneck,” jokes, they were “you might not understand CRM,” jokes.

Continue reading →

The most common excuse for not using CRM

The most common excuse for not using CRM

Excuse for Not using CRMWhen we read quotes like, “It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busy-ness of life… It is possible to be busy – very busy – without being very effective,” by Stephen Covey, we sometimes dismiss it as “that doesn’t happen here.” However, I have seen this over and over again with CRM implementations.

A company will implement a CRM system and mandate usage and the population of a lot of data by their sales force. This usually results in push-back. Salespeople will say things like “I’m too busy closing sales to worry about CRM,” or “I don’t have time to ‘feed the beast’ I’m knocking on doors.” You get the picture, and if you implemented CRM, you’ve probably heard it too. Continue reading →

One Fatal Trend Preventing CRM Success

One Fatal Trend Preventing CRM Success

I have blogged in the past about business strategy, and C-level buy-in. I’ve been on my soap-box talking about reasonable expectations of sales people.  I’ve even been so bold as to say that many of your current CRM issues are not technical issues.  This blog is going to take a bit of a turn.

Over the course of the last 16 years of CRM consulting, I have noticed a trend, but have been unable to put my finger on just what the trend is. Whether it is because I am sometimes slow to grasp things, or because it is so easy I didn’t think it could be a “magic bullet,” I am uncertain.  However here is what I see to be one CRM system trend that is debilitating, if not fatal to CRM success.  What is this trend: OVER COMPLICATION! Continue reading →

Top 4 Things Executives do that Kill CRM

Top 4 Things Executives do that Kill CRM

In their haste to increase user adoption and achieve ROI from CRM, executives sometimes set-up roadblocks to their own success. That’s right, company executives can frequently be the speed bump hampering their CRM success.

Dead CRMHow can this be?  The issue to companies’ lack of success with a CRM implementation comes subtlety after implementing a CRM software.  For some reason, with the implementation of CRM software, companies shift the focus from results to CRM software utilization. Let me give you four examples: Continue reading →