CRM Implementation: Fool me once, shame on you …

CRM Implementation: Fool me once, shame on you …

In their first implementation of a CRM system, many companies implement software with the expectation that their people will use it and will naturally work it into their processes. Immediately after the implementation, they are elated; people used it! Success! Then the demands of their users’ everyday lives hit and CRM takes a back-burner to “getting work done.” After a couple of years of haphazard usage of CRM, nobody trusts the data, and the CRM system is deemed a failure. Continue reading →

4 Got-Yas in Switching CRM Systems

4 Got-Yas in Switching CRM Systems

So, you’re thinking about switching your CRM system for another one.  Maybe you’ve outgrown your current CRM system.  Maybe you’re looking to lower recurring payments.  Maybe your users don’t use your current system and blame it on the software.

Whatever the reason you are considering switching, CRM switches can be a very successful boost to your company or huge flop.  Considering the following will help with the transition and hopefully tip the scale to the success side: Continue reading →

A history of man rejecting technology.  One big lesson to learn.

A history of man rejecting technology. One big lesson to learn.

John Henry
retold by
S. E. Schlosser

Now John Henry was a mighty man, yes sir. He was born a slave in the 1840’s but was freed after the war. He went to work as a steel-driver for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, don’t ya know. And John Henry was the strongest, the most powerful man working the rails.

John Henry, he would spend his day’s drilling holes by hitting thick steel spikes into rocks with his faithful shaker crouching close to the hole, turning the drill after each mighty blow. There was no one who could match him, though many tried. Continue reading →

The 4 Es of CRM Success

The 4 Es of CRM Success

Whether you have a CRM system in place, or are looking to implement CRM, remember the 4 Es and you CRM success is almost assured.  Ignore them, and the only thing you will be getting from your CRM system is complaints and blame.

 1)      Enable

When you enable your users with CRM, you give them the means to accomplish their job.  It goes without saying that accomplishing this should be easier than without a CRM system.  If your CRM system is not an enablement tool for your users, it will be used only through coercion. Continue reading →

3 Crucial Business Trends to Plan for in 2014

3 Crucial Business Trends to Plan for in 2014

Business professors Gary Hamel and C.K. Prahalad have written about an experiment that was conducted with a group of monkeys.  It is a vivid story of failure.

Four monkeys were placed in a room that had a tall pole in the center.  Suspended from the top of that pole was a bunch of bananas.  One of the hungry monkeys started climbing the pole to get something to eat, but just as he reached out to grab a banana, he was doused with a torrent of cold water.  Squealing, he scampered down the pole and abandoned his attempt to feed himself.  Each monkey made a similar attempt, and each one was drenched with cold water.  After making several attempts, they finally gave up. Continue reading →

Utilization Frustrations With CRM … Why “Just Do It” Doesn’t Work

Utilization Frustrations With CRM … Why “Just Do It” Doesn’t Work

CRM ProfitIf you have a sales person who loves your CRM system, is excellent at updating deals, and is diligent at entering notes, I can bet one thing and win 99% of the time:  He or she is not your top sales person.  How am I so certain?  Most CRM systems are built with the end in mind (collecting data) on the means (enabling the sales person).

Let me be clear.  Enabling sales does not mean collecting data; enabling sales means providing data in the easiest method possible. Continue reading →

Increasing Sales Without Increasing The Size of Your Sales Force

Increasing Sales Without Increasing The Size of Your Sales Force

Day in the life a salesmanOn average, your sales people spend less than two hours a day selling.  This is according to Mark Ellwood, President of Pace Productivity Inc. (Mark’s report is here.)  Paul Vinogradov agrees with Mark in his post.  In fact, a simple goole search on how sales people spend their time will tell you that your sales people most likely spend the majority of their time on non-sales activities.  Continue reading →

The Unintentional Killing of CRM

The Unintentional Killing of CRM

Over my last fifteen years of facilitating CRM implementations, there are two programs that have been the unintentional death of CRM within many organizations:

OUTLOOK

In their efforts to implement a corporate calendar, increase mobility of CRM data, or simply to placate user’s demands, many organizations implement some sort of integration between their CRM system and Microsoft Outlook for the synching of calendars and contacts.  Often, this integration is clunky (a technical term for bloated and difficult to use) and fraught with issues. Continue reading →

CRM, easy as riding a bike?

CRM, easy as riding a bike?

Let me ask you a simple question.  Would you say that using your CRM system is easier than riding a bike?  Is it easier than driving a car?  Most of the time when I ask this, the answer to both questions is no, CRM is definitely more difficult than riding a bike or driving a car.

No kidding, your CRM system is more difficult than riding a bike or driving a car?  So let me ask you this, which did you spend more time learning to do, ride a bike, drive a car, or use your CRM system? Continue reading →

Great Expectations for Outside Sales usage of CRM

Great Expectations for Outside Sales usage of CRM

Setting realistic goals is critical for a successful CRM implementation.  However, just as critical is having realistic expectations.  What’s the difference?  A goal is what you hope to achieve through the implementation of a CRM system, an expectation is the anticipation of an occurrence.  For example, a company may have the goal of increasing quote conversion by 5%.  The expectation is that the sales people will enter their quotes/opportunities into the CRM system and keep them up to date.

Over the last 15 years, I have had the privilege of consulting with 100s of companies as they set realistic goals and expectations for CRM.  The goal of the next few paragraphs is to help my readers understand what is realistic in the realm of user expectations of your outside sales representatives. Continue reading →