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 →

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 →

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 →

3 Undisputable Truths about Implementing CRM

3 Undisputable Truths about Implementing CRM

Subtitle:  Does the Cloud Have A Magical Silver Lining?

More companies are looking to the cloud for a fast implementation of CRM.  Recently even Sage PLC (the makers of Sage CRM) announced they are moving to SalesForce.com (http://www.sage.com/media/press-releases/2015/02/26/the-sage-group-plc-announces-global-agreement-with-salesforce).  When confronted with the news, my brother and work colleague commented, “aaah, but the Cloud has a magical silver lining that fixes broken processes too.” Continue reading →

The best delivery method for CRM

The best delivery method for CRM

It is fitting that I am writing this blog during the football season, because I enjoy playing fantasy football.  In fact, I enjoy it so much I am in three different leagues on two different fantasy football websites (NFL.com and ESPN.com).  While both websites have their good and bad points, they both have one thing in common:  multiple ways to access my team!  For both they have a full-blown website, a mobile version of the website, and an app for my Android phone and iPad. Continue reading →

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 →

The top 4 reasons why you should not implement CRM

The top 4 reasons why you should not implement CRM

1)If you are planning on devoting 90% of your time and budget to selecting and implementing CRM software, you probably shouldn’t be implementing CRM.

This point is nothing new.  You have heard it over and over again, CRM is a BUSINESS STRATEGY.  It’s about focusing on your customer by aligning your culture, process and technology.  In fact, if you have read any of my blogs, you will see that I believe CRM is only about 10% technology, the rest is culture and process.  So, if 90% of your implementation is NOT ABOUT TECHNOLOGY, for a successful CRM implementation, you need to spend considerably more time on process and culture.   Continue reading →