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.  

2)If you are going to turn the responsibility for implementing your CRM system to your IT department, you probably shouldn’t be implementing CRM.

I’m not an IT hater.  In fact, I admire IT people.  However, I do not believe they are the right people to be leading your CRM charge! First, I doubt there is anyone on your team that is a CRM business strategy expert.  Second, turning the project over to IT makes it 90% about technology.  And lastly, IT doesn’t understand your complex sales process or what it takes to win and retain customers.

3)If you have no plans to integrate CRM into your back-office and eliminate the myriad of other data sources, you probably shouldn’t be implementing CRM.

A CRM system without at least basic data from your ERP system is not really a CRM system at all.  If your users can’t look at an account in CRM and know critical information (credit limit, credit hold, outstanding invoices, average days to pay, etc.) you are handcuffing your users.  If you still have spreadsheets and Access databases laying around to track sales calls or forecasting, your CRM will be just another source of frustration for your users.

4)If you believe that CRM is a tool to measure the success or failure of your sales team, you probably shouldn’t be implementing CRM.

I don’t know how many companies I have talked to that want CRM to be their glass window into their sales team.  The first letter in CRM is “C” … that stands for CUSTOMER.  If you are not implementing CRM for your customer, then don’t do it?  What do I mean by “for your customer?”  Here are some examples:

  • Enhance follow-up to quotes
  • Be proactive in problem detection and resolution
  • Increase customer retention
  • Put key information in salespeople’s hands
  • Increase new customer acquisition

I could go on all day!  Do these things, and a natural outcome will be a better understanding of your customer.

Ask yourself this, “which is more important, understanding my sales team, or understanding my customer?”

If you ARE looking to implement CRM this year, and want help facilitating CRM success, shoot me a note, I can point you in the right direction.

Luke Russell 

Resolv, Inc.


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