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Common pitfalls of CRM

01 Aug 2010

Challenge of Deliverability Many businesses look at the CRM offerings in the market and work backwards from there. There are a lot of products available; therefore, this approach tends to be quite overwhelming. It is more advisable to look at the business fi rst, in order to establish what its needs are. The expectation that a software package can be installed and deliver right off the bat is highly ambitious. You have to look at the ‘Three Ps’: people, process and product, before making a decision. Strategy Put simply – What do you want to achieve? For example, a sales manager requires an overview of their staff along with transparency. Tactical Closely linked to strategy, tactical boils down to asking: How do we do it? It seems obvious, however, that often this question isn’t asked within the context of a business’s ‘bigger picture’. Poorly scopedA great example of this is when a CEO or sales director says: “We need to get CRM in. Make it happen.” Those on the work fl oor then proceed to making inquiries, but in many cases they don’t know what they are actually looking for. An entire organisation must know the objectives when they go to implement a CRM system. Executive Sponsorship Implementing a CRM system is not your average project; it’s different because it involves relationships, human interaction, and a cultural system. The most successful CRM projects are those that are driven from a company’s top level, as it sends the correct mindset to employees on the shop floor. Insufficient investment Too many organisations install a CRM system and then skimp on implementation and training for that system. It is extremely important to make sure there is a budget for those features. Under-budgeting will also lead to disaster; when it comes to CRM, you will get what you pay for. It’s vital to get it right the first time, as people tend to shy away from this area after a failure. Middle management By this, we are referring to the layer between the top level and front-line staff in an organisation. Middle management needs to be able to get metrics out of a CRM system, to see what their team is doing and reporting on that. Focus on capability Essentially, a lot of the CRM systems out there do the same thing and have the same capabilities, such as measuring sales activity and performance. It comes down to point of differences that make a system the right ‘fit’ for an individual company. For example, look at whether they need remote access or access from their iPhones. Data migration/quality Data migration must be taken in to consideration. For example, a lot of sales teams have information stored in multiple Excel spreadsheets, and hundreds of contacts held in Outlook. The challenge is getting all of that information in to a format that is useful to the customer. The pitfalls outlined above are usually those that businesses are not aware of. I believe there is nothing to fear when it comes to CRM systems, as long as it is done properly the first time round.