You didn’t implement your current CRM by saying, “today, I am going to totally screw up our company.” It wasn’t your goal to add more work for your sales team. You didn’t decide to implement a software system that was not in alignment with your company goals and vision. You didn’t say to yourself that culture and process have nothing to do with CRM. No. You implemented with visions of CRM success. So what happened? Continue reading →
I can say very accurately that over 90% of companies that have implemented a CRM system have failed in the education of their users in relation to the CRM system. How do I know this? Through my observation of CRM implementations since 1998. My bet is that your company is among those that have failed. Let me prove it to you … Continue reading →
In 1972 Fram Oil Filters ran commercials on television talking about their oil filters. A mechanic was usually under a car working. He talks about how a Fram Oil filter costs $4.00 and the cost of the repairs he was doing on the car that didn’t replace their oil filter was $200.00. He ends by holding up a Fram Oil Filter and says “You can pay me now,” then holds up a piston and says, “or, you can pay me later.” The ad was a huge success, and makes a great point: Not properly doing the small things typically leads to bigger things. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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.
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.
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.
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.
As manufacturers put together their marketing plan for next year they often find themselves in a bit of a quandary in defining who their “real” customer is. More-often-than-not manufactures have little direct contact with the end user of their product. They sell through a distributor who sells to a purchasing agent, neither of whom are the end-user of their product. This makes putting together a marketing plan rather difficult, especially if the manufacturer’s product does not end up on a retail shelf. Continue reading →