I set out, in writing this series, to shed some light on common mistakes made when selecting a CRM system and how the perception of what a CRM System is helps leads to those mistakes. I also wanted to touch on the trumpeted failure rates of 55% – 70% of implementations, and show how they can easily be improved.
To summarize in a few bullets:
- A CRM System is a tool to help manage information and business processes. Like any tool the output is highly dependent on the input. So rule number
- Before you consider a CRM, first make sure your internal business processes and information needs are well defined and WORK!
- Choosing the wrong CRM system can be extremely expensive in both time and actual costs. You may end up with high customization costs or using multiple vendors/applications to band-aid a bad decision.
- Match the CRM tools to your critical business processes and information requirements. Do not fall trap to bells and whistles or promises of customization. If you need a rolling forecast, choose a CRM that supports rolling forecasts. You can probably survive without having Facebook in your CRM if it means sacrificing a business process.
- Choosing to remain at the status quo and do nothing is a losing proposition. Competition is increasing, resources are decreasing and sales engagements are becoming more complex. Attempting to manage this landscape with unwieldy and antiquated tools is a no win scenario. So rule number 3:
- Invest the necessary time and resources into rules 1 and 2 above. Implement using best practices and you will have a successful transformation from chaos to competency.