Having implemented Customer relationship management solutions (CRM) for companies of all sizes for the last 25 years, I have noticed a number of recurring problems that must be addressed early in order to achieve the benefits you hoped for:
People do not like change, they like their own little data store or silo in MS Outlook, or in their paper-based system, or on their phone, they resist coordination.
“I’m the most successful sales person because I avoid wasting my time filling in forms of any kind”
People do not want to be told to change their ways, alter their reporting processes, and follow processes based on best practices.
“Best practices may work for others but not for me!”
People do not want to share their contact information with others; they see the relationship as private.
“I’m not sharing my private notes with anyone”
Management implements a CRM without defining the expected benefits and the activities required to achieve those benefits.
“We have got a unified client view, now what?”
Some CRM systems require too much sales time to update, they are perceived as a problem rather than a solution.
“This system is junk, I refuse to use it”
Sending complex communications to customers can be very difficult to manage. Multiple language and slight variations depending on customer classification can cause the number of templates required to multiply very quickly and become a logistical challenge to ensure that the right version is used for the right customer.
“Oh no, I sent out the wrong version of the document to 30,000 customers!”
Managing the technical infrastructure and security issues including back-up and hot-backup facilities for such a mission-critical system can be a challenge.
“The overhead of setting up and hosting our CRM have been incredible, our tech staff is always busy working on one problem or another, I know we need it but the cost…”
The people and company-related data in a database becomes stale and out-of-date if there is no consistent and verifiable process and responsibility to update and maintain the data quality.
“I have to use my MS Outlook system, the central CRM is always out of date, the names, phone numbers and Email addresses are all wrong”.
Without customers you do not have a business. The retention, recruitment and servicing of customers is the most significant function of your business.
Potentially, a customer relationship and communication management system can help you do it better.
Are There Solutions?
Yes, but they are specific to each business, no one solution solves all problems for everyone. When we consult with our clients we identify the top three concerns and work on solving those problems. Sometimes when those top three problems are solved, the remaining problems are not perceived as “show stoppers”, in that the benefits to be realized from the system and the usability and maintenance issues are sufficiently resolved to create a tipping point in the general perception. You start hearing phrases like “I can’t wait to get this in”.
In future blogs we will discuss and present CRM solutions that work for each of the problems we have presented, we also welcome your input and comments, What is your experience with these issues? You will see some solutions on our web-site at www.prodigm.ca. We continue to work at making our site solution-oriented, solving your problems.
Peter Coy | President | Prodigm Inc. | Toronto
“CRM that Fits”
Peter has a Masters Certificate in Project Management from Schulich School of Business and has managed hundreds of projects for large and small organizations in a long IT career in Development, Design, Sales and Marketing.
Contact: +1 416 564 1446 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.prodigm.ca