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ECT News Community   »   CRM Buyer Talkback   »   Re: When CRM Stalls: Kicking It Up a Notch

Re: When CRM Stalls: Kicking It Up a Notch
Posted by: Christopher J. Bucholtz 2012-08-16 04:06:51
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As a CRM journalist, I always enjoy talking to integrators (or resellers, or VARS, or partners, or whatever term they choose to describe themselves). It's always an interesting contrast to speaking with vendors. The discussion you have with a vendor is like taking an anatomy course; the discussion you have with an integrator is like speaking to the coroner. I've heard gory things about vendors and technologies, but I've mostly heard the gruesome facts surrounding CRM customers.

Re: When CRM Stalls: Kicking It Up a Notch
Posted by: mranger 2012-08-16 07:02:28 In reply to: Christopher J. Bucholtz
A very interesting viewpoint – and one from someone who brings a bit of a wider perspective to the subject. And some great tips here for avoiding pitfalls. I would like to add, however, that from our 25-year plus experience at Maximizer (www.max.co.uk) writing CRM software, I can see one crucial further point that relates to the idea put forth here that too many organizations just take a Band-Aid approach to their CRM without getting to the heart of what they really need.

While add-ons and additional features can be great selling points for some CRM solutions – and training and better interfaces are extremely important in making these viable for businesses – they are only worth having in the end if the client does indeed need these and will use them in the long term. Therefore, it is essential to test and monitor the features and functions that people really do use, and use frequently, in implementing a CRM solution. In the initial phase, users will often say they absolutely need a specific capability, and then almost never use it. So build this understanding into your initial pilot processes.

The same principle then applies as your organisation matures in its usage of a CRM software solution. Features that are popular initially may become redundant later on – or indeed users may identify important missing components as they get their teeth into the application. No sense in developing (and paying for) features that then languish untouched while others need to be added. In short, don’t just monitor user and customer satisfaction – also look at the hard statistics of what elements of the system are really being employed every day to your organisation's benefit. After all, hard statistics are what the business of CRM is all about. Functions such as pulling reports out of your CRM system can be essential – if it is being used well by the users, then the information is invaluable. Companies need to take that same mind-set when they look at their overall needs.

-Matt Ranger, Head of Sales EMEA, Maximizer Software
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