Monday, February 25, 2008

18) Contact Management to CRM - Harder than you think!

I purchased my first computer back in 1994. It was a lightening fast, Toshiba 486 laptop. I believe I paid more for that Toshiba, than the Dell XPS 1330 I am typing this post on today.

I bought my laptop back in 1994 for one reason; to manage my customer relationships. I remember the day I spent loading Maximizer, using the nine floppy disks that I paid a small fortune for. I spent quite a bit of time entering all my customers into my Maximizer database. I installed Winfax, bought my first Palm Pilot and I was all set. Imagine, I could write a newsletter to my customers, push a button, and each of them would receive a personalized fax, with the newsletter. I became the star of the sales department and then I was asked to take over a senior territory. My sales manager, knowing that I had been keeping a database, asked me to share it with the new sales rep moving into my position. You'd have thought that he was asking for a kidney! This was my database, on my laptop. Of course I did the right thing, I printed a copy of my database, with the last five customer notes - Mr. Generous!

The CRM Champion

When a company is rolling out CRM, they will often look for their "CRM champions" in those reps that have been using contact management effectively. From an organizational change perspective, it would seem to make sense that those that are used to entering customer notes into ACT, or Goldmine, should have no problem transitioning to CRM.

I can tell you from personal experience; It was the ACT and Goldmine users I looked for to be super users for the CRM implementation. These users of course said it was "Great" that we could use Scribe to import their databases into CRM. Once again, "The CRM Dilemma" had a huge hand to play in the minds of these technologically advanced sales reps. I now know the planning had begun for these reps to defeat CRM. The clues were provided in their statements and questions:
  • "CRM needs to be as easy to use, as my ACT system."
  • "Can I make notes in CRM private?"
  • "I have many customized fields in ACT that I need."
  • "Who is going to be able to see what I put into CRM?"
  • "I will probably keep my Goldmine database in case CRM goes down."
  • "I need offline access to my information."

These are very natural things for people in this situation to say. Because we are confident in the superior technology of CRM, we promise that all these needs will be met.

While contact managers can be set up for the information to be shared in a small group, they are primarily designed for single-client use.

The UNSPOKEN, and most important differences - Here's what your contact management users aren't saying:

  • "Because I alone see what I put into my ACT database, I only record "High Card" activities."
  • "I like that I have admin rights over the information I record in Goldmine."
  • "I like that if I am asked to share ACT information, I can do so selectively."
  • "I like that I decide what to enter about my activities"

Because of "The CRM Dilemma," the spoken will become the database of excuses, for the unspoken.

Challenge: Since you are reading this, I will assume you have CRM in place that few, if any, sales reps are using. Run CRM activity reports on "super users" that were previously using contact management. I am pretty sure you will find very low usage rates among those that were supposed to be your champions. Unfortunately, "The CRM Dilemma" says that the requirement to enter "Low Card" activities, spoiled all the fun for these key users. They have the advantage of determining all their excuses in advance for not using CRM. Send a link to this blog out selectively and ask for opinions on it. You will be amazed (As I was) at the response once the truth about the "Unspoken" is revealed.

The PACT Difference

By removing the fear of "Low Card," quantitative activity reporting, vast new tools can be provided through PACT, for the contact management user.

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