Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sorry, but your CRM implementation is DOOMED!

"It is a rare dog that will carry the stick with which it is to be beaten." - Douglas Hartle

I was offered a very lucrative position as an independent CRM Consultant. I was told that my skills in dealing with the business side of CRM, are very valuable and sought after. I would work on behalf of CRM partners and manage the CRM implementation, as I had in my last corporate position.

BUT, there was a catch to this position. If the client asked for activity controls to be a part of CRM, I would have to keep my mouth shut about "The CRM Dilemma." I could "Suggest" they may want to reconsider activity controls, but I couldn't screw up the deal by telling them "Your CRM implementation is going to fail if you go ahead with activity controls."

But this would be the truth! Unless you are in a regulated industry, (Finance, law, medicine) where licenses are taken away for not recording customer interactions, CRM will fail if sales reps aren't using it. And sales reps will not use CRM if they are required to record their activities.

Since I am unemployed, I considered taking the position and relying on my persuasive nature to convince clients not to use activity controls. But I had to turn the position down, because everyone that is implementing CRM, wants activity controls. Activity controls are a natural extension of the capabilities of CRM. Why would you not want or expect sales reps to enter their activities into CRM? Until I discovered "The CRM Dilemma," I felt exactly the same way, and I am a sales rep!

Unfortunately, "The CRM Dilemma" is very real, yet unspoken, in all CRM implementations. CRM will fail if activity controls are part of the implementation. I hate this reality. It screwed up my career after I had discovered an area that I loved and was very successful at. I single handedly convinced my previous employer to implement CRM across North America. They spent a vast sum of money, the infrastructure is in place, the pilot markets are psyched, then I went and told them it wasn't going to work. Thanks allot Arne!!

So I remain unemployed and continue to crusade to finally bring success, to what we can actually achieve, not what we want to achieve.
  • To focus sales reps on planning their activities
  • Providing sales reps with all the information they require before a sales call
  • To enable sales reps to easily communicate "High Card" activities and information, after the sales call, that is attached to the Customer Record.
  • To encourage sales reps to record customer feedback by including them in access to cumulative feedback reports.
  • To provide a "Safe" process for sales reps, so they feel free to use the tools provided, without the need to defeat CRM due to fear of activity controls

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