Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Don't Fall On Your Sword - Steps to Introducing "The CRM Dilemma"

With the large number of readers this blog and my research have attracted, I can only assume some of you are preparing to "Spread the news" regarding my research.

Since I consider myself somewhat of an expert on this subject, please accept advice that I wish someone had given me.

  1. Be strategic and move slowly

  2. Don't try to go it alone

  3. Build a strong team of supporters

"The CRM Dilemma" can itself be threatening, particularly if the CRM initiative hasn't failed yet. A slow, strategic approach to this massive change in corporate mindset, is required.

Don't Try To Go It Alone

If you have accepted my research findings, you now know the quickest way to ensure your sales force will undermine your CRM initiative, is to have "Low Card" activity controls included in your implementation. If your CRM program is currently implemented, but sitting unused by your sales force, the job of introducing "The CRM Dilemma", and my PACT solution, become somewhat easier. I have now developed situational analysis templates and refined the presentation of my research findings to assist in gaining acceptance of this phenomenon. I will address post-implementation and pre-implementation individually.

CRM Has Been Implemented, But Remains Unused

  • Review the original goals of the project with management
  • Focus on "High Card" benefits not being achieved (Customer feedback, planning tools, communications)
  • Gain agreement on the critical values that are missing because the system is not being used
  • Presentation of "The CRM Dilemma" research
  • Review the current CRM application with management, to identify "Low Card" activity recording elements
  • Present the PACT solution
  • Gain management agreement on the value of the components in PACT, versus CRM with activity controls
  • Gain agreement to conduct sales force workshop, to validate if "The CRM Dilemma" is in fact driving the lack of CRM usage
  • Conduct confidential, one-on-one interviews with sales reps and sales managers, that were involved in the original CRM implementation
  • Stress that the truth, not blame, is the goal of all interviews
  • Conduct one or more confidential focus group session(s) with sales reps, not involved in the original CRM implementation
  • Review the current CRM program with sales reps to identify "Low Card" reporting elements
  • Present and validate the PACT solution
  • Once the truth about "The CRM Dilemma" has been acknowledged by sales reps, the PACT solution can be reviewed honestly through the same lens.
  • Gain agreement on the value of the PACT solution
  • Discover and document sales planning informational requirements
  • Present aggregate interview results and PACT agreements to management
  • Plan the IT side of providing informational requirements of sales planning reports
  • Work towards relaunching CRM as PACT

The CRM Implementation Has Begun, But Not Been Completed

The same steps as above apply, but additional up-front work must be done to convince management of the inevitable failure of the program due to "The CRM Dilemma"

The CRM Implementation Has Not Begun

This one is tricky. Likely you are in a CRM consulting role, and you may be wondering how your clients will accept the inevitable failure of their CRM project. On the other hand, you will be the hero if you provide them with a valuable solution that will actually be used by the sales force. The best way to approach this I feel is to utilize me to present "The CRM Dilemma" research to clients. The question then will be:

"Do you think this will apply to your CRM implementation?" If they say no, you have done your honest due dilligence. If they say yes, once again you are the hero for saving what would have been an expensive disaster. At the very least, if the client feels "The CRM Dilemma" will not apply to them, you have opened the door to being brought back in to rescue them when their sales force is not using CRM.

As I said before, I have developed some great tools to assist you in bringing this new concept to businesses. With the high number of failed CRM initiatives out there, the opportunitity for success by "Taking the high road" is much larger, than ignoring this research and staying on the "Low road" to failure. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance.

1 comment:

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