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Best CRM: Some Finer Points

IStock_000020468314SmallInteresting conversation on "best CRM"

I agree that management must identify some key objectives – focus on real issues... one of my current prospects is considering spending upwards of $100k a year – and from what we can tell it won’t help sales people get more leads (marketing) or be more efficient (right tools) – it is to streamline the process of discount approvals – so, they want to spend more money to make it easier to give away money? After I had a little rain on their parade, I don’t think I changed any hearts but I got the owner and cfo attention – they are now rethinking. Ultimately, we may not be the right solution, but they really need to think about what they are spending money on.

The one thing that is missed is “what will make sales people want to use it” – there is data entry –

but what do they get? What are the planned benefits? Faster access to leads? Sales tools on line, merged documents, team task assignment and tracking, etc. for the most part, there isn't really much benefit over making them productive – if they accept it. So you have to bake that in.

The other thing I have observed is that sales people are not particularly good at defining systems requirements: they are very against change that effects them (Sales people like change, they just don’t like to BE changed) – and so you get a bunch of conflicting opinions – I have never been in a meeting with sales people – my team included – where you get cohesive crm requirements or complete buy in.  One CEO of a prospect sees the benefit to a shared calendar, but during our meeting the key intended user expressed concern that he'd lose his paper calendar which is easy for him -- but doesn't help his team...nor is it scalable: all the reasons the CEO is looking at tools. this project probably wont go forward -- or will be painful and disruptive, Yikes.

The reality is, unfortunately, regardless of participation and opinions expressed sales people do not like CRM. Its an issue that managers have to take into account and temper how much change they go for. KISS.

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Paul Peterson

Vice President & GM


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