Corporate culture issues not technology problems are the primary inhibitor preventing companies from extracting the best value from their CRM systems.
That’s the view of CRM consultant Gene Marks in his Forbes blog post.
Gene claims he is “sick of the whining” from companies that don’t understand what’s required to ensure their CRM systems deliver value.
“The problem with your CRM system isn’t usually about your CRM system,” Gene says. “It’s about you. It’s the way it’s been setup. It’s the way it’s been implemented. It’s the way it’s managed.”
Gene recommends three leading practices:
- Focus on your reporting. Good sales people need their reports on their pipeline, open quotes, new opportunities, recent activities and lost sales, etc. “All the other bells and whistles are nice, but without these reports their CRM system would be worthless,” Gene says.
- Invest in an administrator, who should sit inside the sales team. This person should not be a recycled IT staffer. “Every successful CRM system, whether it’s Salesforce.com or any of the others has a strong administrator behind it. And a senior manager or owner willing to make that investment.”
- Commit or suffer the consequences. Don’t tolerate non-compliant behaviour at any level. “Don’t want to embrace your CRM? Don’t want to require a bare minimum of data entry to track customer contacts and key profile data? Don’t care if a salesperson isn’t paying attention to the system? Then suffer the consequences.”
Gene says “the most successful CRM systems are at companies where the system is the culture. Do what’s necessary to help your people adapt. Give them training and support. But in return require them to use the system. Because, if it’s not in the system, then it doesn’t exist”.