In the market for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software? Geoffrey James of Inc. com shares his fail-safe rules for a successful CRM implementation.
In the twenty years that I’ve been writing about sales technology, I’m often asked how companies can ensure their CRM implementations are successful. Based upon my own observation and discussions with dozens of experts and analysts, I believe that CRM success requires adherence to the following 12 rules:
Rule #1. Do your research.
Companies sometimes buy a particular CRM system because they heard it was good or because the vendor had slick advertising. However, not every CRM system is right for every company and when the system isn’t right, an expensive failure is inevitable. Before you buy, confirm with thorough research that the system truly fits your needs.
Rule #2. Rent don’t buy.
There are still a few poor misguided souls out there who believe it’s more economical in the long run to set up servers, buy perpetual software licenses, host the system and hire IT consultants to customize it. That’s dumb because owning rather than renting means you’re stuck with what you’ve got even if it doesn’t do what you want.
Rule #3. Keep it simple.
A CRM implementation that’s chockablock with obscure features and functions can make the system seem cumbersome and user-unfriendly. The biggest challenge is usually to get the sales teams to embrace the new system, which is harder if there’s a steep learning curve. Why pay more for features that make your system less useable?