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CRM—Do the right thing

April 25, 2017

The age-old misnomer with buying CRM software has been “If we build it they will come”, but everyone has learned by now that doesn’t work.

Just because you buy software, doesn’t mean people will use it.  In many cases people will use the functions that are most obvious to them and anything that requires effort will often be ignored or avoided.

I’ve always said the two most important parts of a CRM deployment is what I call,  Buy-in and Commitment.

Any company can buy a solution, writing the check is the easy part. Buy-In is more than BUYING. First, a company must Buy-in to the CRM Project as a strategic direction change for operations.

Second, is the commitment, that’s difficult.  Commitment means: executive management and the workforce are agreeing TO USE CRM for managing business.

The commitment is demonstrated by end users managing their day in CRM and the commitment by management is demonstrated through using reporting and analytics to make informed business decisions. If management continues to make people manually construct spreadsheets and not use CRM themselves for reporting, the CRM deployment is destined to fail. Commitment is most successful when expectations are clearly defined to all. Everybody should use the tool: management needs to use CRM during meetings to demonstrate that they are using the data, which urges the end users to put data in accurately, because they know that it is valuable data that we use together to close business.

Recently I had the pleasure of working with a customer who is in the midst of transitioning from (Buy-In) over to (Commitment) phase.  This was an incredibly rewarding experience working together.  Dialoging through the challenges in their business, and learning more about how they operate as a company, we began to define the role of CRM.  We then began working together to meet in the middle – by modifying both the CRM application, to do what they want and modifying user’s behavior to support how the system functions.

Having spent two days with the customer, we both walked away feeling satisfied that progress had been made and clear decisions had been constructed for sound business reasons.

This is really the ideal. Taking a step back looking at what you do, examining how you do it and making a decision about “how do we really want to do business” and what does CRM do to automate or simplify or make things better for us as a company.  Sometimes clients want to simply recreate existing processes in the new CRM System.  BUT – breaking the mold and innovating business process is the real reason for the CRM Project.  Anything less is maintaining the status quo – and that is not good enough.

Do the right thing – As part of deploying CRM, make the commitment to do it right. Don’t just use the tool – innovate and reinvent business process – have an operational renaissance!

Written by: Erik Tavenner, Solution Consultant, Infor

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