Has the CRM Software Industry Gone Insane?

Looking for a CRM solution to improve how you market, sell and provide service to your customers? If you are then according to industry reports there is a good chance you will become part of the 73% percent of companies that have failed to implement the system they selected or to realize a return on their investment. The CRM industry has gone insane. Both vendors and consumers are to blame for creating an environment that has produced nothing more than frustration, failed implementations and unmet expectations.

Angry Businessman by bplanet ID-100143919

Four Traits of a Successful CRM Implementation

If you have succeeded in getting your system implemented and have improved sales execution and customer service then congratulations are in order for taking the proper steps to ensure your success. I will bet that your success is due to the following:

1. You have specific goals.

You sat down and documented specifically what business challenges you were trying to address such as; better lead qualification and automated follow-up, creating a sales process or methodology to better manage the sales cycle or implementing an automated ticketing system that captured and tracked customer inquiries and responses.

2. You have realistic expectations.

You did not look for something free to address these challenges.

3. You have delegated responsibility.

You assigned a capable individual or individuals internally and held them accountable for the success of this project.

4. You know when to ask for help.

You engaged the CRM vendor for assistance with implementation, training and customization of the system.

You created your success by realizing that CRM software is not a toy or some appliance that you plug in the wall. You understood that you have to invest not only in the software but in the value added services that will ensure the successful implementation and utilization of the product.

Seems simple enough. Why do so many fail?

Most small business, and often mid-size companies as well, have failed at this. Why? Because they typically have loosely defined requirements so there is no critical business challenge that must be addressed.

Businessman Choice by jumpe ID-100185424

As such, there is no reason to engage management in the selection decision. They will let one or two people look at a few solutions and make their decision primarily on price, who appears to have more features or the prettiest user interface. And if you require additional cost for implementation or training then you are not the right solution for us. Sheer insanity and the reason for a 73% percent failure rate.

CRM vendors that offer low cost programs have figured out how to get these people on board and have reacted with offerings designed to get you to sign up at the lowest cost possible. I call this the “Look at Me Syndrome.” How many times have you heard these sales pitches?

  • Hey select us we are Free
  • Hey we have No Contract
  • Hey look at us, No Commitment — only month to month.
  • Hey improve your business – operational in 30 seconds.

What they should be saying is “Hey select us and we will ensure you realize little if any value, but at least it won’t cost you much.”

What is most perplexing is that CRM may be one of the most competitive sectors of the software industry. The difference between a free to low-cost solution and a quality one (that will provide you with a good product, a telephone number to call for assistance when needed, and a return on your investment) is often just a few dollars more a month. I just don’t get it. Do you?

In order to add some sanity to the decision process, Commence Corporation has created a white paper called Don’t Make a CRM Buying Mistake7 Points to Consider before Selecting Your CRM solution. It’s a must read for businesses looking for CRM Online or cloud based CRM software. Click to view or download the full CRM Whitepaper.

Image “Angry Businessman” courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image “Businessman Choice” courtesy of jumpe / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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