CRM systems have become the phenomena of the twentieth century. Almost every company is either on board or are trying to implement CRM. However, not all is well that sounds well. On one hand companies are spending millions and even billions across the globe to have the best system in place and are losing millions over time as well. When the statistics are looked at closely about CRM and the companies who have spent a fortune on it, one can clearly see a part of the industry which is in terrible health. No doubt it is going to be one of the biggest industrial revolutions and will make companies put in more and more money but in financial terms, a lot of companies are scratching their heads even after investing millions.
The progress made by CRM has been humongous and there is no doubt that a large sector and its CEO’s and marketing agencies feel this is the next huge gamble but nevertheless for a lot of companies it has turned to be a gamble that has not paid too well.
For example, in 1998 Monster.com took this gamble and decided to implement a new CRM software which was supposed to provide their employees with robust data and increase sales. However, it backfired as the system was not compatible with the current system that they were using and it ended up creating a lot of confusion. Not only did they lose prospective customers but they ended up losing a lot of the business they held as the vendors and employees took a year to iron out the problems. Monster made a huge financial loss in the process.
A recent survey done by “Gartner Research” concluded that most CEO’s did not consider CRM to be at the top of their priority list and it is only in the past few years they have taken note and are trying to implement it. There are some truths about CRM that each business needs to understand which a determining factor on should be whether they should go for CRM at first place.
1. CRM Challenges
It doesn’t matter if you have the latest software that world is raving about. What matters is whether your company needs it and how will they implement it? When you take an initiative then you should be prepared to face the challenges it brings with it.
i. Having a proper strategy: Objectives have to be clear. The technology to be used should be understood well and researched well. Key employees should be taken into confidence while making the strategy so that each point is discussed.
ii. Implementation: Once a strategy has been put to place the next part is how should it be implemented? Is your software capable enough to talk to the next system? What kind of challenges your employees or customers face due to change in technology? Is your vendor helpful and has a knowledge of working with similar companies to ensure counter any unforeseen circumstances? Will this change make customers happy or will it confuse them?
iii. Choosing the best that suits your need: With so many software and vendors around, the goal of any organization is to choose a software that works best for them. Most CRM systems are not bad but most of them will not be for you. Selecting that one software and that one vendor who is capable to meet your requirements is the difficult task.
2. Hype Around CRM
According to a Boston Based Consultancy, it has been noted that almost two-third of the companies who are using CRM system has not been able to show any remarkable difference in their business growth. It is up for debate largely because most of the fortune 500 companies are using it and thus it feels like a box to be ticked. However, the hype around CRM has made a lot of the company do an internal analysis to figure out if the cost and time involved in buying and implementing the whole system have been worthwhile. When things go wrong companies end up blaming vendors for it while not really identifying that much of the problem lied in implementing the system the correct way. The bottom line will always remain “your system is as good as you are”.
3. Vendor Management
For a common person, it gets difficult to choose a product which may cost $5 a difficult task if he is presented with the task of selecting a product from the advertisement it sees. Now imagine if you were told to choose from many vendors in the market for a software that you may not be entirely sure off in terms of implementation with so little time and with so much of cost involved? Sounds like a nightmare? That is what it can be.
Often the best of the business and the rest have this one major difference. The choices they make. No wonder companies pay big bucks to these brains to make the right choices. Money can belong to the public if it is a listed company but only the select few can decide if they can trust to put that in the hands of an external party to reap benefits in the future. Every vendor will call itself the best in the business. Some might lure you with additional features other may lure you with cheap services. While empires take time to build, one wrong decision can rumble it overnight.