Friday, November 2, 2007

More on CRM Success

This post could possibly be called a "no-brainer" post. By that, I mean that these CRM metrics seem so obvious to me that they should not even have to be articulated. However, we've all seen CRM systems fail, so perhaps it can't hurt to have another discussion on ways to make your CRM system a success. From yesterday's "DM News":

A CRM value system: Five metrics of success

The article fleshes out "five key values that define the critical path to success in any implementation." Here's a brief overview:
  1. Strategic alignment: "A company must implement a CRM solution that is strategic and aligned with its goals."
  2. User Involvement: "Solutions should be implemented so that they are accepted and embraced by all system users."
  3. Improved Process Effectiveness: "CRM must automate business processes and formalize best practices that will improve the overall effectiveness of the company’s sales, marketing and customer support efforts in a way that aligns with the business’ goals."
  4. Information Sharing: "Walls that exist between departments must be broken down. An effective flow of information between departments will improve relationships and a company’s ability to execute its strategies and achieve corporate goals."
  5. Visibility: "Finally, provide visibility into key performance metrics through reports and dashboards."
I do agree with the above five key elements of a successful CRM implementation. And, I believe that companies are now considering these types of things prior to investing in CRM technology. We've come a long way from just a few years ago when it was more normal for companies to spend lots of money to implement systems that were never used.

I continue to believe in the premise of using technology to help us understand and develop deeper customer relationships. And, I look forward to seeing more and more success stories.

TGIF! Have a great weekend.


Ted Grigg said...

Do you think that these measures of success are sufficient for most organizations when the going gets rough? I suppose that your first requirement of meeting corporate goals covers everything.

But so many success criteria are subjective in nature and not quantifiable.

In stressful times, CRM programs may die unless they demonstrate solid profitability.

Terms like branding, customer service and CRM are merely strategies designed to achieve one goal. And that goal is TO MAKE MONEY.

Thanks for another thought provoking post.


piyush_bakshi said...

Nice and succinct post. but like Ted mentions in his comment, it sounds a little too simplistic. Operational roadblocks can upturned the most balanced CRM applecart. Customization pains can upset budgets as well as vendor-client relationships. Speaking of which, here's a great portal to pick the right vendor for your CRM needs.

Suzanne Obermire said...

I do tend to agree with you both that the 5 tips are overly simplistic. Each CRM investment needs to be justified with a thorough ROI. This hasn't always happened in the past, and I believe it's a major reason why we've seen so many implementations end up as failures.

I'd love to hear case studies/stories of times when technology investments have been successful for you and your clients.