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October 27, 2011

Major Issues Holding Your CRM Benefits Back

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor


Industry observer Chris Bucholtz recently wrote that when it comes to CRM, “the discussion you have with a vendor is like taking an anatomy course; the discussion you have with an integrator is like speaking to the coroner.”


Bucholtz identifes what he finds to be, consistently, the key issues associated with CRM problems:

The Band-Aid Approach. Fixing a sales or marketing issue by implementing CRM is, for smaller businesses, a neat band-aid that allows them to continue with business as usual, minus the problem that was vexing them... If the business is not in the habit of continually examining its processes and at the same time thinking about how CRM can improve and evolve them, CRM ends up being a wasted, one-time investment.

Inadequate Training. Many businesses have mistaken "ease of use" for "no need for training," with limiting results. Others have provided limited training to a core cadre of employees, leaving half-trained users to train other untrained users... scrimping on training is a great way to take the money you've already spent and waste it.

Excessive Complexity. Too many vendors present users with software engineer-centric interfaces, with features buried off the main screen. Although it's smart to concentrate the most-used features on the front page, you don't want additional functionality to be hidden where users will never go looking or them.

Disorganized Software Releases. The tendency for vendors to release new features in a scattershot approach, especially since the start of the SaaS (News - Alert) era... every part of the organization has to train around one or two new features that may apply to their jobs. This makes it easy to skip training, and soon new features start to be ignored.


David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Juliana Kenny


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