Over at Random Thoughts Of A Boston-Based CTO: John Moore’s Weblog (Note to John: consider shortening your title, you’re making me create a run on sentence here) John polls people using CRM asking why they don’t use it more.
The post is only three paragraphs, but the comments below it contain some of the best discussion I’ve seen around the difficulties of implementing a CRM business strategy.
If you’re planning on implementing a new strategy, please check out the very cogent comments on the post. They apply to more than just CRM implementation.
Here are my suggestions
- If you’re implementing a major strategy, ask yourself what impact that strategy will have on your corporate culture? If you’re moving from a product focus to a customer focus, that’s going to make a big difference not only with your sales and marketing departments, but also with every other department in your organization.
- Senior management must be there supporting the change in words and deeds. Every day.
- You must have the support of middle management. Include representatives on your implementation team from day one.
- You must have support of your sales staff. Make every effort to understand their needs and design your strategy (and software) accordingly. Include them on your team as well.
- You must revise your performance measurements to reflect the new strategy. Incentivize them in a way that supports the new strategy.
- Remember, as the US Army says, “No plan survives the first contact, intact.” You must create a rapid response mechanism so that you can react quickly when signs of trouble appear. Failure to respond promptly can spread the virus of discontent which destroys your strategy’s credibility.
My most important suggestion
Your internal communications plan must demonstrate how this new strategy will benefit three groups.
- Your organization as a whole
- Your customers
- Your employees. Do not forget this last group. WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) is encoded in their DNA. Do not assume that they understand how this benefits them. They may see change as a negative unless you are proactive in marketing its benefits. To them.
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