Answering the Why of CRM to Gaining Business Success with CRM


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Why_CRM-_Why_Now-_Whats_In_It_for_MeStart with Why in Everything You do

As entrepreneurs, business people and trusted advisors we are continually seeking improvements.  Are they better ways to get to our desired outcomes?  Understanding your Why has been insightfully covered by professionals such as Simon Sinek.  Simon suggests “Start with Why in everything you do.”  Do you know your Why?  The purposes, cause, or belief that inspires you to do what you do?



Answer Why’s to Attain Full Engagement for a Well-Used CRM

Truly understanding the why’s people don’t do what they’re supposed to do and what to do about it has been a key challenge by human resource  Speaking_Frankly_about_CRMprofessionals.

Ferdinand F. Fournies provides useful insights in his book “Why Employees Don’t do what they’re supposed to do and what to do about it.” Read more here…  Ferdinand’s book identifies 16 reasons why people do not do what they are supposed to do at work.  #1 is that they don’t know why they should do it.  

The why has to mean something to the person’s purpose, cause or belief that inspires them to action.  

A deeper review of Fournies’ list describes fittingly many of the reasons people do not support CRM initiatives. Sometimes people do not see pass their own priorities, needs, or inter-departmental agendas, regardless of whether they are doing so because they want to isolate themselves or because they don’t know any better.  

Too many times I have found where businesses think that everyone will support CRM or will simply get behind the effort because a senior executive mandates it is a dangerous assumption.  

Research indicates people respond differently based on their knowledge of the effort and their ability to respond (based on what they think they should do or are already doing).  

You have to collaborate and work together to take inventory of what people need in order to respond adequately to what you need them to do.  

“What is certain is that people are going to ask questions, and the first step towards resolution is to initiate and encourage honest dialog”,  J.C.Quintana, author of “Speaking Frankly about Customer Relationship Management.


J.C. Quintana provides a list of questions indispensable to CRM success which you must take a proactive approach to answer:

  • Why Are You Doing This?

The “Why” questions is fair and reasonable from the people who will be called upon to carry the flag and make sacrifices to make CRM a success. It is also a question that helps you validate the reason you are doing this to begin with and one that you have to answer as well. Addressing why you are implementing a customer relationship strategy and/or technology solution is the first part of this exercise.

The second part is to listen to what happens next. It may be that people welcome you explanations with open arms. If due diligence was not done, this could result in learning that there are efforts in place that will not allow you to proceed as planned. What history did you not know about? What creative and innovative work arounds have been used. Take this new insight to build the collaboration we are talking about. For our clients we have found getting the affected stakeholders together in early design and doing real life testing with a representative pilot team does wonders for getting the due diligence done and building a strong CRM success foundation.

The answers to “why CRM” has to be more than centralizing contact records or having a place to manage your sales activity and pipeline. People know what CRM can do and how it can help you target the right customers with the right value propositions using very powerful tools. Communicate that CRM will support the other strategies in the customer strategy universe (engagement, central focus, service, and a more rewarding experience for customers and employees.

Show people how CRM influences the customer experience and where. People need to know that CRM strategy takes into account the things that they are doing to win and keep customers, and to align to the strategies they support is extremely important.

  • Why Should We Be Part of It?

Gaining people’s attention does not always mean winning their enthusiasm. People know that the customer is the reason you are in business and why you come to work every day. The goal is to help people understand that CRM is a foundational part of how your company will identify the customers you best serve, and part of how you create memorable experiences that bring them back and motivate them to recommend you to others.

Don’t make this about the software tools. You are asking them to be part of a better and more intimate way to know the customer. You are building a road that accelerates how your customer engage you, how sales identified what customer what from you, and how well you are meeting the commitments you made to them.

Participation and collaboration requires that you align your goals and roadmap for implementing CRM with what people are already doing. You will be able to watch many of the tasks you thought you had to initiate yourself already live and in progress by your new advocates.

Other questions J.C. Quintana provides insight on are:

  • Are You Going to Teach Me How To Do This Successfully?
  • What is Our Role?
  • Why is “This” a Priority?
  • Why is “This” Initiative Going to Work?

I highly recommend adding the book:  Speaking Frankly about Customer Relationship Management to planning for Success with CRM resources!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dick Wooden
CRM specialist to help you get the answers you need with sales, service, and marketing CRM software. I help mid-sized businesses select, implement and optimize CRM so that it works the way their business needs to work. My firm is focused on client success with remarkable customer experience, effective marketing and profitable sales using CRM strategy and tools.


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