CRM Implementation: Fool me once, shame on you …


Share on LinkedIn

In their first implementation of a CRM system, many companies implement software with the expectation that their people will use it and will naturally work it into their processes. Immediately after the implementation, they are elated; people used it! Success! Then the demands of their users’ everyday lives hit and CRM takes a back-burner to “getting work done.” After a couple of years of haphazard usage of CRM, nobody trusts the data, and the CRM system is deemed a failure.

CRM Jester


Along comes another CRM system. “This time it will be different,” the company executives tell themselves. “This time we know what the users want,” after all, “we completed a user survey and know the problem.”

This brings me to the title of this blog post.  We have all heard the adage “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”  While there is great debate on the internet as to who this quote is attributed to (and it ranges from an ancient Chinese proverb to George W Bush to Scotty on Start Trek) the wisdom of the quote is often lost, especially in a second CRM implementation.

I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that one of the major reasons for the first CRM failure was the inability to integrate CRM into the culture and everyday flow of the organization.  This is not unusual, because in our first CRM implementation, we really do believe that software is the answer to the problem.  However; how many of you are looking at your second or third CRM system?  Do you really believe the problem with your last (or current) CRM system is software?  Do you truly think that implementing a new piece of software will make all the difference?

Shame on you!

Unless your new CRM system is welded into the cultural fabric of your organization and aligned with your processes, you will be fooled again.

“But Luke,” you say, “we know our problem is quoting so all we need is a way for users to complete quotes faster.” Or, “Luke, forecasting is our biggest problem, all we have to do is implement a CRM with better forecasting.” Companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars implementing another CRM to fix that “one big problem,” ignoring the biggest problem of all: Unless you do things differently (and I don’t mean technologically different), you will end up with the same result.  GUARANTEED.

Don’t be fooled again, get help with your CRM success. You’ll be glad you did.

Luke Russell
Luke Russell has been CRM consultant since 1998. He has personally consulted with hundreds of organizations, and has a strong success record for CRM implementation and results. During this time, he has worked with customers to achieve such lofty goals as higher quote win ratios, larger average order size, more effective follow-up, reduced cost of administration, increased customer retention, and expanded cross-sales into existing customers; to name a few. Luke is the founder of Resolv, Inc.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here