CRM Implementation – Culture Part I – The Top Down Directive


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I believe that most strategic business owners and business managers find the concept of CRM intriguing. I believe most of us, who have been out there for a while believe that it is long overdue. I remember, years ago (let’s just say more than a decade ago), searching on what was the internet at that time. (For those of you who remember the internet over a decade ago….it was a vast sort of place where you could get lost for hours and accomplish little…mostly because you sat there watching the waiting icon spin because you were on dial up.) I remember searching on the internet trying to find some form of sharing software…something my whole team could see. Of course, I didn’t know what CRM was then or that it formally had a name and it was still just a twinkle in the eyes of the big publishers…but even then the need existed.

Accounting software has been around for about as long as the inception of computers themselves, which spread into inventory management software or total Enterprise Systems. Yet, for some reason, it has been perfectly acceptable for the DRIVING part of business… sales, marketing and service, to be left to Excel spreadsheets and Outlook calendars. It seems crazy really, when you think about it. Crazier still is that I often hear from business owners today they are still reluctant to implement CRM because their people won’t use it. Hmmmm…..really?

Is it an option? Has your accounting department ever come to you and said, “I don’t want to use my accounting software, I like using a ledger better”? Would that be ok? Let’s face it. Having visibility to the sales pipeline is long over due. It’s not about babysitting the sales, marketing or service teams. It’s about having visibility to critical information in the sales pipeline that leads to informed and educated business decisions. It’s about having a forecast based on actuality. It’s about understanding the length of your sales cycle and the resources required to achieve it. Why is it ok for that to be optional?

We find that if management leads by example, and lives and breathes their CRM, their subordinates will jump aboard the ship quickly. SHOW THEM why THEY can’t live without it. Show them what effeciences and intelligence can be gained from use. Share your goals and objectives with them and the reporting capabilities and capacities it has, so they SEE how important their input to the process is.

CRM software adoption is a top down directive, there is no doubt about it. A successful CRM implementation is about the culture of the organization far more than it is about any other aspect, including the software itself. Make it your mission to be the best informed manager or owner in your organization and you will find that CRM software is an essential tool that you can’t live without.

Kym Riedel
Kym Riedel, Sales Director at Resolv, Inc., is responsible for business development, working with current customers on new projects and identifying companies that might need a new partner to help maximize their CRM investment.Prior to joining Resolv, Kym worked for manufactured consumer products companies in both the crafting and food industries. Kym has worked at internationally branded companies including ColorbÖk, Fiskars and Rondele Specialty Foods where she held marketing management and sales account management positions.Kym has Bachelor degrees in both marketing and business management.


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