Has Anyone Mapped CRM Adoption?


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A thoughtful post on Salespodder.com asks the question, “Has anyone ever mapped CRM adoption?” and wonders what the effectiveness of Salesforce.com’s “Adoption Dashboard” has been. Count us among those who would like to hear your answer.

One trend that Salespodder makes clear is that CRM investments no longer have to be “big bets” – huge infrastructure investments that, once made, have enormous pressure from the CFO or CIO to justify.
“Times have changed. Firms no longer pay huge sums upfront for software. The ability to ‘rent’ databases that require potentially no internal IT resource has meant many companies are trying a new system with every new regime, or even financial year, to pinpoint one that works for them. Of course, as the industry knows, none of the systems ends up working for them. CRM adoption is on the floor.”

(Emphasis added)

This has both good and bad connotations for CRM adoption – yes, there are lower costs of failure, but the high degree of experimentation and the sheer number of changes creates the danger of fatiguing your salesforce.

No matter how many “benefits” you put in front of users, you have to recognize that you are asking for change and change is never easy. Process change initiatives should be handled with care. The good news about this environment is that is allows you to pilot a program for relatively low cost, to fully vet it with a small group before unleashing your broad CRM adoption initiative.

Perhaps the most important step to this pilot program is an intensive study of your existing sales process, to ensure that your chosen CRM solution will fully map to and support your sales management. As Jonathan Farrington said on CRM-Daily.com, “The first step for any company deciding to make a change in their sales approach is always an assessment of the situation.”

–Related topic: I attended aTechRepublic webcast featuring a Microsoft CRM implementer named Mark Kovalcson, who was asked the question: “How hard is it to transition from one CRM solution to another?”

His answer, roughly, was “It’s actually easier to transition if you already have a CRM system, because you’ve already done the work to consolidate and organize your data.” Additionally, hopefully it means that you have gone through the step of deeply understanding the sales process that your CRM solution should be built around.

Will Horton
Will Horton combines words, visuals and design into compelling materials for sales, marketing, and training. Working with PACE, Will has produced websites, sales tools, and training materials that have been deployed all over the world.



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