Successful CRM Implementation Requires Software Plus Skills


Share on LinkedIn

CRMMany orga­ni­za­tions imple­ment a new CRM (Cus­tomer Rela­tion­ship Man­age­ment) sys­tem hop­ing to make dra­matic improve­ments in sales as well as to improve the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. While a new sys­tem can cer­tainly help, many com­pa­nies find that a CRM sys­tem alone isn’t suf­fi­cient to meet these goals.

Unfor­tu­nately, many CRM ini­tia­tives fail to reach the goals out­lined above. For­rester con­ducted research on the effec­tive­ness of CRM soft­ware and found that 47% of busi­nesses sur­veyed felt the func­tion­al­ity didn’t match what they were promised by the ven­dor. They sur­veyed this same group to under­stand the prob­lems that were encoun­tered. They found that while 30 to 40 per­cent of the prob­lems were due to the prod­uct, the major­ity of the prob­lems were related to the company’s employ­ees, the inter­nal processes, and the strat­egy for exe­cut­ing the imple­men­ta­tion. William Band, For­rester Vice Pres­i­dent and Ana­lyst says, “We found a lot of peo­ple acknowl­edg­ing that they didn’t have the skills that they needed to imple­ment the solution.”

Even with a suc­cess­ful imple­men­ta­tion, many com­pa­nies find that their goals are still not achieved. Employ­ees may know how to use the soft­ware and have addi­tional infor­ma­tion at their fin­ger­tips, but what if the sales team doesn’t have the skills needed to close sales? Will new soft­ware help them sell bet­ter? Will cus­tomer ser­vice reps have the skills to pro­vide ser­vice? Not as a result of pur­chas­ing new software.

Accord­ing to Band, author of Forrester’s The Future of CRM in 2013, what’s required to improve sales, ser­vice, and the customer’s expe­ri­ence is, “…a bal­ance of human and sys­tems sup­port…” To max­i­mize your sig­nif­i­cant invest­ment in a CRM imple­men­ta­tion, you need to pair the func­tion­al­ity of the sys­tem with improved cus­tomer ser­vice and sales skills. As part of your plan­ning process, develop a train­ing sched­ule to launch fol­low­ing soft­ware imple­men­ta­tion. In addi­tion to train­ing your direct sales staff, invest in tele­sales train­ing and cus­tomer ser­vice train­ing so that all your customer-facing rep­re­sen­ta­tives are equipped with the right skills to max­i­mize the new, robust infor­ma­tion they’ll have at their fingertips.

Imag­ine what your employ­ees could do with top of the line soft­ware AND best-in-class train­ing. Imple­ment one with­out the other, and meet­ing your orig­i­nal pur­chase objec­tives becomes difficult.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peggy Carlaw
Peggy Carlaw is the founder of Impact Learning Systems. Impact helps companies develop and implement customer service strategies to improve the customer experience. Their consulting services and training programs help organizations create a customer-focused culture while producing measurable business results. Peggy is also the author of three books published by McGraw-Hill including Managing and Motivating Contact Center Employees.


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