Top 4 Things Executives do that Kill CRM


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In their haste to increase user adoption and achieve ROI from CRM, executives sometimes set-up roadblocks to their own success. That’s right, company executives can frequently be the speed bump hampering their CRM success.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Killing-CRM.jpgHow can this be?  The issue to companies’ lack of success with a CRM implementation comes subtlety after implementing a CRM software.  For some reason, with the implementation of CRM software, companies shift the focus from results to CRM software utilization. Let me give you four examples:

1) Executives begin managing activities instead of results

Now that information is available in a CRM system, it is very tempting to try and measure everything related to front-line users’ activities. Phone calls, meetings, emails, opportunity steps, etc. all become available, and a subtle shift happens as companies’ begin to judge their front-line users based on their ability to populate their CRM system, rather than their sales and customer service success.

2) Executives demand detailed reports

Along the same lines, now that a company has a way to gather data, they tend to ask their front-line users to gather data for the sake of reporting. Now, I’m not against reporting, but I am against asking front-line users to enter data that is only necessary for reporting. My belief is that if the data is not useful to the user, the customer, or marketing, then don’t gather the data.  Stay away from the temptation to be data gluttons.

3) Executives require CRM usage but don’t use it themselves

You may say, yes they do, our executives get reports from CRM every week; however, if your executive is calling and asking a front-line user for information he or she has already entered into the CRM system, they are telling the user that entering the information into CRM is not useful to them.  For an executive to accelerate CRM usage, looking to the CRM system for all information related to the customer, and depending on CRM for executive decision making shows the front-line users that the CRM system is indeed a worthy tool.

4) Executives manage rather than coach users

One of the greatest opportunities due to the visibility of data in CRM is that executives should now be able to see where users may need additional coaching. For example, by looking at a sales funnel for an individual user, a manager may see where a particular front-line user is struggling and offer coaching to help them through a particular stage that may be causing trouble for that user.  Another example is a manager reviewing large open opportunities and calling the front-line user to discuss sales strategies for the opportunities.

So what should you do?  Define results and focus on those results, not clicks and activities. Do not give into the temptations of data gluttony and activity tracking.  Finally, use the CRM system as the main source for information about the customer, and use the information to drive coaching of front-line users.

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.


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