Changing CRM Programs & Success Management

Are you considering changing CRM programs? Perhaps you’ve outgrown your program. Perhaps you have seen features and functions in other programs that you believe will better help you achieve your company’s goals. Software evolves quickly and new programs can generate excitement. But be cautious not to become too enamoured of other program’s “bells & whistles”.  The grass isn’t always greener elsewhere.  Whatever your motivation, switching CRM programs is not a simple or easy path to walk.

Change Management & Successful CRM – The Inseparable Link!

Chuck Schaeffer nicely illustrates in his CRMSearch column the challenge of managing change for successful CRM conversions – from managing expectations to process changes, to training, to the roll out.

“It’s critical to remember that CRM is a journey and not a destination. Even after realizing the benefits targeted during the implementation, most businesses are using less than one-third of the CRM software potential.”

As I have addressed in earlier posts, changing software will not solve problems stemming from the lack of a CRM strategy or poor management and administration.   For example, if your team isn’t compliant using your existing system why would you expect them to automatically become compliant with a new program? (Compliance is tied to training and management expectations.) Or from a strategy standpoint, are you leveraging your CRM for maximum return?  For example, are you profiling customers for closing more quotes, up-selling, and launching  campaigns to capitalize on all sales potential? Or has your program simply been reduced as a tool for tracking call reports?

Sometimes decisions makers see a feature in another program that they like but are unaware that it exists in their current CRM program.  Perhaps the feature simply isn’t turned on. (Check with your administrator or vendor.)

Whatever the motivation for change, Schaeffer provides interesting insights regarding planning for changing CRM programs.  Perhaps its not a new CRM program you need.  Instead a fresh, new look at your existing program just might save you a bundle of headaches, frustration and costs.  But if you are convinced a new CRM program is warranted, keep Schaeffer’s article in mind. It will likely save you more of the same.


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