CRM Customers: Do you have a trusted advisor when it comes to CRM strategy? Part 2 of 4

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[JEFF] So - speaking to your second theme, learning from CRM specialists over the years - I remember speaking to a partner in our North America market and the hornery subject of "why do people think CRM weren't work for them?" Their view was too many companies were switching all ON CRM features at day 1 & then expected CRM to be "done, just like that".

[DAVID] We hear this far too frequently. This ‘everything at once' – or shotgun approach to implementing CRM. Customers think, in doing so, they get "all their boxes ticked" in a one-shot project. But all too often it fails to deliver what people need

[JEFF] Yes - and partners who say this - agree it is probably because customers are used to buying an accounting system & expect it to be the same: Installed & finished in one cycle of implementation. Trouble is, that approach makes less sense when buying an 'across the business' tool like CRM - a tool that covers multiple data sets, processes and use cases. You cannot do it all at once; customers should expect to evolve over time.

[DAVID] I'd add another - parallel - thought too: Some customers Learning believe that an "install in one cycle" gets a faster return on investment (ROI). Which in theory may be true BUT there's a bigger risk of project over-run, not "knowing what you didn't know" that you would have got with smaller, iterative, project steps.

[JEFF] Exactly - larger projects have too many moving pieces and things get lost in translation. In the worst case, the customer is left to view “CRM as a waste of resources” when it’s actually a failure of the implementation approach.

[DAVID] Agreed. it is my view that customers that take a phased approach get so much more from their CRM system. The aim is to guide customers through the necessary longer life cycle - as the term "business partner" truly suggests - to gain the value from their software.

In the next part of this four part series, Jeff & I will talk about what a good Sage CRM business partner (reseller) "looks like."     

Missed the opener? Read the first part of the series.