“Awe, if only this software just had this feature!” There are so many different CRM solutions available today. As they compete in the market, their complexity increases with every update, making it virtually impossible to use all the features in the software.
In 2006, I spoke about CRM at an E-Biz forum hosted by NEMRA, Electro-Federation Canada, NEMA, NAED, and IDEA. I stated, “It does not matter how many features your CRM program has. The cheapest basic CRM solution with excellent implementation and consistent accountability for use will yield greater results than an expensive, complicated solution with average implementation and use.”
When most companies look to invest in a CRM, they get stuck in “feature quicksand”. The conversations focus on features and the comparison of features between different brands.
Instead, the conversation should focus on implementation and training. A customer must understand that implementation and training are not just a couple of single-day events on the calendar. It is a journey that takes more than a year, if done correctly, will require changes to the company culture to include CRM. Discussions should focus on a plan to obtain the desired results, as well as support and training throughout the journey.
At Repfabric, we take a different approach to the promotion, sales, training, and implementation of our CRM solution. At Repfabric, we understand that implementing CRM is not like loading Microsoft Word, and a person is up and running in minutes. Implementing CRM is a journey that starts with customer interviews to gain an understanding of their culture, processes, and their method of going to market. We help them with data cleanup, establish a system of nomenclature, help them with initial training, and even offer adoption coaching along the route of adoption. We are not just selling CRM software; we are partnering with the Rep firms who purchase our software to ensure they understand the program and are utilizing it in a manner that helps them increase sales and shorten the sales cycle. Unlike most CRM software companies, our success is not measured by the sale but by the successful implementation and ongoing use of the Repfabric by our clients.
With national CRM implementation failure rates for all brands running around 65%, it is time that the conversation is switched from features to the “implementation journey”. When 2 out of 3 CRM implementations fail nationally, a huge amount of money is wasted, and CRM software earns a bad reputation. Most people who have experienced CRM implementation failure usually blame the software. Any software’s complexity is an issue, and that is an issue that should be addressed upfront when creating an implementation plan. But most data reflects a loss of interest in the product from senior management sales teams not properly prepared for how things will be done in the future and especially why the change is happening.
Have you ever noticed that no matter how many channels you receive on your cable TV, it seems like there is nothing good to watch? In a similar fashion, with a CRM system, there will always be some feature that is missing. As you look for a CRM solution, don’t get caught in the “feature quicksand.” If your goal of using a CRM is to increase sales and market penetration, a CRM solution like Repfabric is the answer. It is the best insurance policy against implementation failure and the best option for a solid return on investment.