June 12th, 2012
In my line of work as a consultant helping small businesses implement and use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, I’ve seen the good, bad and ugly of system implementations over the years. It’s because of that experience that I can honestly tell you that buying and using a system (technology) without having a strategy associated with it will set you up for failure – it will be a waste of money spent on the system, on the consultant to help you set it up, on man hours of training and trying to use the system.
Technology can be a wonderful tool for you and your business. But don’t think that just by purchasing, installing, and using a new technology tool that you will see results from it. I’ll give you two examples.
- A client tells me they want to implement CRM for their company, and tell me that their friend uses XYZ product, so that’s what they want to use. Some people may think “this is great, I don’t have to spend all of this effort finding the right solution for my client, and I can skip right to implementing it for them.” But not me. This is a BIG red flag for me, but more so, an opportunity to teach my client why I won’t just implement XYZ product for them. First, there are a lot of factors that go into selecting a software solution for a company (which I will not get into right now but will cover in a future article), many of which are features and benefit driven. Does XYZ product meet the criteria for the client’s company? This must be answered first. Just because it’s a fit for one company/person does not mean it is a fit for all companies/people! If I had let this client go forward with the purchase of XYZ product, they would not have had success with it, and would have gotten frustrated. Instead, we sat down to do a thorough needs assessment, figuring out what the company really needed out of their CRM system before even looking at what systems were out there for them to try.
- I had changed the way I was managing my tasks last year. I wanted to visualize what my days looked like ahead of time, so I was dragging my tasks onto my calendar in Outlook and color-coding everything so I could tell the difference between a task and an appointment immediately. This worked for a little while, but after a few months, I got frustrated and abandoned this process. I then sat down and thought about what I was trying to accomplish and THEN researched what solutions were out there to help me manage my tasks that fit the strategy. I found a tool that allowed me to add the length of time for each task but kept it in list view. To this day, this method is working great for me, and has other bells and whistles that I could not get out of managing it in Outlook the way I was.
In both scenarios, the focus was on the strategy before selecting the technology. This ensured that success would be achieved, and there would not be buyer’s remorse either. If all you do is purchase technology and use it to attempt to fix all of your problems, you will never be 100% satisfied by the technology. If instead, you purchase the technology with an end result and strategy in mind, you can purchase the technology with peace of mind and a higher level of success in the end. This goes for hardware, software, and other technology gadgets as well. This philosophy is not limited to just CRM systems!
If you would like to learn more about how to make your CRM implementation successful, contact DB Pros at (973) 607-1627 and speak with one of our consultants, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can learn more about CRM implementations at www.dbprosconsulting.com.