I was recently talking to a friend of mine who is a senior IT exec in a global FMCG company. They are a very IT savvy organization, particularly in respect to their approach to deploying ERP technology across their international operations, which they have done to considerable effect. I was curious to understand what they were doing on the CRM front, which as it turned out was very little. They had been looking to implement CRM for some while but had held back primarily because they didn’t believe there was sufficient executive sponsorship to make it happen. While this initially surprised me, I quickly realized how smart a strategy this actually was. Most organizations would have been gone ahead anyway and spent a lot of money and resources achieving very little. It strikes me that organizations would do well to be aware of when not to deploy CRM, and I believe there are three particular times not to invest heavily:

1. When there is insufficient executive sponsorship – successful CRM programmes do not happen without it

2. When there is insufficient financial and manpower resources available to run a long term CRM programme – and organizations frequently underestimate the required commitment
3. Where there is instability within the business – for example when there are significant management changes or frequent changes in strategy – CRM systems do not tend to respond well to rapid change.
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