I’ve just finished writing a fairly long magazine article setting out what I consider to be some of the most misunderstood aspects of buying and implementing CRM technology. I will publish the full article once it’s gone to print, but in summary the eight key areas I identified were:

Misconception 1 – CRM is about choosing the right CRM software – it’s important, but not as important as people think. Technology won’t do anything on its own. The strategy, people and process dimensions are where the challenge is.

Misconception 2 – That the software vendor can cover off the strategy, people and process dimensions – not in my experience anyway. They may know the technology, but the application of that technology to beneficial effect, no.

Misconception 3 – That requirements documents should be three pages of bullet points – functionality oriented requirements specifications, that ignore strategy and process, do not generate successful, cost effective, CRM projects.

Misconception 4 – That vendor pricing is logical and predictable – again not in my experience, vendor pricing tends to be very erratic, and you can get caught out unless you give yourself plenty of choice.

Misconception 5 – That system development is the time-consuming phase – Customising and configuring CRM software is normally a lot quicker than people think, it’s other seemingly innocuous stages such as design, testing, or user adoption that catch people out.

Misconception 6 – That data is a side consideration – people don’t want to see old, duplicated, or incomplete data when they start using their new CRM system, but preparing data can be a bigger task than the rest of the project put together.

Misconception 7 – That half a day’s training will do – user adoption is your toughest adversary, expecting people to attend a few hours of classroom training then go off and use a system in a consistent and structured way is fatally unrealistic.

Misconception 8 – That it’s ok to leave the reports until later – vendors are notoriously squeamish about helping create reports in the early phases of a project, but improved immediacy and quality of management information is generally a key deliverable, and it’s also a key way of verifying adoption, so why delay?

Those, in summary, were my thoughts on common misconceptions, now what else did I miss?

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One thought on “Common misconception about implementing CRM software…”

  1. Hi Richard I enjoyed your misconceptions list. We've just launched a website called Clienteerhub.com It's a a social learning resource centre providing tools, training & information for Clienteers® We've coined this name for those poor creatures trying to co-ordinate "CRM" in all its forms and who are designated as customer experience "champions" We'd love to have you contribute to the site and I'm sure we could create some useful traffic/business for you and your blog. Let's get in touch.

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