Company: Pivotal CRM
Category: Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Published: October 2008
As companies take a fresh look at CRM tools and strategies, the sales department often has a strong voice in the process—and understandably so. While the best CRM implementations are by nature multi-departmental, touching every facet of the customer experience, the need for sales force automation (SFA) is often one of the primary drivers for a CRM initiative and measures of its success. With the most direct impact on revenues, the sales department is often where companies are looking to find the most compelling ROI metrics from their CRM implementation.
Yet salespeople are notorious for their reluctance to embrace new systems, especially CRM solutions—so much so that AMR Research cites sales-user reluctance as one of the top explanations for CRM failures. Salespeople typically have their own tried-and-true approaches to managing their sales cycles and see little reason to change the way they are doing things, especially if their sales performance is meeting company expectations. CRM initiatives are often viewed by salespeople as a means of management control or oversight, rather than an effort to facilitate the sales process and help sales users be more successful. Winning over the sales team is consequently one of the most challenging and crucial issues in CRM implementation—and a factor that can make or break a CRM initiative.
For this reason, companies evaluating CRM systems need to carefully research and consider a system’s suitability for their sales force, ensuring that the CRM project is a true sales initiative, not just an IT project. While this certainly need not entail the exclusion or de-emphasis of the needs of other customer-facing departments, such as marketing and customer service, a CRM system that satisfies a broad but shallow range of requirements across departments may be less successful than one that thoroughly satisfies the needs of a single department, and with the particular difficulties associated with sales adoption, sales-team needs demand special consideration.
Rating: + 2
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