Is it about the technology, or is it about transforming your business?

Richard Boardman makes a case in his blog post  The CRM Consultant: Independent CRM consultants and their role outside CRM software selection…. that independent CRM consultants have an important role that is seldom recognized or valued.

In making this point, he points out a number of common false assumptions:

That selecting the right technology is the key challenge, and once you are settled on that everything else is straightforward. In reality while technology (and implementation partner selection) is very important, it is by no means the toughest challenge in applying CRM technology. The areas of strategy, process design, and user adoption are far more demanding.

That the quoted price in an accurate representation of what you will end up paying. Since most CRM vendor pricing is provided on indicative or estimated basis what the client ends up paying can be an order of magnitude different from the initial quoted price. The client either has to dumb down the requirements or accept the shift in budget.

That CRM vendors have the ability and inclination to deliver a system that significantly improves performance rather than a system helps them meet their sales targets. The two objectives rarely coincide in my experience.

So often, companies start by asking the wrong question:  Which CRM software technology is best?

They should be starting by clearly defining their CRM strategy, refining their business processes, and definining a clear set of specifications that their business requires. Once this is done, they can go out to find the best fit in the marketplace for their needs.

Start there, and you’ll exponentially increase your chance of success, and more importantly the profitability of your organization

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