CRM the Game?

Entellium just announced it’s going to release a “gamer influenced design” which is intended to create a CRM application that is both rewarding and challenging for salespeople. This new version which is due out in May, is called “Rave CRM“. I think Entellium has the right idea and is definitely thinking outside the box, but a gamer design won’t be the answer.

Isn’t CRM fun enough already salespeople? Umm….no. The only way I see CRM becoming more sticky for salespeople is to do something like embedding fantasy sport scores and myspace comments on their splash screens. That way every morning when they get into work, they’ll have a compelling reason to login in. Why not? They look at them anyhow — might as well make it easier right? Continue reading “CRM the Game?”

CRM in 2006 – Looking Back

It’s hard to believe that it’s time to make
predictions for the year ahead — it feels like I just finished that
job, but here we are again. I dug up my 2006 predictions and was amazed
at how close some of them were. The lesson I derive here is that I must
not have been trying hard enough.

The funny thing is that no matter how advanced and risky you think
your predictions are, reality and the march of time have a way of
making them all look rather tame. That attitude is especially needed
for the next two columns — this one looks backward and the next one
tries to look into the year ahead. First things first.

Continue reading “CRM in 2006 – Looking Back”

A Five-Year Vision for CRM: Seven Key Trends

For the past several years, I’ve been writing annual predictions for the CRM industry. It’s all been good fun and forces me to sit down once a year and think about important developments.

How did I do last year? Judge for yourself by reading my CRM Industry Predictions for 2005.

It’s far easier to write about predictions for the CRM technology industry than for the business strategy of CRM. So this year, for a change of pace, I’m going to present my five-year vision of CRM, from both a business and technology perspective. Here are seven trends that I believe will define CRM for the second half of this decade.

Trend No. 1: Customers Rule!

Sure, we all say that already, but if you think customers are in charge now, you ain’t seen nothing, yet. Over the next five years, customers will gain even more power because of the convergence of three forces: globalization, the Internet and the development of China and India.

Globalization is an unstoppable force. Short-term, some countries will attempt to slow progress with trade barriers to protect jobs and local economies. But there’s no doubt that global trade will continue to grow, with help from trade initiatives like the EU, NAFTA, the WTO and three acronyms to be named later.

OK, so it’s not much of a stretch to say the Internet will reshape our buying habits. But think past Googling suppliers. That’s so 2005. The new news will be integrated supply chains where Web Services standards will help link organizations more seamlessly than they do today. Information will flow faster, and high prices will have nowhere to hide.

Finally, China and India will have an enormous impact, first as suppliers and then as consumers. Today, nearly 2.4 billion people combine to take an ever-growing role as the world’s manufacturing (China) and service (India) suppliers. In addition, their growth of affluent local consumers will mean that CRM will become a critical strategy within these countries, too.

Wherever you live, your customers will have more choices for products and services. Companies with lean, responsive and customer-friendly business models will prosper.

Continue reading “A Five-Year Vision for CRM: Seven Key Trends”

Scott Jones On The Real Value of CRM

A recent post by Scott Jones in regards to my article "CRM Buying Cost Basics" really hammers home a great point. You can buy the greatest software available but without the right implementation and user adoption, it’s almost worthless.

Scott Jones: David … you make an important point here that my partners over at Accenture and I align with. CRM is a great, enabling technology BUT it is just the technology piece. The technology in and of itself provides little value. The real value lies in how it’s implemented and rolled into to an overall strategy and execution that includes people and process.

Frankly the technology is the least value creator piece of the puzzle. That’s why the services piece will always be the greater cost portion … more value is derived (if done properly) from services than anywhere. I realize that’s a big IF.

I’ve heard from several frustrated Siebel customers that they hate their CRM because it’s so complex and downright slow. This is partially because there wasn’t proper training or education in the product prior to rollout. Like Scott notes, technology is only one piece of the pie and without the right services team driving the project to not only completion but also acceptance can prove to be fatal.