Bad workmen blame their tools and bad salespeople blame their CRM, according to research from Microsoft Business Solutions.
The findings of a poll of 100 SME organisations with CRM implementations revealed that while 60% of sales directors insist that CRM is fundamental to their sales processes, a quarter have lost customers directly through their ineffective use of CRM technology.
Essentially sales teams are not using their CRM systems correctly with 44% of sales directors admitting that fewer than 80% of their staff use the technology effectively. The knock on effect is a loss of potential revenue and increasing levels of customer dissatisfaction.
But sales directors themselves are hardly blameless with 72% confessing that they tolerate inefficient use of the CRM they have invested in, while a mighty 73% do not discipline staff who fail to use CRM systems. Common reasons for this lack of use include resistance to changing the way they work among sales people and a reluctance to use new technologies.
"Successful CRM implementation is about more than just technology," argued Jason Nash, Microsoft Dynamics CRM product manager. "It touches on other areas, such as change mangement and defining business processes. If systems are not selected to make the sales team’s jobs easier, then the Â£125 million a year that medium sized businesses spend on CRM is being wasted."
Teresa Jones of analyst firm Butler Group commented: "CRM as a piece of software is dead. CRM is about business process change and frankly a lot of firms just aren’t ready for CRM. They’re still stuck in the 1980s."